Hartford May Build New City Hall


courtesy: Andy Hart, the Hartford News

One of my favorite buildings in Hartford is city hall. The marble atrium, the fountain, the brass fixtures and the ornate woodwork are fitting of a museum. Perhaps, that is its future.

During a taping of Face the State set to air this Sunday, Mayor Pedro Segarra revealed the city will seriously look at building a brand new city hall somewhere downtown. He plans to appropriate some money in the budget to study such a project, which the mayor told me will save the city millions.

While majestic and historic, the current city hall has outdated mechanicals and isn’t big enough for all the city offices, which are scattered across the city. Some offices are in leased buildings, costing taxpayers a fortune. City hall is hardly energy efficient, cooled by window air conditioners that rack up quite the utility bill.


courtesy: Andy Hart, the Hartford News

Where would the new building go up? The mayor isn’t sure, but during our taping he suggested some land behind the Hartford Public library, but also mentioned the site of the former Statler Hilton, vacant now for more than two decades.

vacant lot

As for the current city hall? Its neighbor to the north might want it for expansion: the Wadsworth Atheneum. Whatever they build, let’s hope it is architecturally significant. Here’s the town hall in my hometown of Norwood, Massachusetts.

ww2 mem

The mayor also talked about gun control, the drop in crime, economic development, the car tax, and the budget.

You can watch the interview right here: part 1
Part 2

Also read : http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/what-hartford-might-have-bee/

5 replies »

  1. Can’t our country keep our original landmarks and make them historic? We seem to be a country of disposable infrastticture. Sad that we (government) can be so willly nilly with our American heritage.


  2. Dennis: If your personal budget had a deficit of $60,000 – or your city’s of $60 Million – would you consider building or borrowing for a new addition rather than making do for now?
    Also, as a reminder: “he:plans to appropriate some money in the budget to study such a project.” Most of us thought it was the City Council that appropriates money in the budget, evaluating a mayor’s request. And some of us – considering the deficit, stress on taxpayers, neighborhood blight, and existing space – won’t look favorably on added expense for unnecessary studies and consultants for new construction at this time.
    Larry Deutsch, Minority Leader, Hartford City Council


    • Councilman Dushe, For someone who is the lead complainer about the conditions at City Hall, Floods, humidity, mold, poor air quality, high costs of utilitities,better working conditions for employees get a grip. The Mayor is only asking that you study this and consider it he is not asking for money to build a new city hall. Besides most of the deficit is caused by wages and benefits which you Mr. “Working Families Party” has generated.


  3. Dennis – your interview with Mayor Segarra revealed to me that he is a visionary and quite bright. He could have focused on the loss of tax revenue when the state acquires three office towers, but rather saw the opportunities with adding thousands of state workers to downtown. He recognized that the magnificent city hall is better suited for a museum, and the city could save millions if it were to consolidate its primary offices in a new building. I like this guy and look forward to learning more about his plans to reinvigorate this great town.


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