Frog Hollow Doors

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).

Note to Participants – I hope to soon have a permanent instruction page, but for now I just want to remind participants that the use of hashtags at the end of the URL you leave in a comment is easy, safe, encouraged and beneficial. Simply tack them on to the end of your URL – like myUrl/#tag1/#tag2/#tag2/ and so on and so forth. The tags are automatically extracted from the URL into a separate column of the Sunday recap. Doors posts which include tags have been the most visited posts three weeks in a row, and the tags do not interfere with anyone visiting your post on Thursday.

Frog Hollow is the name of the neighborhood directly to the west of the Buckingham Square District I’ve been presenting. I stumbled into it by continuing along Capitol Avenue beyond the State Capitol. The indented paragraphs below were taken from the Nation Registry of Historic Places (NRHP) nomination form. This is a huge district to be added to the Registry, but the last paragraph might explain that fact.

Frog Hollow takes its name from the marshy conditions once caused by the Park River, which forms the northern boundary of the district. The main railroad line beside the river provided the backbone for late nineteenth-century factory development, and along with the factories came houses, schools, churches and stores, all built on what had been undeveloped farmland. This classic working-class neighborhood of thirty-five square blocks, southwest of downtown, exists at present much as it did at the turn of the Century.

Clearly-defined features form the northern and western boundaries. At the north is the Park River (now diverted underground), lined on its southern edge with the factories which employed many local residents, and on the west is the open space of Pope Park. To the east, Lafayette Street separates the district from the larger scale development of Washington Street. On the south, Madison Street defines the traditional limit of the working-class neighborhood.

The two main arteries of the district, both running east-west, are Capitol Avenue to the north, on which fronted the factories, and Park Street on the south, which was and is the shopping center for the district. Between these two streets and extending three blocks south of Park Street is a dense working class neighborhood made up primarily of multiple family dwellings with the churches, schools, clubs, and stores that serviced the community. The area was entirely developed after 1850 with a peak of activity coming in the years 1890-1910.–

Nation Registry of Historic Places nomination form

I find the following paragraph the most satisfying and interesting.

Since 1910 there has been no major redevelopment; urban renewal has passed the area by. Consequently, there are relatively few intrusions in the area. Along Broad Street are a number of poor-quality twentieth century apartment blocks and there are other recent buildings of insensitive design, particularly along Park Street. A noticeable amount of physical deterioration has occurred, again particularly along Broad and Park Streets, as the economic fortune of the neighborhood declined with the closings of the factories. Neighborhood associations are now mounting a strong effort to reverse the decay.

Nation Registry of Historic Places nomination form

There are a number of historic buildings in the Frog Hollow area. I hope to be able to get enough photos to spend a few weeks here.

If you are in a hurry and don’t wish to scroll through the comments, click to Jump to the comment form.

137 comments

  1. Hi Dan – the turret building is great fun. Frog Hollow … wonderful name for an interesting historical settled area – I hope it can be regenerated a little more … lovely to see the buildings and variety – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Hilary. I don’t know if the designation of the entire district was meant to prevent the city sprawl from heading in this direction. Hartford was divided by the Interstate highway that bounds a portion of this neighborhood, closing it in with the much more modern downtown area. I’m going to try to explore that in subsequent posts.. For now, it’s doing pretty well, but like all urban areas, it has its challenges.

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  2. Frog Hollow. The name alone would draw you to this area! What a great collection of doors, windows, (especially the bay windows!) turrets, bump-outs, and detailed trim. A lot of these buildings could use some TLC, but none of them have been left to ruin as we see in some areas. Really interesting architecture. All in all I think folks have done a good job maintaining these properties. Again, another nice tour Dan.
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you like this group, Ginger. It’s a tough area to get photographs. The streets are narrow and there aren’t many places to park. I like seeing the older homes still standing and I’m glad they haven’t been replaced by “modern” apartments, or “intrusions” as they called them in the nomination form.

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  3. I always laugh a bit when I read your invitation to scroll down in case I want to avoid all the comments. No way! The comments are part of the fun! The buildings today, as always, tell a story of people. I love the way they used to believe in porches, and I too admire the name. I think I’d love a rocking chair on a porch in Frog Hollow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s an area that keeps trying to either come back or hang on. I appreciate the work people have put in to maintaining the houses. It’s a neat little working class neighborhood in close proximity to the seat of State Government. I’m glad you like the photos. I’ll see if I can find a rocking chair.

      Liked by 1 person

    • One nearby building has been tuned into artist’s lofts, and some others have been converted to apartments. I like the idea that the city can maintain a portion of its historic self. 150 years ago, they were building guns and bicycles in this area, and later, typewriters.

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  4. Beautiful structures, Dan. Thank you for sharing. I’ve always wanted to see the inside of a turret — whether its interior walls are visible all the way up or if it is just an outside design fixture. Someday…

    Liked by 1 person

    • In my reply to Gwen (above) I mentioned a post that showed photos from a Victorian turret where I made replacement windows. I did the woodwork. The owner didn’t want to pop for double-pane glass. The owner tried to stiff me on the last two windows as well. I remember the space, it must be a lovely place to sit or work.

      I hope to be able to collect a few more photos from this neighborhood.

      Thanks for your gesture of support today.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The description of the area was interesting to read. I was taken that the development started in the 1850s and pretty much was over by the 1900s. Also, diverting the river underground must have been some feat. Your photos are terrific, Dan. Such unique designs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The river is an interesting story, John. Outside of Hartford, it’s known as the Hog River. The good people of Hartford didn’t like that, so they called it the Park River (it ran through a park) but it flooded often. It flooded so badly in the 1930s, that they began work to bury it. In doing so, they dismantled two stone bridges and reused the stone to build a pump house that keeps the water moving. I featured the pump house years ago (I checked, you were there).

      I’m curious to see if the threat of development encouraged making this entire district a historic place. Hopefully, I’ll know a little more next week.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I wanted to show that it’s not “the land that time forgot.” Given the proposals I’ve seen for development in this area over the past 40 years, I gather that it isn’t easy to preserve a district. hope to learn a little more about this before I share the next set of doors.

      I loved your post from your visit to the palace. Alas, something we don’t have in this country. Large homes of famous industrialists, but no royalty.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Dan, the area doesn’t seem like low alit builds to me – but I guess it is because I don’t really know the good quality stiff of that time – but they did hold up well and it cool that an area like this did not get modernized. maybe even rare.

    I also like those bumped out dormers, but not sure how functional the living space is in them – maybe good for a reading nook?

    here is my entry this week
    https://wp.me/p1VBv6-6Y0

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmmm, I don’t like hearing that. I hope this is the last time you have to follow. Please let me know if it isn’t because the engineers that “fixed” this would want to know.

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  7. Wouldn’t you love to have people ask where you live just so you could say, “Frog Hollow”? I’d love it. ‘Poor quality’ and ‘insensitive design’ were written on the nomination form about the surrounding areas, so as to bolster the hope that Frog Hollow is designated a National Registry of Historic Places? Is that unusual?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would get a kick out of saying that, Lois.

      I think the reference to the “poor quality” and “insensitive design” was a way of suggesting that this neighborhood would quickly deteriorate if left to the development community. I think the key to nomination was in the fact that owners were trying to preserve what they had. I’m hoping to explore this in more depth for the next segment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s interesting, Ally. Frog Hollow boarders a neighborhood called Barry Square which includes Trinity College. There are similar houses in that area, but most have been carved up to provide student housing rentals.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I could live in that last house. Turret, a dormer and porches! My kind of house. Now I am curious about how one goes about putting a river underground. Because the images that are in my head . . . I can see investigating an underground river. Fascinating. I must look into that…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Dan,
    Had to laugh at your version of Frog Hollow versus Frog Hollow in Sydney’s Surry Hills where my Irish ancestors ended up when they were down on their luck. It was like a drop off from the hill and regularly flooded although not quite in such a dramatic fashion as in Lismore in recent times. It was struggle street.
    Out of your photos, my favourite is the one with the turret. It appeal to my imagination and aspirations to become a princess (although these days I’m probably more at the fairy Godmother stage).
    I incorporated my Thursday Door post into a celebration of the kids’ birthdays, which was held an an out of this world hamburger joint called “Milky Lane”. Hope you like it. I’m sure you could gain weight just looking at their creations.

    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s funny, Rowena. The area on the northern edge of Frog Hollow flooded often when these houses were built. A very bad flood in the 1930 caused the city to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to bury the Park River through Hartford on its way to the Connecticut River.

      I now know it isn’t the link you meant to share, but I’m hungry :-)

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  10. I really like the building that only has a dog and a cat. You know the one with the wall that keeps them from fighting. The para-pet wall. Too bad they drained all the puddles and chased the spring peepers out of Frog Hollow. Happy Thursday.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve always liked the name. I wasn’t aware of the formation of a historic district (which seems like a remarkable feat). I hope I can learn a bit more about it. Thanks Cheryl.

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  11. I like the shape of those apartment buildings as well. I do feel sad about them not keeping the balconies though as that was a lovely feature.

    I like the Turret, and the bump outs too, and the green house in general. It’s lovely. I too love the name Frog Hollow.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Newer buildings “of insensitive design,” a great diplomatic term. (Shakes head)
    Dan, how could I resist anything named Frog Hollow. What a whimsical name. I once worked with a girl who frequently said “I’m feelin’ froggy.” She never could explain what she meant. As near as I could tell “froggy” covered several moods from restless to goofy to playful.
    Anyhow, Frog Hollow has some beauties. I hope they get restored. Hugs on the wing.
    I almost forgot. Here’s my Thursday Doors post: https://teagansbooks.com/2022/03/17/thursday-doors-to-womenshistorymonth-the-1920s/

    Liked by 1 person

    • These nomination forms go to some pretty stuffy folks, Teagan. I guess diplomacy is always necessary. I think they are working (individually) to keep these buildings maintained, I can only imagine how much work that requires.

      Your post is wonderful – thanks for joining us today.

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  13. Turrets for the win! I really like that look up along the old manufacturing building. And I love the name of the place too: Frog Hollow. Where magic happens.

    My post if from a garden which I visited last May and forgot to post its doors. My tags – if not visible – are #Tuscany#Sovicille#rent-a-villa#poppies : https://manjameximexcessive6.wordpress.com/2022/03/17/thursday-doors-17-3-22-castello-poggiarello-1/#Tuscany#Sovicille#rent-a-villa#poppies

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the post, and the comment, and the tags, although the tags are not visible in your link. I don’t understand. Tags that others have added to their URLs show up in their comments. Your URL displays as a snippet of your post. That happens with some other ones, but I’m not sure why. In any case, thanks for including the tags, separately. I hope to figure this out.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I figured this out. I’ll explain more, perhaps on Monday, but if you put your link on a new line, WordPress embeds the link (so we see the start of your post). If you leave it on the same line as your text, it just shows the URL. When WordPress embeds the post, it strips the hashtags off. It also makes the comment section much longer and harder to read, at least when there are over 100 comments as with the TD posts.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a very interesting area, Robbie. It’s very close to the action, as it were, of the city, but for some reason it was ignored by developers during the first attempt of Urban Renewal in the 1960s. That delay gave them enough time to get a large number of properties on the NRHP. I don’t know what level of protection is offered, but the area is largely still as it was in 1977.

      I very much enjoyed tagging along with you. The history was hard to read, but I appreciate knowing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Frog Hollow – I love that name, which gives a nod to the past. So many times, we simply don’t know how a collection of buildings grows around a specific locations. I did some more research into this area – what a remarkable history. I understand that the housing was multi-unit houses – a locally distinctive “perfect six” wood-frame building, three stories in height. What is truly remarkable is that we have gone back to that type of building in Vancouver and North Vancouver. With our limited land space and costs of electricity etc, multi-family units are become much sought after. Now, we are seeing mixed use as well that allow for community building.

    I am trying to figure out how to use tags after my url, but I will continue to persevere.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I love the name of the place, Dan. It is quite curious because some of the buildings are very similar to those of the town in Yorkshire where I was living before I left the UK, Penistone. Evidently, some styles made it on both sides of the pond. Thanks, Dan!

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  16. Like the orange building, especially the font top, and the church in this neighborhood.
    Am (for me) on late, because … you don’t wanna hear this … for a change my computer was in the shop on Thursday!!! Anyway, am glad I got it back this (Saturday) morning. Have not been bored though, because am learning all about glazes on ceramics.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. […] During a recent trip to Pismo Beach, California, I noticed a very old hotel in the middle of the main drag. I had seen the rooftop sign in the distance from the Pismo Beach Pier and walked up the road to check it out. The hotel just looks different than the other restaurants, shops, and hotels that line the main road. The Pismo Beach Hotel has some interesting architecture and brickwork; I am sharing for Dan’s Thursday Doors. […]

    Like

    • Thanks Teresa. The south side of Hartford has retained its architecture very well. It’s fun to try and capture it.

      You have brought us another fine collection of photos – thanks!

      Like

  18. Great name, inspired by the little guys who lived nearby it seems. :) Fascinating brick buildings and eye-catching homes with an incredible amount of character. I love the turrets and the second story porch and the steep roofs. Thank you for sharing the interesting history behind the area as well, Dan. I’m very glad to hear there are people who want to renovate some of the structures in decay. I hope you have a nice weekend!

    Sorry for the late entry. Here it is: https://brendasrandomthoughts.wordpress.com/2022/03/19/thursday-doors-madrid-spain/

    Liked by 1 person

    • No problem with late entries, Brenda. One of the best things Norm did when he started this challenge was to leave it open for three days. I would not have wanted to miss your tour.

      I hope these houses and buildings can be saved. Ongoing maintenance is required. They are all capable of getting to a point where they can’t be saved.

      Liked by 1 person

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