Hartford, Connecticut - Culture - Points of Interest

Points of Interest

  • 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.
  • Ancient Burying Ground - The oldest historic site in Hartford. It was Hartford's first graveyard. Many of Hartford's first renowned residents and founders are buried there.
  • Armsmear – The Colt family estate.
  • Bulkeley Bridge – Spanning the Connecticut River and connecting the city of Hartford with East Hartford, the nine-span structure is a stone-arch bridge.
  • 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 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 – 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- The tallest building in Hartford at 38 stories and the tallest building in Connecticut. It is located at 185 Asylum St.
  • 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.
  • Comcast Theater (formerly the Meadows Music Theater) – Located in the North Meadows, it is an indoor/outdoor amphitheater-style performance venue.
  • Connecticut Science Center – 154,000 square foot (14,000 m²), nine-story, $165 million museum. Designed by César Pelli, it opened on June 12, 2009.
  • 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).
  • Connecticut Governor's Mansion – An imposing Georgian revival mansion situated near the highest point in the City of Hartford on upper Prospect Avenue. Four landscaped acres surround the residence continuing the garden setting of Elizabeth Park, just opposite Asylum Avenue.
  • 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.
  • Elizabeth Park & Rose Garden – Straddling the Hartford/West Hartford border, both sections of the park administered by the City of Hartford.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe House & Research Center – The former home of Harriet Beecher Stowe, located in the Asylum Hill neighborhood on Farmington Avenue, has become a museum, along with its neighbor – the home of Mark Twain.
  • 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 has over 500,000 holdings, an extensive calendar of programs and free public access computers and wifi.
  • Hartford Stage – Dedicated to the production of classic works and new play development.
  • Hartford Symphony Orchestra – Connecticut's regional orchestra.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Building - 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 - Public park originally landscaped by the Olmsted brothers.
  • Real Art Ways - An alternative art gallery and hosts 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Minimalist, Carl Andre, in 1977.
  • Trinity College – The liberal arts college was founded in 1823 and has more than 2,100 students. It is the second-oldest in Connecticut after Yale University in New Haven.
  • University of Connecticut School of Business – A branch of the University of Connecticut Business school operates in downtown Hartford. The building is located on Market Street, north of Constitution Plaza.
  • University of Connecticut School of Law – located off Farmington Avenue, the campus features an extensive Gothic-inspired library. * 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 Connecticut Whale AHL hockey team and, part-time, to the UConn Huskies basketball team.

Read more about this topic:  Hartford, Connecticut, Culture

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