Downtown Skyscraper to be Mothballed

An iconic piece of the Hartford skyline will go dark this spring and the capital city will have an empty skyscraper in the heart of downtown.


Eyewitness News has learned the Bank of America tower will be mothballed this spring, unless a tenant comes forward. Building owner Michael Grunberg told me once Bank of America relocates to CityPlace in April, he will begin shutting down the 26 story building.

Grunberg says he believes in Hartford and would like to transform the building into condominums, apartments or a dormitory. That is dependent on the economy improving.    He is also seeking a new corporate tenant, that would get to put its name at the top of tower.    Several names have graced the top of the building over the years.

The tower was built in 1966, and was home to Connecticut National Bank, which became Shawmut, which became Fleet which became Bank of America.

In the meantime, Grunberg is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars creating individual HVAC systems for the street level tenants, which has led to rent increases. Right now everyone is on the BOA system, and it would cost too much to heat the entire tower when empty. Two of those tenants are leaving, the rest, including Camera Bar and Harvey and Lewis, are staying.

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15 replies »

  1. Wow. I remember when it was still Hartford National Bank. Seems like only yesterday, yet it’s been so many banks since then. The executive dining room on the top floor used to be very grand. Room for a restaurant, perhaps?


  2. This building at one time housed Hartford National Bank & Trust. I was employed by this bank for almost 8 years back in the 70’s….


  3. Condominiums? Please! What’s the occupancy rate at 21,the old SNET building and the other units on Trumbull? Pitiful. The economy is in ruins. This will become another empty building soon to be another blight in downtown Hartford. That grocery store at 21 doesn’t stand a chance.


    • I agree especially if it is a “specialty” type store that no-one can afford to shop in….I am really disappointed in the way the economy in Hartford County is right now…


  4. The writer of this article forgot to mention Hartford National Bank which proceeded all the others mentioned. I worked for Hartford National Bank in 1963 and watched from a makshift office on Pearl Street as this building was erected. Once completed Hartford National Bank moved into this “state of the art building” for its time. We were housed in all 26 floors. The views of the Connecticut River were spectacular. I managed to survive all of the mergers and retired after 45 years from Bank of America. This article saddened me as I have so many fond memory’s of working in this building in Hartford. Good Luck Mr. Grunburg! I hope you can keep it going.


    • HI Kathy–Do you happen to know the address of this building? And do you happen to remember when exactly the Hartford National Bank and Trust Co moved in?


  5. Will this become another “butt ugly” building? It would be nice if a university or college would move in.


  6. Hartford is ready for a ‘fire sale’. It really doesn’t shock me about the BAC bulding, I too remember Hartford when it resembled something of an attraction. My first job was with G.Fox, what a store. But as the nickle candy bar has seen its last, so should Hartford. Companies that once called Hartford their base are reloacting to the burbs, the companies that are there are only a facade. No viable attractions, crime is rampet. I for one don’t think twice about going ‘down town’, as it was once referred to; I just avoid it altogether. Retailers with mega store displays, Sage-Allen cafe, shops that line Pratt, Aslyum, and Trumbull, movie theaters, all kinds eateries, Constitution Plaza with its ‘boat building are but a memory. Personally I think the surrounding towns should go on a ‘feeding frenzy’ and take what remains and put this so-called city out of its misery.


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