Hartford, Connecticut

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City of Hartford
Looking towards the Old State House at State House Square in Downtown Hartford
Looking towards the Old State House at State House Square in Downtown Hartford
Official seal of City of Hartford
The Insurance Capital of the World, The Heartbeat, New England's Rising star
Location in Hartford County, Connecticut
CountryUnited States
RegionCapitol Region
Incorporated (city)1784
 • TypeMayor-council
 • MayorEddie Perez (D)
 • City18.0 sq mi (46.5 km2)
 • Land17.3 sq mi (44.8 km2)
 • Water0.7 sq mi (1.7 km2)
 • Urban
469 sq mi (1,216 km2)
59 ft (18 m)
 • City124,512
 • Density7,025.5/sq mi (2,776/km2)
 • Metro
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)860
FIPS code09-37000
GNIS feature ID0213160
AirportBradley International Airport (Windsor Locks, CT)– BDL (International/Major)

Hartford is the capital city of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is located in Hartford County on the Connecticut River, north of the center of the state, 24 miles (39 km) south of Springfield, Massachusetts. Its 2006 population was 124,512[1]. Hartford ranks as the state's third-largest city,[2] after Bridgeport and New Haven, 40 miles (64 km) to the south.[1] Greater Hartford is also the largest metro area in Connecticut and 45th largest in the country (2006 census estimate) with a metropolitan population of 1,188,841.

Nicknamed the "Insurance Capital of the World", Hartford houses many of the world's insurance company headquarters, and insurance remains the region's major industry.[3] Almost 400 years old, Hartford is among the oldest cities in the United States, and following the American Civil War, Hartford took the mantle of the country's wealthiest city from New Orleans.[4] In 1868, Mark Twain exclaimed: "Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see, Hartford is the chief".[5]

Hartford has begun to attract new development, especially downtown, after years of relative stagnation. The Connecticut Convention Center was opened in 2005, and the Connecticut Science Center followed in 2009. In the 1960s, the construction of Interstate 91 effectively separated the city from the Connecticut River; ambitious landscaping projects are attempting to rejoin the riverfront to downtown.

Hartford is home to the nation's oldest public art museum (Wadsworth Atheneum), the oldest public park (Bushnell Park), the oldest continuously published newspaper (The Hartford Courant), the second-oldest secondary school (Hartford Public), and until its closure in 2009, the sixth-oldest opera company in the nation (Connecticut Opera).

In 2004, the Hartford metropolitan area ranked second per capita for economic activity, behind San Francisco, California. Hartford is ranked 32nd of 318 metropolitan areas in total economic production and generates more economic activity than sixteen U.S. states.[6][7]


This is a summary. For more information, see: History of Hartford, Connecticut

After Dutch explorer Adriaen Block visited the area in 1614, fur traders from the New Netherland colony set up trade at Fort Goede Hoop (Good Hope) at the confluence of the Connecticut and Park Rivers[8] as early as 1623, but abandoned their post by 1654. Today, the neighborhood near the site is still known as Dutch Point. The first English settlers arrived in 1635 and their settlement was originally called Newtown, but was renamed Hartford in 1637. The name "Hartford" was chosen to honor the English town of Hertford, home of Samuel Stone, one of the settlers.

1877 Map of Hartford

The leader of Hartford's original settlers from what is now Cambridge, Massachusetts, Pastor Thomas Hooker, delivered a sermon which inspired the writing of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, a document (ratified January 14, 1639) investing the people with the authority to govern, rather than ceding such authority to a higher power. Hooker's conception of self-rule embodied in the Fundamental Orders went on to inspire the Connecticut Constitution, and ultimately the U.S. Constitution. Today, one of the Connecticut's nicknames is the 'Constitution State'.[9][10]

Founded in 1872, the Ados Israel Synagogue closed in the mid-1980s, as the Jewish community expanded to suburbs such as West Hartford.

On December 15, 1814, delegations from throughout New England gathered at the Hartford Convention to discuss possible secession from the United States. Later in the century, Hartford was a center of abolitionist activity. Harriet Beecher Stowe, daughter of Lyman Beecher and author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, lived in Nook Farm, part of the Asylum Hill section of the city.

On the week of 12 April 1909 the Connecticut River reached a then-record flood stage of 24½ feet above the low water mark flooding the city and doing great damage.[11]

In July 6, 1944, the Hartford Circus Fire destroyed the big top at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the deadliest circus fire in the history of the United States. On November 3, 1981, Thirman L. Milner became the first black mayor elected in New England.[citation needed] In 1987, Carrie Saxon Perry was elected mayor of Hartford, the first female African-American mayor of a major American city.[citation needed]

State House Square in Downtown Hartford

Starting in the late 1950s the suburbs of Hartford grew while the capital city began a long decline. This decline may have been accelerated by construction of highways (including I-84 & I-91 which intersect in downtown Hartford). Many residents moved out of the city and into the suburbs, and this trend continues. During the 1980s, Hartford experienced an economic boom of sorts and by the late 1980s, almost a dozen new skyscrapers were proposed to be built in the city's downtown. For various reasons, including the economic recession that followed in the early 1990s, many of these buildings were never built. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, many workers in Hartford lived more than twenty-minutes drive from the city—though according to the Census Bureau, the city's average commute time of 22 minutes is a full three minutes less than the U.S. average [12]. In the past few years, development, both commercial and residential, has increased downtown.[citation needed]

Geography and climate

Downtown Hartford from above

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.0 square miles (46.5 km²), of which, 17.3 square miles (44.8 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.7 km²) of it (3.67%) is water.

Connecticut River at Hartford, looking West.

Hartford is bordered by the towns of West Hartford, Newington, Wethersfield, East Hartford, Bloomfield, South Windsor, and Windsor.

The Connecticut River forms the boundary between Hartford and East Hartford.

The Park River originally divided Hartford into northern and southern sections and was a major part of Bushnell Park but the river was nearly completely enclosed and buried by flood control projects in the 1940s.[8] The former course of the river can still be seen in some of the roadways that were built in its place, such as Jewell St. and the Conlin-Whitehead Highway.[13]

Hartford lies in the Humid continental climate zone. Summers are typically hot and muggy by New England standards, while winters are typically cold with frequent snowfall. The average annual precipitation is approximately 44 inches (1,100 mm), which is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year. Hartford typically receives about 48.0 inches of snow in an average winter; the record seasonal snowfall was 115.2 inches (2,930 mm) during the winter of 1995–1996.[14] The first snowfall typically occurs in mid to late November and the last snow of the season usually occurs in late March, although accumulating snow has occurred as early as late September and as late as mid-May in extreme events. During the summer, temperatures often exceed 90 °F (32 °C). Thunderstorms are common during the summer months since the frontal boundary that separates the tropical air mass from colder air to the north moves back and forth over the city. While these thunderstorms may be severe with damaging winds and hail, tornadoes are rare. Tropical storms and hurricanes have also struck Hartford, although the occurrence of such systems is rare and is usually confined to the remnants of such storms.

Climate data for Hartford
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Source: Weatherbase.com [15]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2006124,512[16]
Population 1800–1990[17]

As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there were 121,578 people, 44,986 households, and 27,171 families residing in the city. The population density was 7,025.5 people per square mile (2,711.8/km²). There were 50,644 housing units at an average density of 2,926.5/sq mi (1,129.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 27.72% White, 38.05% Black or African American, 0.54% Native American, 1.62% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 26.51% from other races, and 5.44% from two or more races. 40.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino, chiefly of Puerto Rican origin. 17.83% of the population classified itself as non-Hispanic White.

There were 44,986 households out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 25.2% were married couples living together, 29.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.6% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.33.

In the city, the population distribution skews young: 30.1% under the age of 18, 12.6% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.0 males.

With thirty per cent of the population living below the poverty line, Hartford's rate of poverty is second in the United States only to Brownsville, Texas.[18] About 28.2% of families were below the poverty line, including 41.0% of those under age 18 and 23.2% of those age 65 or over.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,820, and the median income for a family was $27,051. Males had a median income of $28,444 versus $26,131 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,428. After World War II, and continuing through the latter half of the 20th century, many Puerto Ricans moved to the city. As of 2000, 32.56% of Hartford residents claimed Puerto Rican heritage. This was the second largest concentration of Puerto Ricans on the US mainland, behind only Holyoke, Massachusetts.[19]

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 25, 2005[20]
Party Active Voters Inactive Voters Total Voters Percentage

Template:American politics/party colors/Democratic/row

Democratic 30,332 5,981 36,313 65.81%

Template:American politics/party colors/Republican/row

Republican 2,248 351 2,599 4.71%

Template:American politics/party colors/Independent/row

Unaffiliated 12,880 3,324 16,204 29.37%

Template:American politics/party colors/Libertarian/row

Minor Parties 48 13 61 0.11%
Total 45,508 9,669 55,177 100%


Pratt Street in Downtown Hartford

Hartford's neighborhoods are a diverse and historic lot. The central business district, as well as the State Capitol, Old State House and a number of museums and shops are located Downtown. Parkville, home to Real Art Ways, is named for the confluence of the north and the south branches of the Park River. Frog Hollow, in close proximity to Downtown, is home to Pope Park and Trinity College which is one of the nation's oldest institutions of higher learning. Asylum Hill, a mixed residential and commercial area, houses the headquarters of several insurance companies as well as the historic homes of Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe. The West End, home to the Governor's residence, Elizabeth Park, and the University of Hartford, abuts the Hartford Golf Club. Sheldon Charter Oak is renowned as the location of the Charter Oak and its successor monument as well as the former Colt headquarters including Samuel Colt's family estate - Armsmear. The North East neighborhood is home to Keney Park and a number of the city's oldest and ornate homes. The South End features "Little Italy" and was the home of Hartford's sizeable Italian community. South Green hosts Hartford Hospital. The South Meadows is the site of Hartford-Brainard Airport and Hartford's industrial community. The North Meadows has retail strips, car dealerships, and Comcast Theatre. Other neighborhoods in Hartford include Barry Square, Behind the Rocks, Blue Hills, Clay Arsenal, South West, and Upper Albany.


Travelers Tower in Downtown Hartford.

Hartford is the historic international center of the insurance industry, with companies such as Travelers, Aetna, The Hartford, The Phoenix Companies, Inc. and Hartford Steam Boiler based in the city. The area is also home to CIGNA, Colt Firearms, U.S. Fire Arms and United Technologies.

Nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Hartford was a major manufacturing and publishing city. Among these was the pioneer bicycle (and later) automobile maker Pope.[21] As in many northern industrial cities, many factories have been closed, relocated, or reduced operations.

Despite the city's lengthy history with the insurance industry, various insurers have recently left Hartford and moved their operations to other locations, including to some of Hartford's suburbs. Citing the tax structure in the city and parking shortages, MetLife recently vacated several floors in CityPlace, Connecticut's largest office building, and joined CIGNA in a large suburban campus in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Lincoln Financial has recently cut its Hartford workforce, while Travelers elected to construct a sprawling training complex in Windsor, Connecticut, just north of the city. Additionally, MassMutual recently relocated its Hartford operations to Enfield, Connecticut, to be closer to its headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the insurance giant The Hartford has relocated some of its employees to nearby Simsbury, Connecticut.

At the same time, many companies have moved to or expanded in the central business district and surrounding neighborhoods. Aetna announced mid-decade that by 2010 it would move nearly 3,500 employees from its Middletown, Connecticut offices to its corporate headquarters in the Asylum Hill section of the city. Travelers recently expanded its operations at several downtown locations. In 2008, Sovereign Bank consolidated two bank branches as well as its regional headquarters in a nineteenth century palazzo on Asylum Street. In 2009, Northeast Utilities, a Fortune 500 company and New England's largest energy utility, announced it would establish its corporate headquarters downtown. In the same year, work began at the southeastern corner of Constitution Plaza on the AI Technology Center, the future headquarters of the eponymous engineering firm. AI's chief executive helped finance the building, the first commercially leasable structure in Connecticut to be certified at the platinum level under the US Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program. Other recent entrants into the downtown market include GlobeOp Financial Services and specialty insurance broker S.H. Smith.


Colleges and universities

Hartford houses several world-class institutions such as the Wadsworth Atheneum and Trinity College. Other notable institutions include the Hartford Conservatory (in the Asylum Hill neighborhood), The Institute of Living, Capital Community College (located Downtown in the old G. Fox Department Store building on Main Street), the University of Connecticut School of Business (also Downtown), the Hartford Seminary (in the West End), the University of Connecticut School of Law (also in the West End) the University of Connecticut Health Center Campus (in nearby Farmington) and Rensselaer at Hartford (a North Meadows branch campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute).

The University of Hartford features several cultural institutions: the Joseloff Gallery, the Renee Samuels Center, and the Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts center. The "U of H" campus is co-located in the city's West End and in neighboring towns West Hartford and Bloomfield.

Primary and secondary education

Hartford is served by the Hartford Public Schools [3]. Hartford Public High School, the nation's second oldest high school, is located in the Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford. The city is also home to Bulkeley High School on Wethersfield Avenue, Weaver High School on Granby Street, and Sport Medical and Sciences Academy on Huyshope Avenue. In addition, Hartford contains The Learning Corridor, which is home to the Montessori Magnet School, Hartford Magnet Middle School, Greater Harford Academy of Math and Science, and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. One of the technical high schools in the Connecticut Technical High School System, A.I. Prince Technical High School, also calls the city home.

The Hartford area is also home to a number of prestigious private schools including Avon Old Farms, the Ethel Walker School, Kingswood-Oxford, Loomis Chaffee, Miss Porter's, Suffield Academy, the Watkinson School, the Westminster School, the Master's School and Classical Magnet School.

The American School for the Deaf, founded in Hartford in 1817 by Thomas Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc, is the first institution for the education of the deaf in America.


Points of interest

Aetna Headquarters in the Asylum Hill neighborhood.
  • Aetna Headquarters - The world's largest colonial revival building, the Aetna headquarters is crowned by a tall Georgian tower inspired by the Old State House downtown.
  • Bulkeley Bridge - Spanning the Connecticut River and connecting the city of Hartford with East Hartford, the nine-span structure is the longest and widest stone-arch bridge in the world.
  • Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts - Constructed in the 1930s by the same architects who designed New York City's Radio City Music Hall, the theater features a Georgian Revival exterior and an exquisite Art Deco interior, with a large hand-painted mural suspended from the ceiling that is the largest of its kind in the United States.
  • Bushnell Park - Located below the State Capitol and legislative office complex, this park consists of rolling lawn, sculpture, fountains, and a historic carousel. It is the first park in the country purchased by a municipality for public use, and it was designed by Jacob Weidenmann. The Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch, a Civil War Memorial which frames the northern entrance to the park, is the first triumphal arch in the United States.
  • Cathedral of St. Joseph - Located just west of downtown along Farmington Avenue in the Asylum Hill neighborhood, this 281-foot (86 m) limestone Roman Catholic cathedral (built in 1961 to replace its predecessor lost to fire) has large Parisian stained glass windows, an 8,000 pipe organ, and the largest ceramic tile mural of Christ in Glory in the world.
  • Charter Oak Cultural Center[4] - Located at 21 Charter Oak Avenue, near the Charter Oak monument, COCC is housed in Connecticut's first synagogue, built in 1876. Today it is a secular non-profit institution bringing together art, drama, music, and other cultural excursions.
  • Cheney Building - Constructed in the late 19th-century, this notable building by famed architect H. H. Richardson is located Downtown on Main Street. It housed the Brown, Thomson & Co. department store.
  • City Place I- Tallest building in Hartford and the tallest building in Connecticut.
  • Colt Armory - Topped with a blue and gold dome, the complex was once the main factory building of Colt's Manufacturing Company. It is currently being redeveloped and renovated and will feature apartments, retail and office space.
Connecticut Science Center, Hartford, CT on the Riverfront
  • Connecticut State Library & Supreme Court - Located in the hill district near the State Capitol atop Bushnell Park, the building also contains the Museum of Connecticut History and a number of galleries devoted to Samuel Colt memorabilia.
  • Connecticut Convention Center - The 540,000 square foot (42,000 m²) convention center is now open, and overlooks the Connecticut River and the central business district. Attached to the center is a new 409 room, 22-story Marriott Hotel (opened late August 2005).
  • The Connecticut Executive Residence - An imposing Georgian revival mansion situated near the highest point in the City of Hartford on upper Prospect Avenue in the upscale West End. Four landscaped acres surround the residence continuing the garden setting of Elizabeth Park, just opposite Asylum Avenue.
The house of Katherine Seymour Day (grandniece of Harriet Beecher Stowe). Adjacent to the Stowe house, it now forms part of the research center dedicated to the author and abolitionist.
  • Connecticut Opera - Founded in 1942, is the six-oldest opera company in the United States, performing three fully-staged operas per season, primarily at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford.
  • Connecticut State Capitol - Located atop Bushnell Park, this large Gothic-inspired building features many statues and engravings on its exterior. It is topped with a gold leafed dome.
  • Constitution Plaza - Built in the early 1960s, Constitution Plaza is a renowned, and notorious, redevelopment project. To build the plaza, Hartford's historic Front Street neighborhood was razed. The complex is composed of numerous office buildings, underground parking, a restaurant, broadcasting studio and outdoor courtyards and fountains. During the holiday season the area is filled with Christmas lights for the Festival of Light. The Plaza passes over I-91 and connects the city to the Connecticut River by way of Riverfront Plaza.
  • Cricket Hall of Fame
  • The Hartford Financial Services Group headquarters campus on Asylum Hill occupies the former site of the American School for the Deaf, which has moved to a campus in West Hartford.
  • Hartford Public Library - The Library was founded in 1774 and recently renovated and expanded. It has over 500,000 holdings, an extensive calendar of programs and free public access computers and wifi.
  • Hartford Stage - One of the top regional theaters in the Northeast (winner of a Tony Award) dedicated to the production of classic works and new play development.
  • Hartford Symphony Orchestra - Connecticut's premier musical organization and one of America's leading regional orchestras.
  • The Hartt School at the University of Hartford is recognized as one of the premiere performing arts conservatories in the United States.
  • Isham-Terry House- This Italian Villa was built in 1854 as the residence of a businessman and is one of the city's older homes.
Mark Twain House
  • The Mark Twain House and Museum - Once the home of Samuel Clemens, the house is now a museum, located in Nook Farm, now part of the Asylum Hill neighborhood, on Farmington Avenue.
  • Meadows Music Theater - Located in the North Meadows, it is an indoor/outdoor amphitheater-style performance venue.
  • Old State House - The Old State House, dating back to 1796, makes it one of the nation's oldest. It was designed by Charles Bulfinch, who later went on to design the Massachusetts State House in Boston. Recently restored with a gold-leafed dome rising from its top, the Old State House sits facing the Connecticut River in Downtown. The Old State House was the site of the Amistad trial.
Old State House
  • Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Building, an icon of modernist architecture and the first two-sided building in the world, it is located on Constitution Plaza and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Pope Park, Hartford, Connecticut
  • Real Art Ways is one of the oldest alternative art spaces in the United States. It hosts a vigorous schedule of contemporary art, music, and film productions.
  • Riverfront Recapture and Park - The park connects the downtown with the Connecticut River. It contains bike and walking trails, playing fields, and a white triangle-shaped dome covers one of the performing stages. The boat launch for a Connecticut River tour is also located here. A walkway spanning the Connecticut River leads to East Hartford.
  • Saint Thomas Seminary - Located on 80 acres (32 ha) in Bloomfield, the seminary is three miles (5 km) north of Hartford near the University of Hartford. Opened in 1930, its campus consists of rolling greens and Gothic-inspired buildings.
  • Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch - Located in Bushnell Park, the now buried Park River once flowed beneath it. Honoring the 4,000 Hartford citizens who served in the American Civil War, and the 400 who perished, the brownstone memorial is the first triumphal arch in the United States.
Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch
  • Stone Field Sculpture - Located at the corner of Gold and Main Streets, this work of public art consisting of 36 boulders was completed by the Minimalism, Carl Andre, in 1977.
  • Trinity College - The liberal arts college, founded in 1823, has more than 2,100 students. The college is consistently ranked as one of the top 30 liberal arts colleges in America and is the second-oldest in Connecticut after Yale University in New Haven.
  • University of Connecticut School of Business - In an effort to be more accessible to part time business students, a branch of the University of Connecticut Business school operates in downtown Hartford. The building is located on Market Street just north of Constitution Plaza.
  • University of Connecticut School of Law - located just off Farmington Avenue, the campus features an extensive, large Gothic-inspired library. It is consistently ranked as one of the top 50 law schools in the United States.
  • University of Hartford - The University, which was founded in 1877, sits on 340 acres (140 ha) with a 13-acre (5.3 ha) campus on Bloomfield Avenue situated on land divided between Hartford, West Hartford and Bloomfield. Located in the Blue Hills neighborhood, the campus is minutes from Downtown. There are more than 7,200 students and 86 undergraduate majors.
  • Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art - The oldest art museum in the U.S. is located on Main Street in downtown Hartford opposite the Travelers Tower. The museum features a significant collection of Italian Baroque old masters and post-impressionist modern art. In the plaza located between it and Hartford City Hall, Alexander Calder's 'Stegosaurus' sculpture sits in an open-air plaza.
  • XL Center - Built in 1975, the center hosts concerts and shows. Formerly home to the NHL Hartford Whalers, it is currently the home to the Hartford Wolf Pack AHL hockey team and, part-time, to the UConn Huskies basketball team. A new 36 story apartment complex (Hartford 21) has been built directly atop the XL Center and includes retail and entertainment space - it is the tallest apartment building in New England (completed in 2006). The arena also hosted WrestleMania XI in 1995, the 1981 World Figure Skating Championship, and the 1986 NHL All Star Game.

Hartford Views


Club Sport League Venue
Hartford Wolf Pack Ice hockey American Hockey League XL Center
Hartford Colonials American Football United Football League Rentschler Field
Hartford Wanderers Rugby Union New England Rugby Football Union Colt Park

The Discover Hartford Bicycling and Walking Tour is a family friendly tour of downtown Hartford. The most recent tour took place Saturday, September 8, 2007 and was co-sponsored by the City of Hartford and the Central Connecticut Bicycle Alliance. More than 45 Hartford community organizations are supporting this unique experience of Connecticut's capital city. The tour includes 10-mile (16 km) and 25-mile (40 km) bicycling options, and a 2-hour walking tour option.

Hartford was home to the NHL's Hartford Whalers from 1979 to 1997, before the team relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina and became the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Boston Celtics played various home games per year in Hartford from 1975–1995.

The University of Connecticut men's and women's basketball team - the UConn Huskies - also play a number of their home games at the XL Center downtown. Other home games are played at Gampel Pavilion located on the university's campus in Storrs.

Hartford also used to have a National League baseball team, the Hartford Dark Blues, back in the 1870s, and a NFL team, the Hartford Blues, for one season in 1926.

New development

Connecticut Convention Center

Billed as "New England's Rising Star",[22] Hartford has generated renewed interest with both local and national developers who are investing heavily in the city through a variety of projects. Investments include commercial and residential projects such as the new 36-story Hartford 21 apartment tower, the new river front Connecticut Science Center, an extensive system of riverfront trails and parks, neighborhood improvements to Park Street and Parkville, renovation of the historic Colt building in line with National Park standards, and significant development in the central business district of condominiums and retail space.

In 1997, the city lost its professional hockey franchise, the Hartford Whalers, but efforts are being made to bring an NHL team back to the city. City officials and developers are talking about the possibility of a new city arena to house this team.

Currently there are more than 1 billion dollars' worth of private and publicly funded projects happening throughout the city's 17 neighborhoods. The overlying theme for development is to create more activity downtown and attract more residents to the city's different neighborhoods.

Some of the major projects include: Adriaen's Landing: The state- and privately-funded project is situated on the banks of the Connecticut River along Columbus Boulevard, and connects to Constitution Plaza. Constitution Plaza forced hundreds of households to relocate when it was built a few decades ago. The latest project includes the 540,000-square-foot (50,000 m2) Connecticut Convention Center, which opened in June 2005 and is the largest meeting space between New York City and Boston. Attached to the Convention Center is the 22-story, 409 room Marriott Hartford Hotel-Downtown which opened in August 2005. Being constructed next to the convention center and hotel is the 140,000-square-foot (13,000 m2) Connecticut Science Center. The final component of the project, 'Front Street', sits across from the Convention Center and covers the land between Columbus Boulevard and the Hartford Times Building. The Front Street development combines retail, entertainment and residential components. Publicly funded parts of the project will include transportation improvements. There have been significant delays in the Front Street project - the first developer was removed from the project because of lack of progress. The city has chosen a new developer, but work is yet to begin on the retail and residential component of Front Street. The city and state may soon take action to increase the speed with which the project enters implementation phases. There has been talk of bringing an ESPN Zone to the Front Street (ESPN is headquartered in nearby Bristol).[23] On the back side of Front Street, the historic Beaux-Arts Hartford Times Building is being converted for administrative offices for the Wadsworth Athenaeum. In 2004, Underground Coalition, a Connecticut hip hop promotion company, produced The First Annual Hartford Hip Hop festival, which also took place at Adriaen's Landing. The event drew over 5,000 fans.

Hartford 21: Recently completed on the site of the former Hartford Civic Center Mall (now known as the XL Center), the project includes a 36 story residential tower—the tallest residential tower between New York City and Boston. Attached to the tower is 90,000 square feet (8,000 m2) of office space and 45,000 square feet (4,200 m2) of retail space, all contained within a connected complex. The Greater Hartford YMCA has opened in the complex and will soon be closing its Jewell Street site which will be knocked down for another project. The XL Center Arena remains open and hosts the AHL Hartford Wolfpack and the UConn men's and women's basketball teams, as well as shows and concerts.

Capital Community College at the 11-story G. Fox Department Store Building: The 913,000-square-foot (84,800 m2) former home of the G. Fox & Company Department Store on Main Street has been renovated and made the new home of Capital Community College as well as offices for the State of Connecticut and ground level retail space. Capital Community College helps train (mostly) adult students in specific career fields. On Thursdays, vendors sell crafts on the Main Street level. Two music clubs, Mezzanine and Room 960, are housed in the building.

Connecticut Culinary Institute

Connecticut Culinary Institute: The school recently relocated its main campus to the former Hastings Hotel and Conference Center, which is next to Aetna headquarters in the city's Asylum Hill neighborhood just west of downtown. The school also has a branch campus in Suffield, Connecticut. The Hastings Hotel and Conference Center, which closed abruptly in 2004, was the hotel where former President Bill Clinton stayed when he was in the city.

Rentschler Field

Rentschler Field: Though in neighboring East Hartford, the stadium for UConn football was part of the revitalization plan for Hartford and was built on some of the lands donated by United Technologies. The bulk of the land donated will be used for technology, entertainment, lodging and retail development. A high-tech research park is also currently being planned for the site.

Transportation and parking changes: The New Britain-Hartford Busway is in the works. Local activists are pushing for more bike lanes, as well as for these lanes to be respected by motorists and kept clear of debris. The local bicycle advocacy organization formed in 2005, Central Connecticut Bicycle Alliance, has been making surprising inroads in Hartford and the surrounding suburbs.

Some roads were turned into pedestrian walkways to reduce gridlock, while other roads were widened or made one-way. Some intersections were also improved to better handle traffic. A large parking garage was built downtown to ease parking problems. A series of shuttle routes was created, known as the "Star Shuttle" and now run by the Greater Hartford Transit District.

New condos and apartments:

  • Hartford 21: Opened adjacent to the XL Center in September 2006, this sleek 34-story apartment tower is the tallest in New England, and is located at the intersection of Trumbull Street and Asylum Street. The building includes 232 luxury one-bedroom and two-bedroom units (including four penthouses), an adjacent parking garage and spacious common areas.
  • Trumbull on the Park: Recently opened along Bushnell Park, this apartment community is housed in a new 11-story brick building along with a parking garage and ground-level retail space. Additional units are housed in recently renovated historic buildings on nearby Lewis Street.
  • 55 on the Park: Formerly a SNET office building, it has been turned into luxury apartments that sit along Bushnell Park. The building reopened a few years ago and was among the first new residences to open downtown in years.
  • Sage Allen Building: On Main Street, the former Sage Allen department store building has been turned into 44 4-bedroom townhouses as well as an upscale apartment building comprising about 70 units that opened in January 2007. The project also includes the renovation of the Richardson Food Court and the reopening of Temple Street, which once again reconnects Main and Market Streets. Many of the townhouses will be occupied by University of Hartford students. It sits directly across Market Street from the University of Connecticut Graduate Business Learning Center.
  • The Metropolitan: The former Hartford Electric Light Company Building on Pearl Street is being converted into luxury condominiums.
  • American Airlines Building: Located at 915 Main Street across from Capital Community College and the Residence Inn by Marriott, the site was formerly home to an E. J. Korvette department store and later American Airlines. Today, the building is being converted into condominiums and apartments with renovated ground-level retail space.



Bradley International Airport, in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, is twenty minutes north of Hartford and serves Hartford and Springfield. Other airports serving the Hartford area include:


Hartford city buses run at regular intervals throughout the city, and less frequent service to the suburbs. A free circulator bus, known as the "Star Shuttle," operates around downtown. Interstate bus service is provided by Bonanza Bus, Greyhound Bus and Peter Pan Bus Lines. Chinatown bus lines provides low-cost bus service between Hartford and their New York and Boston hubs. Additionally, there are buses for connections to smaller cities in the state. The bus station is located on the ground floor of the transport center at One Union Place in Downtown Hartford.


Bulkeley Bridge over Connecticut River in Hartford

During the 1960s and 1970s, Hartford was a poster child for highway construction, and several highways surround the downtown area. I-84, which runs from Scranton, to its intersection with I-90 in Sturbridge, just over the Massachusetts border, and I-91, which runs from New Haven along the Connecticut River to Canada, intersect in downtown Hartford. In addition to I-84 and I-91, two other highways service the city: Route 2, an expressway that runs from downtown Hartford to Westerly, passing through Norwich and past Foxwoods Resort Casino; and the Wilbur Cross Highway portion of Route 15 that skirts the southeastern part of the city near Brainard Airport. A short connector known as the Conlin-Whitehead Highway also provides direct access from I-91 to the Capitol Area of downtown Hartford.

Hartford experiences heavy traffic as a result of its substantial suburban population (about 10 times that of the actual city), which is proportionally much larger than that of any other nearby city. As a result, thousands of people travel on area highways at the start and end of each workday. I-84 experiences traffic from Farmington through Hartford and into East Hartford and Manchester during the rush hour.

Charter Oak Bridge over Connecticut River in Hartford

Several major surface arteries also run through the city. Albany Avenue (Route 44) runs westward through the northern part of West Hartford to the hills of northern Litchfield County and into New York, and eastward towards Putnam and into Rhode Island. Main Street (Route 159) heads north through Windsor towards the western suburbs of Springfield, Massachusetts. Wethersfield Avenue (Route 99) heads south through Wethersfield towards Middletown. Farmington Avenue heads west through West Hartford Center and Farmington towards Torrington.


A bicycle route runs through the center of Hartford. This route is a small piece of the large eastern bicycle route - the East Coast Greenway (ECG). The 3,000-mile (4,800 km) ECG runs from Calais, Maine to the Florida Keys. The route is intended to be off road, but some sections are currently on-road. The section through Hartford is right through the middle of Bushnell Park.


Hartford's Union Station

The dependence on railroads has decreased since the construction of Interstate 91 and Interstate 84 through the city center. However, Hartford's Union Station at One Union Place still operates a significant schedule. Amtrak provides service from Hartford to Vermont via Springfield, and southward to New Haven, with connections to New York, Boston, Providence, and Washington DC. The station also serves numerous bus companies because of Hartford's mid-way location on the New York to Boston route.

Currently, there are preliminary plans to create a New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Commuter Rail Line with stations in communities close to I-91. It would use rail currently used by Amtrak, which in turn was formerly part of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad system.

Public transport

Connecticut Transit is owned by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. CTTRANSIT operates local and commuter bus service within the city and the surrounding area. Taxi service is available from the train station at 1 Union Place or by calling one to any location in the area. There is a free downtown shuttle, and city buses are equipped with bike racks.


The Hartford Courant Co. building

The daily Hartford Courant newspaper is the country's oldest continuously published newspaper, founded in 1764. A weekly newspaper, owned by the same company that owns the Courant, the Hartford Advocate, also serves Hartford and the surrounding area, as does the Hartford Business Journal ("Greater Hartford's Business Weekly") and the weekly Hartford News.

The Hartford region is also served by several magazines. Among the local publications are: Hartford Magazine, a monthly lifestyle magazine serving Greater Hartford; CT Cottages & Gardens; Connecticut Business, a glossy monthly serving all of Connecticut; and Home Living CT, a home and garden magazine published five times a year and distributed statewide.

Several television and radio stations based in Hartford cover the entire state.One of them are Connecticut Public Television. Connecticut Public Television's headquarters are in Hartford. These stations serve the Hartford/New Haven market, which is the 29th largest market in the U.S.

Print media

Hartford News (860) 296-6128

TV stations

  • CPTV, public television
  • WFSB, Channel 3
  • WTIC, Fox 61
  • WTXX
  • WVIT, NBC 30
  • WUVN, WUVN 18 (Spanish-language)
  • [WHCT-LP 38 TV Azteca]

Radio stations


Notable Hartford residents

Hartford has been home to many historically significant people: arts innovator "Chick" Austin (1900–1957); L. Paul Bremer (b. 1941), ex-Administrator of US-occupied Iraq and foreign service officer; city planner and parks champion Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903); dictionary author Noah Webster (1758–1843); inventor Sam Colt (1814–1862); and American financier and industrialist J.P. Morgan (1837–1913).

Some of America's most famous authors lived in Hartford, including Mark Twain (1835–1910), who moved to the city in 1874; his next-door neighbor at Nook Farm, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896); and poet Wallace Stevens (1879–1955), an insurance executive in the city. More recently Dominick Dunne (b. 1925) and John Gregory Dunne (1932–2003) resided in Hartford.

Many broadcasters have called Hartford home over the years. King of All Media Howard Stern worked mornings at WCCC in 1979, meeting local resident and sidekick Fred Norris there. Both Bill O'Reilly and Gail King worked at WFSB. Twisted Sister lead vocalist Dee Snider also did a morning show on WMRQ radio in the mid 2000's. MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski was a reporter for years on WTIC ch 61 and WFSB. Former NFLer Beasley Reece was Sports Director for WVIT in the late 80's and early 90's.

Actors and others in the entertainment business from Hartford include Academy Award–winning film icon Katharine Hepburn, actors Ben Cooper, Tony Todd, Linda Evans, Jenna Dewan, comedian Totie Fields, William Gillette, Eriq La Salle, Norman Lear, Jenna Dewan, Charles Nelson Reilly, film executive and academic August Coppola (father of Nicolas Cage), Brooke Burke, and Sophie Tucker, (1884–1966), "last of the red-hot mamas." Amy Brenneman, who grew up in Glastonbury, adapted the experiences of her mother, a Connecticut Superior Court judge in Hartford, into the television series Judging Amy.

In the field of music, residents include Mark McGrath; bass guitarist Doug Wimbish (Sugar Hill Records, Living Colour); Remote Control's Ken Ober; Cindy Blackman (Drummer for Lenny Kravitz); jazz alto saxophonist Jackie McLean;[24] concert violinist Elmar Oliveira (b.1950); R&B, Reggae, Dancehall and Reggaeton artist Notch; gospel artist Kurt Carr were born in the city; and brothers Jeff Porcaro, Mike Porcaro and Steve Porcaro of the group Toto.

Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini is from Hartford. Former NHL player Craig Janney was born in Hartford. Basketball stars include NBA players Marcus Camby, Rick Mahorn, Johnny Egan, and Michael Adams, as well as NFL kicker John Carney, and former NFLer Eugene Robinson. Jeff Bagwell and Vin Baker attended the University of Hartford.

Angel Arce Torres is the victim of a highly-publicized hit and run.

Sister cities

Hartford features numerous sister cities. They include:

Appearances in popular culture

  • Hartford was one of the 23 American cities bombed in the CBS Drama Jericho
  • Hartford was the site of episode 3.29 of the documentary television series Gangland on the History Channel about its Los Solidos gang.
  • The city was the setting for the Amy Brenneman series Judging Amy, which aired on CBS from 1999–2005.
  • Many scenes in the WB/CW series Gilmore Girls take place in Hartford.
  • Hartford was the setting for the 2002 movie, Far From Heaven.
  • In the Simpsons episode They Saved Lisa's Brain, Homer enters a talent competition in which the winner will receive (as advertised on television) "a free trip to Hawaii". When participants show up for the event, the announcer reveals that the trip is actually to Hartford, Connecticut, claiming that "no one said Hawaii".
  • In Stephen King's novel The Mist, Hartford is the only word heard on the radio by protagonist David Drayton after he leaves with a group from the supermarket in his home town.
  • Hartford is one of the Eastern seaboard cities shown to be targeted with a nuclear weapon by the antagonist of the video game, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
  • In the Kevin Smith written movies Mallrats and Chasing Amy, two different characters played by Jason Lee reference the Hartford Whalers. In Mallrats, Lee's character Brody says, "Breakfasts come and go, Rene. Now Hartford, the Whale? They only beat Vancouver once or twice in a lifetime." In Chasing Amy, Lee's character Banky says, "What difference does it make if I refer to her as a dyke? Or if I call the Whalers a bunch of faggots in the comfort of my own office, far from the sensitive ears of the rest of the world?"


Template:Connecticut portal

  1. ^ a b c "Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Connecticut" (CSV). 2006 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 21, 2006. Retrieved June 28, 2007.
  2. ^ In US Census population estimates between 2000 and 2008, New Haven and Hartford's populations were estimated to have been within 511 of each other. In the American Community Survey 2008, New Haven was significantly larger (124,000 in New Haven versus 118,000 in Hartford). Since such differences are still potentially within the margin of error in these estimates, which is "officially" larger will not be known until the 2010 Census. As of October 2009, the Census population estimate page listed New Haven as having a larger population than Hartford in the 2000 (most recent) Decennial Census.
  3. ^ City of Hartford History (The State of Connecticut is sometimes known as "the land of steady habits.")Connecticut Nicknames, Connecticut State Library
  4. ^ [1] (In the time following the Civil War, Hartford was the nations wealthiest city) from the New York Times, 2002.
  5. ^ Letter from Mark Twain
  6. ^ http://www.hartford.gov/news/ECONOMIC%20ACTIVITY%20REPORT.pdf
  7. ^ U.S. Metro Economies: GMP ­ The Engines of America's Growth
  8. ^ a b http://www.bushnellpark.org/parkriver.html
  9. ^ http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/voigt/050905
  10. ^ Leassons from Thomas Hooker about the frailty of humanity and the importance of a worldview by Steven Voigt, September 5, 2005
  11. ^ "Record-Breaking Flood at Hartford, Conn". Popular Mechanics. June 1909. Retrieved 4 February 2009.
  12. ^ http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ADPTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=35200US734500937000&-qr_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_DP3&-context=adp&-ds_name=&-tree_id=307&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false&-format=
  13. ^ Main Street Bridge
  14. ^ [www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/techrpts/tr9602/tr9602.pdf The Winter of 95-96: A Season of Extremes, National Climatic Data Center]
  15. ^ "Historical Weather for Hartford, Connecticut, United States". Retrieved September 24, 2009.
  16. ^ Census data for Hartford, United States Census Bureau. Accessed December 23, 2007.
  17. ^ [2], U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed January 23, 2008.
  18. ^ Poverty: 1999
  19. ^ Puerto Rican ancestry by city - ePodunk
  20. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 25, 2005" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Retrieved 2006-10-02.
  21. ^ Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877–1925 (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p.37.
  22. ^ "Hartford- New England's Rising Star- Home page". Hartford Image Project. Retrieved 2007-06-08.
  23. ^ http://www.frontstreetdistrict.com/index.html
  24. ^ Dixon, Ken, "Music Hall of Fame proposed for state", article in Connecticut Post in Bridgeport, Connecticut, April 26, 2007 ("Other famous state residents include the late jazz saxophonist Jackie McLean of Hartford")

External links

Coordinates: 41°46′01″N 72°40′37″W / 41.767°N 72.677°W / 41.767; -72.677

Template:Cities in Connecticut with Populations over 100,000