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Several people commented last week that I had gotten nice photos of the gardens of the Butler McCook Homestead, even though the museum is closed. The reason I was able to do that is because the Casimir Pulaski Mall runs alongside the McCook homestead. In addition, the park also spans the Amos Bull House, another historic home in Hartford. The two homes share a large lot in the city, and they share in the generosity of the McCook family.
According to CTLandmarks.org – The Amos Bull House – one of four remaining 18th-century buildings in Hartford houses CTL’s administrative offices, archives and essential program and community education space. However, in 1968, the house was threatened with urban renewal-related demolition. To avoid that fate, it was the first building in Connecticut placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A city-wide preservation effort began and through the generosity of Frances McCook, the endangered Amos Bull House was moved to the rear of the Butler-McCook property and renovated. It is currently attached to the carriage house of the Butler McCook Homestead.
One of the few 18th century structures remaining in the city of Hartford, this building is reported to date from 1799 and to be a unique example of a town house of the period. Originally it stood at the sidewalk line, before being moved back in the early part of this century to its present position at the rear of a narrow lot. Less than 30 feet across the facade, it was planned to occupy a restricted city frontage, and the absence of original windows on the sides at the first two floors indicates closely abutting structures on neighboring lots.
The following information is from the nomination form. The first owner, Amos Bull, resided in the building and by 1791 was advertising in the local newspaper his business in dry goods and a wide assortment of such items as window glass, glue, whalebone, and metals, largely imported from Europe. He offered the property for sale in 1820, but before parting with it he opened a “reading academy” that imparted also arithmetic, geography, and other useful and necessary subjects. By 1887 the property housed a business dealing in furnaces, ranges, and plumbing, which occupied it more than thirty years, to be followed by various interests including an automobile dealer and finally a restaurant. It has been vacant for several years.
As for General Pulaski, he was a hero during the US Revolutionary War. There were over 300,000 Polish immigrants to Connecticut, and there are many statues, churches, and monuments to famous Polish people throughout the state of CT. At one end of the narrow Pulaski Park, it the Polish National Home, a gathering place for people of Polish decent. The base of the statue of General Casimir Pulaski is inscribed with his answer when asked why he came from Poland to join our revolution,
I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it…General Casimir Pulaski
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