Buckingham Square District

Welcome to Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

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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124 comments

    • By the mid-19th century they were making bricks in Windsor, Connecticut, about 5 miles up the Connecticut River/ Most of the buildings and factories in the south end of Hartford were brick, or sandstone (quarried about 10 miles south of Hartford). I am so glad that so many of these buildings survive/

      I love the history you shared with us. It was great to see the photography studio win.

      Liked by 2 people

    • When I did this photo tour back in June, I looked for places that were in the historic registry. I would have expected more photos from this area but there weren’t that many. It’s weird, I’ve seen as many as a dozen pictures supporting the nomination on an individual building, but historic districts tend to have fewer pictures. I thought it was nice that these buildings have been maintained and preserved now for over 150 years.

      I like the door/gate you shared.

      Liked by 2 people

    • 1977 was in the early days of the NRHB. I think there was an effort to make the nomination form sound impressive. It’s hard to get pictures in this area. Narrow streets, on-street parking and reasonably tall buildings make it almost impossible to get a front view of the whole building.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s really neat showing us an old photo of each of these buildings along with the same shot currently. The Lindon building is an interesting piece of architecture . The twin buildings on Capitol Avenue are really handsome and quite unique. Nice to see these old beauties are still alive and well, so to speak. It just proves that a bit of TLC can go a long way.
    Ginger

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ginger. I suppose, once these were placed on the registry that maintenance became a requirement. These buildings are Jess than 1/2 mile from the downtown area. This whole district would have been being viewed for either commercial expansion or Urban Renewal in the 1970s. I’m guessing the registry placement as a historic district was aimed at preserving as much as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s my pleasure, Olga. Of course, you were surrounded by stunning architecture on that campus. I only had time for a quick tour in 2020. I hope to visit again this summer free most of the students are gone.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I should have checked the nomination form before heading out. They have a couple of buildings that I didn’t include. I might be back in this area before next Thursday, so maybe I can complete the tour.

      I’m glad you didn’t toss the photos you shared today.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well there is definitely some British influence there Dan, I’d be interested to know more about the folks who initiated the area’s construction and where they were from originally. Some of those buildings definitely have a London feel to them.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love that the buildings keep their integrity but look like new. I enjoyed the buildings but “rhythmic fenestration” really caught my attention the most, liking words and all. I have to say though that it sounds a bit what? Suggestive? Off-color? :-) Happy Thursday, Dan. I’m offering some ocean-side gates for viewing pleasure today.

    Thursday doors…metal gates

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Janet. This was during the early days of the Registry’s operation. I think there was an effort being made to sound professional in the nomination forms. My guess is they were fighting against the clock, as someone probably had eyes on this whole area for new development.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The building left on the last row is my favorite, because of the little blue pointed roofs – so cute! My computer is in the shop, and I am using an old unsupported computer for 2 weeks. That means next week I can’t give you a permalink, because I don’t know how to do that on the Ipad, and can’t do it on this one. Dell already fixed it, but it will take more than a week for it to get to tX! Emille

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I really like that you showed the old and the ‘new’ buildings side by side. The Capitol Avenue buildings…I could picture myself smiling every time I walked by knowing I was moving in soon. In my dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Those are some beautiful old buildings. I love the buildings set on an angle on the corner, or at least that’s how they look when you take the picture. Here’s my post for this week. Hope you enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you liked the comparison pictures, Deborah. I was glad to see that there hasn’t been much change. This is an important area in the history of our small city. I like the domes and the other ornamentations on these buildings. They wanted them to stand out while blending in.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A great post, Dan! As I was viewed the three residential streets – Linden Place, Capital Avenue, and Buckingham Street, I thought of all the lives that had been lived in those buildings, the events that occurred – celebrations as well as times of grieving. Vancouver has limited land space, so buildings are reaching towards the sky. One and two story buildings have been demolished to make way for the new. I am pleased when a city takes steps to preserve buildings Over the years, city planners have become acutely aware that we must protect heritage properties.

    And speaking of preserving, I went back in time to Ancient Egypt when the door to King Tutankhamen was opened. The Egyptians were masters of preservation.

    https://clanmother.com/2022/02/16/ancient-doors-of-egypt/

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed this, Rebecca. The people who lived in these row houses and who stayed in the hotels no doubt worked in the fledgling insurance industry here in Hartford. The city was already growing to the west, but these buildings survived. Then, they were preserved before developers could get to them. I am so glad the have been preserved and maintained

      Your post is remarkable. We are surprised to find structures that have survived 150-200 years. You bring us structures that have survived thousands of years. It’s hard to comprehend. Thank you for sharing your post with us. And have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Brick and stone became very popular building materials in the mid-1800s in Hartford. I’m glad you enjoyed this post. I am very happy that these buildings have been preserved and maintained.

      I enjoyed your tour of Amsterdam.

      Like

  8. Another beautiful historic area in Hartford! Thank you for sharing this very interesting report. I especially like the comparison beetween the 1977 photos and your recent images.
    This mine from my recent excursion in Bavaria: https://wanderlustig2019.wordpress.com/2022/02/19/monastery-doors-in-benediktbeuern-bavaria/
    Thank you again for hosting. And the Sunday Recap shows the incredible diversity of doors in the respective countries!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was very happy to find the old photos and to see that the buildings have been maintained true to the original design. Thanks you so much for sharing these with Thursday Doors.

      Like

  9. Hi Dan – interesting to see the history and learn more – once rich, now poor apparently … also are the double fronted houses now called semis – as they are here … and are there terraces of these sorts of houses – as we had in the UK in the latter half of the 1800s … ? Loved your photos – thank you – cheers Hilary

    Like

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