Special Note: All photos shown on the Office of Policy and Management Website are taken of the many Connecticut landmarks and historical points of interest within walking distance from the Office of Policy and Management located in downtown Hartford, Connecticut. For more information on Connecticut attractions, please visit the Connecticut Tourism Page at http://www.tourism.state.ct.us/ .
Bushnell Memorial Hall (Bushnell Auditorium)
166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106
Telephone: (860) 246-6807
The Bushnell Auditorium has been a major performing arts center for over 65 years. The Bushnell presents visiting symphonies, Broadway musicals and a travel adventure series throughout the year. The art-deco styled auditorium seating 2,819 is also the performance space for the Hartford Symphony, Hartford Ballet and the Connecticut Opera Association. The Bushnell Memorial Hall was the site of the 1996 Presidential Debate between President Clinton and Senator Dole.
231 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT
Lafayette was a French nobleman better known to history as the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834). In 1777, at the age of 19, Lafayette came to America to volunteer in the Revolutionary War. Idealistic and adventurous, he was appointed a major-general and helped to secure military assistance from France.
The sculpture of Lafayette was made by Paul Wayland Bartlett. The artist was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He moved to France as a child and spent most of his life there. He entered the Ecole des Beaux Arts and studied under Cavelier as well as Fremiet and Rodin.
The Lafayette sculpture was originally created to stand in the courtyard of the Louvre in Paris and the sculpture was placed there. In 1930, money was donated ($20,000) to cast and erect a bronze copy of the sculpture for Hartford. The sculpture was designed in 1907 and the bronze copy was cast and dedicated in 1932.
Between Elm and Jewell Street in downtown Hartford, CT
Telephone: (860) 522-6400
Originally known as Hartford’s "City Park", Bushnell Park was named after the respected theologian, the Reverend Horace Bushnell. The park was created in 1854 after the people of Hartford voted to turn privately owned land into a public park. It was the first park in the nation to be conceived, built and paid for by its citizens through popular vote. Thanks to the advice of the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, a Hartford native and world famous designer of New York's Central Park, Bushnell Park was the first municipal park to be planned as a graceful landscaped setting rather than a formal European garden or a traditional New England green.
Planned as graceful landscaped setting, the 41 acre park has seen many changes over the years. Today the park features over 600 trees, some over 100 years old and 125 varieties. The park also contains several buildings, statues and monuments.
The most dramatic change to the park occurred in 1936 after severe flooding. The Park River, which had originally flowed through the park, was channeled into a massive underground conduit that now runs beneath the park. Unfortunately, many picturesque features were also removed at the same time, such as bridges, tree-lined paths, a bandshell and a viewing platform originally located near the State Capitol.
Horace Wells Statue
The Horace Wells statue was created by sculptor T.H. Bartlett and erected in 1875 to honor the Hartford dentist who discovered modern anesthesia.
There are FREE self-guided tree walk maps for Bushnell Park available at the Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau or the Department of Environmental Protection.
Pump House Gallery
60 Elm Street, Hartford, CT
Telephone: (860) 722-6536
The Pump House Gallery is a publicly funded municipal art gallery. Located near the Southeast corner of Bushnell Park, the Pump House gallery is a slate-roofed brownstone building originally built in 1949 as a pumping station for flood control. Due to erosion problems, the river was rerouted beneath the City and the function of the pump house was no longer needed.
The gallery was first opened in 1985. It has a one room exhibition space and presents a year round program of exhibitions featuring artists who work in all media. The mission of the Pump House gallery is to provide public exhibition space, making art accessible to both viewer and artist. Special emphasis is given to exhibiting work by artists from the Hartford area, and works of special interest to residents of Greater Hartford. The gallery is affiliated with the Bushnell Park Foundation, Inc. a non-profit organization founded in 1981 to increase awareness of the Park’s unique history, and to engage in activities that encourage the Park’s preservation, enhancement and use. Admission to the Pump House Gallery is FREE.
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch
Trinity Street, Bushnell Park, Hartford, CT
Telephone: (860) 522-6400
The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch is a brownstone Gothic and Romanesque revival monument standing 116 feet high. The Arch was designed by Hartford architect George Keller and erected at a cost of $50,000 in 1886. The monument features terra cotta friezes depicting scenes from the Civil War and is dedicated to the 4,000 Hartford citizens who served in the Civil War. The monument is crowned with statues of the original angels Gabriel and Raphael. The Arch marks the entrance of the bridge (now removed) that crossed the Park River which ran through downtown Hartford. Due to erosion problems the river was rerouted under the "Capital City". The Arch was restored between 1986 and 1988 at a cost of $1.5 million dollars. The winding 97 step staircase takes you up to a great view of Bushnell Park, the State Capitol and downtown Hartford. There are FREE guided tours of the Arch and the park's 'Notable Trees' weekly highlighting the monument and arboretum.
Old State House
800 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103
Telephone: (860) 522-6766
The Old State House is located in downtown Hartford. Begin your visit with a tour of this 1796 National Historic Landmark, one of the nation's oldest state houses. Visit the Museum Store at the Old State House. Experience the interactive audio tour, Hartford Begins Here: Connecticut's Old State House exploring the magnificent historic rooms. Coming September 2006: the exciting 6,800 square foot multi-media exhibit, History is All Around Us, which tells the story of Hartford and the importance of history in our lives. Located at 800 Main Street in downtown Hartford, the Old State House and Museum Store are open to the public: Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both closed Sunday and Monday. One-day Admission Pass beginning September 15, 2006: $3-$6. Prior to September 15, 2006, other discounts apply. Admission may apply to programs and events. Group tours available by reservation. Discounted parking at Constitution Plaza South Garage. Call 860-522-6766 or visit www.ctosh.org in partnership with the Connecticut Historical Society Museum, Making History Together.
210 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106
Telephone: (860) 240-0222
Overlooking Hartford's 41 acre Bushnell Memorial Park, the Connecticut State Capitol first opened in 1879 and houses state executive offices and legislative chambers. Initial work on the project began in 1871 when the legislature established a special commission and appropriated funds for construction of a new statehouse. The site was contributed by the City of Hartford, and the commission retained James G. Batterson to build the Capitol from plans designed by noted architect Richard Upjohn. Constructed of New England marble and granite and crowned by a gold leaf dome, the Capitol was built at a cost of $2.5 million and has an estimated replacement value of more than $200 million. If you want to roam the numerous historic displays at the State Capitol, visit the Visitor Information Center for a copy of the "Connecticut State Capitol - Self Guided Tour" booklet. It's a great way to browse at your own pace! Also, there are FREE one-hour guided tours that actually take you into the House and Senate chambers. It is recommended that you call to confirm.
Connecticut's Premier Art Museum
600 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103
Telephone: (860) 278-2670
The Wadsworth Atheneum, founded by Daniel Wadsworth in 1842, is the nation's oldest public art museum. The Atheneum’s collection numbers almost 50,000 objects and its collection spans more than 5,000 years: ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman bronzes; Renaissance and Baroque paintings; European and American decorative arts; costumes and textiles; French and American Impressionist paintings; African-American art and artifacts; nineteenth-century American landscapes; and twentieth-century paintings and sculpture. For more information, visit the Wadsworth Atheneum on the Internet.