Thursday Doors – Hazardville Institute

The doors to a success story. The Hazardville Institute.
The doors to a success story. The Hazardville Institute.

These are the doors to a success story in north-central Connecticut. In the mid-1800s, Col Augustus Hazard donated land at the corner of Hazard Avenue and North Maple Street (in an area of Enfield, CT that would become known as Hazardville). The land was to be used for the construction of the Hazardville Institute.

Built in 1869, the Institute was used as a community meeting place. Over time, the building deteriorated but it was saved from demolition in 1979 by a group of preservationists, the Hazardville Institute Conservancy Society (HICS). They made emergency repairs and began planning and raising money. It took a few decades but the building has been restored.

I am not certain as to the plans for the building but various articles suggest that the Conservancy Society has plans for a museum, a meeting space and maybe a place to display the work of local artists.

In any case, HICS has done a remarkable job saving this beautiful building from destruction and restoring its former beauty. HICS has a Facebook page, if you want more information about the group.

This post is part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors series. Participation is easy, take a picture of a door, post it, head on over to Norm’s page and add your link.

41 thoughts on “Thursday Doors – Hazardville Institute

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    1. I haven’t seen any articles about it being used Judy. There was hope of locating the Probate Court on the second floor so the rent could be used to fund ongoing maintenance but I don’t know if that is going to happen. Towns and States would always rather use free space and let volunteers keep the history alive :(

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    1. Thanks. I would love to see the words you would wrap around some beautiful old doors Audrey. It’s amazing how some of the doors really are inspiring. I’m so glad these inspired some people to save this building.

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  1. Since Facebook and historical societies and museums have found one another, I’ve been gorging myself on images of buildings that no longer stand in my community. One of the current issues before my women’s group is the preservation of an historic community hall, so I appreciate the success story you tell here. I’ll check out the Thursday Doors series, too.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Maggie. I always knew that some group had worked hard to save this building. I used to drive by it when it was in pretty bad shape. I didn’t actually discover the group or its page until I took these pictures and started looking into the history. I’m sure we will do something to support them in the future. I wish you luck with your community hall.

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      1. Thanks, Dan. It’s not looking good. The conservancy group accepted the offer to purchase the property from the County a couple years ago for $1.00. The hall is in terrible shape, but not a lost cause. For some reason, though, the County has hesitated to finalize the transfer. It was revealed last week that a buyer has come forward and now all the noise about tax payers getting a better deal is in the press. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

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  2. That’s a beautiful building! They did a great job on its restoration. Lovely doors — nice wreaths :) I vote for a place to display the art of course! And see, I think this looks like a school, too. Maybe I think everything looks like a schoolhouse…

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    1. Thanks! I think in the 1800’s, they pretty much build this kind of building for just about everything a town needed. I hope they do open part of it as a museum. Hazardville hope to the gunpowder industry which Col Hazard was involved with (great name for that job) so I’m guessing there is a lot of interesting history. Displaying current art would keep it alive. I’ll vote with you.

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  3. Glad that people there do care about historic buildings. Over here this kind of thought is missing. Many of the heritage buildings here in South Mumbai are still in good condition due to various organisations that care about it, or else government is least bothered.

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    1. We don’t have quite as much history to preserve over here. It’s a costly and time consuming effort for these groups. They are mostly volunteer and they do a lot of the work themselves. Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Great post, Dan. Thank you very much for spending time to showcase the Hazardville Institute.

    I’m a member of the Conservancy involved in the effort. You’re right– a full-time tenant is helpful. We continue to discuss whether the regional probate court might be a good fit for a floor. It would allow us to maintain Hazard’s vision for a community space on the other. It’s a tiny lot so there’s also been efforts ongoing with our neighbors and the Town to create a suitable parking plan.

    We typically try to host an open house Saturday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend.

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    1. Thank you so much for adding your comment Bill. I used to drive by the building in the mid ’80s and to see it now is amazing. I hope to be able to get up there for the open house.

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    1. Thanks. I first took the picture at night, but it really didn’t do the doors, or the wreaths justice, there were too many shadows. There is something about these simple wooden doors that feels so right in New England.

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    1. Norm, the creator of the Thursday Doors project, has some stunning red doors in his collection Wendy. I’ll be on the lookout for some as I travel. Actually, I love red doors, so I would snag them anyway.

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