The Hartford Courant newspaper (first published in 1764) and the Wadsworth Athenaeum art museum both have the distinction of being the oldest in the U.S.
The Connecticut River serves as the boundary between East Hartford and Downtown Hartford. West Hartford is an affluent suburb of the city. The most prominent feature of Downtown Hartford is the amount of green space. The dense center of downtown is wrapped around Bushnell Park, a 50-acre space with a large pond with several fountains. Hartford is an aesthetically beautiful city.
Bushnell Park is also home to weekly jazz concerts during the summer, and used to have a river running through it but it was buried to provide flood control for the city. Cricket, golf, baseball, fishing and dragon boat racing are a few activities available at the parks here. There is a 1914 wooden carousel (merry-go-round) with 36 hand carved jumping horses here too.
Hartford was a major manufacturing city throughout the mid-20th century, with Colt, the gun maker, and Pope, the bicycle and automobile maker, making the city home. Both factories closed and changed the face of Hartford.
Hartford is now known for being the insurance capital of the world, with no fewer than 23 insurance companies calling it home. Big insurance names include The Hartford, The Phoenix Companies, UnitedHealthcare and Travelers Insurance, from who’s Tower observation deck you might see a falcon or two.
The influence of Hartford’s diverse culture is evident in the food offerings at the restaurants, with Cuban, West Indian, Italian, Portuguese and Vietnamese food plentiful here.
Museums and performing arts venues abound, including live Shakespeare performances on the lawn of Mark Twain’s home. Quirky attractions include the Stone Field Sculpture at Adriaen's Landing, Caldera’s Stegosaurus and the Roberto Clemente monument.
The North Meadows Park has a high ropes challenge course, a large playground, a boat launch, and the Riverfront Recapture boathouse, which is home to numerous private clubs and the crew teams.
Business Space In Hartford
Exciting urban renewal projects scattered throughout the city (such as in Bushnell Park and near the XL Center) make leasing office space in Hartford a win-win. New mixed-use, high-rise luxury condominium projects and street-level retail dot the area. Redevelopment of Rentschler Field (formerly the UConn football stadium) in East Hartford will house high tech companies, upscale retail, entertainment venues and hotels.
Hartford’s primary businesses include insurance, hospitals and healthcare and education. Hartford’s Downtown is the central business district for the city and the main area to consider when renting business space. Both City and State governments are housed downtown, as are historic building like the Connecticut State Capitol, Hotel Bond, the Old State House and Hartford City Hall.
The Bushnell Park area is home to insurance giants like National Insurance and Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, and is steeped in turn-of-the-century (20th century) sized high-rise buildings. Frog Hollow is home to the county and state courts, law offices and hospitals, including The Institute of Living, Hartford Hospital and Connecticut Children's Medical Center. It is also home to Trinity College. The area is known for its Caribbean food and culture. A mixed-use plaza complex is planned for this area.
Asylum Hill is a mixed use area that serves as home to Sovereign Bank, the Lincoln Culinary Institute, Saint Francis Hospital & Medical Center, and more insurance companies, like The Hartford and Aetna Insurance. It is also the area you’ll find the homes of Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe.
South Meadows is primarily industrial, commercial and utility companies, including Hartford Electric Light Company, the water treatment plant, resource recovery facilities, and the regional airport.
North Meadows is a commercial and industrial area that houses the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s regional transit center. It is also home to the CT Expo Center, Meadows Music Theater, Riverside Park, and Hartford’s red light district with sex shops and strip clubs. Parkville is where many manufacturing companies are located.
The historic West End is home to academic institutions, including the University of Connecticut School of Law and the Hartford Seminary. Charter Oak/Sheldon Oak is an industrial area that is being redeveloped into a mixed-use area with office space and apartments.
In 1968, following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Clay-Arsenal and Upper Albany area had massive riots that destroyed the business district. Most of the businesses and population fled the area. The area is now an immigrant community with a strong arts and cultural focus. Strong revitalization efforts by the city and private developers have resulted in new townhomes coming into the area.
South Green is a charming historic area with cobblestone crosswalks. Several hospitals call this area home, including Connecticut Children's Medical Center and Hartford Hospital. Wethersfield area is known as Little Italy, and the area has many ethnic restaurants and shops.
Facts about Hartford:
Hartford, the state capital of Connecticut, is 17 square miles in area and sits at 59 feet above sea level.
The city’s population according to the 2012 Census is 124,893, with about 1.2 million people in the Hartford metro area. The city has been steadily losing population since the 1950’s, a decrease of about 53,000 people in all. The racial mix of the city is 15% white, 36% African-American, 43% Hispanic, 3% Asian and 3% other races. The median age is only 30 years old, due in large part to 43% of the city’s population being under 24 years old, with a mere 9% over 65.
The average low temperature in January is 18? F, with an average of 4 days a year falling below 0? F. The average high temperature in July is 84? F, with an average of 17 days a year over 90? F. In an average year, Hartford gets about 46 inches of rain and 49 inches of snow. In 2013, the unemployment rate in Hartford was twice the national average.