Welcome to Thursday Doors! This is a weekly challenge for people who love doors and architecture to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos, drawings, or other images or stories from around the world. If you’d like to join us, simply create your own Thursday Doors post each (or any) week and then share a link to your post in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time). If you like, you can add our badge to your post.
Before I explain my small gallery today, I want to invite the Thursday Doors participants to also join Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. This week, her theme is “Buildings” and since most doors are attached to buildings, you might want to have some fun with your fotos. If you are here just to look at doors, you might want to pop over and see Cee’s wonderful pictures and visit some of her challenge participants.
As the title suggests, the photos in my gallery are from a small district in the south end of Hartford, Connecticut known as Buckingham Square. The rest of the text was taken from the Nomination Form, written in 1977 when the district was added to the National Registry of Historic Buildings.
Situated two blocks south of Hartford’s central business district, the 19th century Buckingham Square District is surrounded by active City institutions, which include the South Congregational Church and Hartford Federal Building. Two blocks on Main Street form the commercial part of the district, while extending west from Main Street one to one-and-a-half blocks are three residential streets: Linden Place, Capitol Avenue, and Buckingham Street.
Within the district, Main Street presents a consistently scaled facade with its four- and five-story blocks of rhythmic fenestration. At the southern end of the district, the small Buckingham Square Park establishes a definite boundary, while the massive, curved corner and turret of the Linden Block strongly define the northern limit. Corner turrets on the Hotel Capitol and The Linden punctuate the entrance of Capitol Avenue and Linden Place into the main road. As one enters the side streets of townhouses, the scale becomes more personal: the cornice line is lower, and buildings are divided into vertical units of two or three bays that express the scale of domestic activity.
The Main Street buildings still fulfill the functions for which they were built, housing stores and restaurants on the first floor and residences above. Though the side streets are now mostly rooming houses, they are still almost exclusively residential. Five of the rowhouses on Capitol Avenue, numbers II and 19-25, are being extensively renovated as middle-income apartments; rehabilitation is still feasible for many other buildings in the district.
Willis S. Bronson & Co., tinners, roofers and pipefitters, initiated construction of the double houses at 80-100 Buckingham Street in 1864-65. Double houses of this period and type were so common in Hartford that architect William C. Brockelsby wrote in 1886 of the “outgrowth of the speculative double brick house, of which so many pairs were at one time erected. threatening to drive out what humble attempts at architecture were striving for a place in public estimation.”
I will return to this district next week, with a few more photos. Note that the gallery includes some photos from the NRHP nomination form.
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