Inside the CHS

About Mike Messina

Mike Messina is the Interpretive Projects Associate at the Connecticut Historical Society. He graduated from Roger Williams University as a double major in Historic Preservation and Art and Architectural History. He likes playing ice hockey and brewing beer.


Articles by Mike Messina:

Beer or Bad Water? How Connecticut’s Perfected the Former, Then and Now

June 24, 2015 · Collections

Beer connoisseurs believe that the United States is currently in a craft-brewing renaissance. The number of microbreweries is at an all-time high and some American beers are considered to be the best in the world. But the history of brewing beer in Connecticut, like other states in America, has had its ups and downs. Beer,…
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Connecticut is a place where…

December 19, 2014 · Collections

I have about a thousand Post-It notes piled together in a drawer in my desk.

history of hartford connecticut

The “Four Builds” – The History of Hartford, Connecticut

December 16, 2014 · Exhibits

Houses, apartments, businesses, schools, places of worship. Like all cities, Hartford’s built environment—its physical structures and shape—has changed over time for many different reasons.

urban-renewal-in-hartford

What Have We Learned About Urban Renewal in Hartford?

December 2, 2014 · Collections

Urban renewal changed the face of Hartford by removing homes, movie theaters, restaurants, and shops in the downtown area and replacing them with large-scale office buildings and parking lots.

What is this?

November 18, 2014 · Collections

Hundreds of families and dozens of businesses were moved out to make way for urban renewal projects in Hartford.

Constitution Plaza in Hartford – A History of its Development

November 4, 2014 · Collections

The plaza was considered a model for urban renewal in the 1960s, replacing the Front Street neighborhood, which consisted of 18th- and 19th-century buildings, housing mostly Italian immigrants.

Highways in Hartford

October 21, 2014 · Exhibits

I-84 cut through downtown Hartford, demolishing historic neighborhoods. I-91 traveled along the riverfront, blocking downtown from the Connecticut River.

What is this?

September 9, 2014 · Exhibits

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts have highlighted an object from the exhibit and explored its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What is this?

July 29, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

Adventures in Exhibits

July 18, 2014 · Collections

I just received a few emails from people congratulating me on LinkedIn for my fifth year work anniversary. That was news to me! I started in the summer of ’09 as the Interpretive Projects Assistant and had a lot of memories working at CHS since. So of my favorite adventures in exhibits…   When I…
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What is this?

July 15, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What is this?

June 17, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What is this?

June 3, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What is this?

May 20, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

Creating Participatory Exhibitions; Our Try It! Gallery

May 16, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits

With all of the warranted hoopla surrounding our blockbuster exhibition, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, it’s easy to overlook other exhibitions at the Connecticut Historical Society. One exhibition that’s interactive and fun for all ages is Try It! Connecticut Places, People, Collections, & Me.

What is this?

May 6, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What is this?

April 22, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What is this?

April 8, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it? To find out more,

Nooks of CHS

March 21, 2014 · Collections

The Connecticut Historical Society is housed in a unique building. The building is a mansion erected in 1928 by inventor Curtis Veeder. Veeder lived in the house with his family until they sold it to CHS in 1950. The building went over a few renovations and additions, including converting the upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms into…
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What is this?

March 11, 2014 · Collections

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What is this?

February 25, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What is this?

February 11, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

Nuclear Power Means Peace of Mind

February 7, 2014 · Exhibits

Last week I was working on a short article for the CHS’s weekly history series on WNPR.org. Check out the article, “Connecticut Yankee and Millstone: 46 Years of Nuclear Power,” for a fact-based, measured, and brief history of Connecticut’s four nuclear reactors, two of which are still operating and generating nearly 50% of our state’s…
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What is this?

January 28, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it? To find out more,

Creating Multisensory Exhibitions

January 24, 2014 · Collections

When I went to the New England Museum Conference in 2011, I attended a presentation about making exhibitions “multisensory”. The presentation defined multisensory as a way of processing information through more than one of our senses. The presenters mentioned that combining senses gives a person a more powerful, overall experience. During the session, we explored…
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What is this?

January 14, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it? To find out more,

Punctuate This

January 10, 2014 · Exhibits

I just finished reading Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss. These two quotes might well sum up the thought and feeling of the book:  “Proper punctuation is both the sign and the cause of clear thinking.”                                      “The big final rule for the comma is one that you won’t…
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What is this?

December 31, 2013 · Collections, Exhibits

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it? To find out more,

Hepburn Exhibition Coming This Spring

December 20, 2013 · Exhibits

Despite the fact that tomorrow is the first day of winter(!), some of us here at CHS are already planning for the spring. Just last week, we signed a contract with the Kent State University Museum to bring the blockbuster traveling exhibition Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen to Connecticut in April 2014 for…
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What is this?

December 17, 2013 · Collections, Exhibits

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What is this?

December 3, 2013 · Collections, Exhibits

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What is this?

November 19, 2013 · Collections, Exhibits

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it? To find out more,

Revealing the Invisible: Mounting Artifacts in a Museum Exhibit

November 15, 2013 · Collections

Before I worked in the exhibits department of a museum, I had never even considered how objects and artifacts in museums were presented. I always focused on the object or the label or the overall feel of the exhibition. It never crossed my mind what went behind taking a delicate object and suspending inside of…
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What is this?

November 5, 2013 · Collections, Exhibits

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it? To find out more,

What is this?

October 22, 2013 · Collections, Exhibits

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What is this?

October 8, 2013 · Collections, Exhibits

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What is this?

September 24, 2013 · Collections, Exhibits

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it? To find out more,

What is this?

September 10, 2013 · Collections, Exhibits

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it? To find out more,

What is this?

August 27, 2013 · Collections, Exhibits

Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it? To find out more,

How to Brand a Museum Exhibit

August 16, 2013 · Collections

One of the most enjoyable things about creating a new exhibit is designing its brand identity. The process begins months before the exhibit actually opens and requires a bit of research, brainstorming, and testing to ensure that the look of the exhibit is different than previous exhibits and also made for the intended audience. The…
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