Author Topic: Elements of Urbanism: Hartford  (Read 5855 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Elements of Urbanism: Hartford
« on: August 27, 2008, 05:00:00 AM »
Elements of Urbanism: Hartford



Billed as  New England's Rising Star , Downtown Hartford has come alive after suffering from a series of major urban renewal mistakes.  

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http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/876

stjohnsguy

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Hartford
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2008, 07:11:58 AM »
Jacksonville could have a similar Convention Center on the South Bank.The site of the old JEA station.Free up the Jacksonville terminal for transit.In touring Downtown so much waterfront property is wasted. What potential this waterfront has.It is sad!

thelakelander

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Hartford
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2008, 09:52:01 AM »
We really need to get our convention center out of the Prime Osborn.  Leaving it there is going to result in us not only having a substandard convention center, but a poorly laid out transportation center also.  Furthermore, it reduces the option of using the assets we currently have to stimulate a critical mass of complementing development in compact areas of the core.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

zoo

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Hartford
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2008, 12:02:50 PM »
Did Hartford use its Bushnell Park for a coal ash and garbage dump site in the 50s/60s? Did they neglect it for the  50 years following that misuse? Bushnell Park seems to be a key part of Hartford's downtown and, as a clean, maintained, green space, seems to contribute a great deal to the urban vibrancy.

Would that COJ and corporate and lobbying "big players" downtown would realize that Hogan's Creek and the Klutho Park system could be an amazing "Central Park." This is a $70-100M legacy project -- what do you expect after 5 decades of abuse and neglect? -- that needs to get started now!!!

thelakelander

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Hartford
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2008, 12:34:53 PM »
Hartford buried the river that ran through Bushnell Park and cut off the neighborhoods to the west, by constructing a freeway through the park.  However, it appears that they realized how important that space was and worked to bring the remaining portion back to life.

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However, after hearing Dr. Bushnell's presentation in October 1853, the Hartford City Council voted unanimously in November to spend public funds--$105,000-to buy the land that was to become Bushnell Park. Hartford voters approved the expenditure on Jan. 5, 1854, by a vote of 1,687 to 683, making it the first municipal park in the nation to be conceived, built and paid for by citizens through a popular vote.

But six years later, the park still had not taken shape. It was clear that a new and comprehensive park plan was needed. Bushnell asked his life-long friend, Frederick Law Olmsted, a Hartford native and world-famous designer of New York's Central Park, to design the park. However, Olmsted could not grant Bushnell's request since he was busily designing Central Park at the time. He recommended that the city hire Jacob Weidenmann, a Swiss-born landscape architect and botanist to design and build the park.

Weidenmann's plan of 1861 had a distinctive natural style, which featured smoothly sculpted contours and graceful paths leading to focal points like the meandering Park River. The plan included informal clusters of evergreen and deciduous trees, which screened the sites and sounds of the city, a departure from the formal New England square or central green.

As part of the plan, Weidenmann selected 157 varieties of Trees and shrubs from North America, Europe and eastern Asia to grace the park. A total of 1,100 individual specimens were planted, creating a canopy of green covering the Park. Over the years, many important architectural features, such as the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch (1886), the Capitol (1876), Corning Fountain (1899), the Carousel (1974) and the Performance Pavilion (1995) were added, while other scenic elements, such as the Park River and its several graceful bridges, were demolished in the 1940s. A major transformation in the park occurred at this time when the firm of Olmsted and Olmsted of Brookline, Mass., (Frederick Law Olmsted's son's firm), was retained to assist the city in redesigning the Park after the burial of the Park River was completed. Although changed, Bushnell Park today remains an oasis in the heart of the city where people from all walks of life come to renew their spirit and energy.

http://www.bushnellpark.org/Content/Park_History.asp

Bushnell Park's history should show that we are not alone in not taking care of unique urban public spaces.  However, it also serves as an example of how we can learn from our past mistakes and focus our energies on bringing these types of spaces back to life.  Today, Bushnell Park is a great space.  A little more love needs to be shown to Jacksonville's original "Central Park".  Imo, it may be the top overlooked/ignored issue regarding downtown revitalization.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

lewyn

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Hartford
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2008, 01:26:27 PM »
I went to college about 40 miles from Hartford, and I remember it being a total dump.  Its downtown made New Haven and Bridgeport (two other socially troubled Conn. cities) seem lively.

thelakelander

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Hartford
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2008, 01:45:37 PM »
Things have changed.  Just goes to show that anything is possible when a city's leaders can rally behind a vision.  Downtown New Haven is still pretty vibrant.  However, Bridgeport's is in serious trouble.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

apvbguy

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Hartford
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2008, 01:52:54 PM »
Things have changed.  Just goes to show that anything is possible when a city's leaders can rally behind a vision.  Downtown New Haven is still pretty vibrant.  However, Bridgeport's is in serious trouble.
A couple of things that keep hartford afloat is the presence of Yale and it is the state capitol. if not for those things the city would be down and out like the many old industrial based urban areas of the US
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thelakelander

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Hartford
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2008, 01:56:32 PM »
Yes, it appears the city found something to rally around to clean up its core.  If not for those things, depending on leadership and vision, they could have found something else to rally around.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Traveller

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Hartford
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2008, 02:17:42 PM »
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A couple of things that keep hartford afloat is the presence of Yale and it is the state capitol.

How exactly does Yale keep Hartford afloat?

apvbguy

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Hartford
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2008, 02:34:54 PM »
Quote
A couple of things that keep hartford afloat is the presence of Yale and it is the state capitol.

How exactly does Yale keep Hartford afloat?
how does UF keep gainesville afloat? think!
When you put clowns in charge, don't be surprised when a circus breaks out

never argue with an idiot, he'll drag you down to his level and clobber you with his experience

Traveller

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Hartford
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2008, 02:53:08 PM »
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how does UF keep gainesville afloat? think!

OK, I could understand the comparison if Yale were located in Hartford, but the campus is located 40 miles away in New Haven.

thelakelander

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Hartford
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2008, 02:53:20 PM »
Yale's main campus is in New Haven, not Hartford.  New Haven's downtown is certainly vibrant and Yale plays a huge role in that.  However, for Hartford, Yale's impact is probably the same as UF's impact on our downtown.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

apvbguy

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Hartford
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2008, 02:55:49 PM »
Yale's main campus is in New Haven, not Hartford.  New Haven's downtown is certainly vibrant and Yale plays a huge role in that.  However, for Hartford, Yale's impact is probably the same as UF's impact on our downtown.
maybe a mea culpa is in order
When you put clowns in charge, don't be surprised when a circus breaks out

never argue with an idiot, he'll drag you down to his level and clobber you with his experience

thelakelander

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Hartford
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2008, 02:58:01 PM »
No sweat.  It happens to all of us.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali