Inside the CHS

Gold Street and the Ancient Burying Ground

“But for you Gold Street would still be a blot on our beautiful city, and we all owe you a debt of gratitude. Now if those stables could go, there would be nothing to offend the eye when the street is finished.” These words were written to Emily Seymour Goodwin Holcombe by Elizabeth Hart Jarvis…
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Make Way for Concrete and Steel

September 3, 2013 · Collections ·

E. M. Loew’s Theater at 174 Asylum Street in Hartford was one of the city’s landmark movie theaters.  Formerly the Majestic, it was the first theater in Hartford to show “talkies,” motion pictures accompanied by a sound track.  This radical innovation took place in 1929.  But by the 1960s, the inner city had fallen on…
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Richard Welling Pictures Hartford

October 21, 2013 · Collections ·

My most recent project here is to catalog photographs, prints and drawings by Hartford artist Richard Welling. I started on his Polaroids, of which there are hundreds. Welling loved photographing Hartford as it changed in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, and as a result, I’ve been playing building detective for the past few weeks. My…
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Heartbreak Hotel

November 5, 2013 · Collections ·

Does anyone recognize the grand Victorian structure in this drawing? Richard Welling drew the Heublein Hotel in 1965 as it was in the process of being torn down to make way for Bushnell Towers. At the time, Welling was experimenting with drawing with magic markers on soft sketchpad paper. The colors bled through to the…
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Monument to Progress

November 19, 2013 · Collections ·

Richard Welling had a way of coming up with perspectives that make us see familiar subjects in a new light. In this view of the construction of Interstate 84 in 1966, the piers that will support the highway loom like ancient monoliths, like the remains of a lost culture. What might future civilizations make of…
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Pave Paradise, Put Up a Parking Lot, or, You Don’t Know What You Got ‘Til It’s Gone

February 28, 2014 · Collections ·

Of the many buildings that Hartford has lost to development since the mid-twentieth century, the one that seems to sting a little bit more than most of the others is the Hartford-Aetna Bank Building. When it was built in 1912, the 11-story building was Hartford’s tallest. In 1990, the building was slated for demolition by…
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Everybody Makes Mistakes

October 14, 2014 · Collections ·

Nobody had anything good to say about the old Hartford Post Office. I thought surely when it was first erected it must have been much admired.

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