play400
culture more vibrant

 
 
 
 
 
 

what we could become if we enhanced our centers, connected our assets, and told our story: a vibrant, historic, and cultural magnet​

play400: culture more vibrant
We have exceptional assets and strengths in arts and culture, reflecting the richness of our growing diversity. Our sports stadiums, art museums, music halls, and neighborhood cultural attractions are pulling in visitors from across the Northeast; downtown is emerging as a vibrant urban and residential hub. We should aspire to become the most accessible and vibrant cultural capital in New England. We must tell the complex stories of Hartford’s unique past, from pre-history to the Native American era to the past four centuries. And we must connect people across four seasons through sports, parks, arts, history, and nightlife. A vibrant cultural setting and diverse lifestyles are also essential to attracting and retaining talent and investment.

Areas of Focus: Arts/Culture, Lifestyle/Livability, Tourism/Sports

Recommendations & Actions

Arts & Culture

The Valley and Capital City score way above their size in arts and cultural assets. This is a legacy of Hartford’s period as one of the nation’s wealthiest cities, and a continuing tradition of foresighted and generous benefactors. These assets are a major attraction for visitors, new residents, talented workers, and investment, and contribute enormously to the regional economy.

Cultural institutions anchor communities, and the Valley and Capital City are held firmly by a host of institutions that produce a collective impact well beyond their individual programming. Strengthening cooperative action and initiative by arts and cultural venues will ensure continued strength in this sector, spur further investment in their surrounding communities and public environments, attract visitors and new companies to the region, and strengthen communal bonds across the valley.

PROJECT
PROJECTChrist Church Cathedral
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This downtown sacred space used a renovation of their sanctuary as an opportunity for adaptive reuse. It now doubles as a flexible event and performance space.
PROJECT
PROJECTParkville Market
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The food hall is a unique offering to the region, and includes a game area, outdoor dining area, and a tavern. It has become one of the most popular attractions for casual gatherings.
PROJECT
PROJECTDillon Stadium
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The restoration of the stadium in Coltsville has brought numerous events alongside Hartford Athletic games, their anchor attraction. The Athletic has developed quite a following.
PROJECT
PROJECTColtsville National Historical Park
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The National Park Service has been working with city partners to bring this authorized park to life. This park will tell the story of Hartford's industrial history in the Colt years.
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Lifestyle & Livability

The next generation will evaluate the liveliness of the urban core, its cultural, entertainment, and sports offerings (both spectator and participatory, such as hiking, biking and water sports), its housing choices, its accessibility to New York and Boston by train, its connections to the nation and world through Bradley Airport, and its encouragement of entrepreneurship and innovation.

It is essential to have appropriate housing choices (rental and for sale) to capitalize on the growing number of retirees looking to relocate to walkable, urban areas with cultural and educational amenities; develop policies and promote housing which allows for “aging in place”.

Ensure that plans include consideration to those contemplating starting a family. Prospective employees will weigh the long-term viability of the region for raising a family even if they are single at the time. This includes good schools, parks, public safety, natural assets such as hiking and water activities, and good hospitals and healthcare.

PROJECT
PROJECTCollinsville Axe Factory
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Rejuvenating the large industrial complexes that once provided the base of jobs for a community is a great way to grow a residential tax base and business activity.
PROJECT
PROJECTWindsor Locks Train Station
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The Windsor Locks station on the Hartford Line, also served by Amtrak, is being relocated to the center of town, which is expected to bring more housing and commercial activity.
PROJECT
PROJECTArrowhead Gateway Redevelopment
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Rebuilding on underutilized parcels in our older communities is low-hanging fruit for development of medium to high density housing and commercial tenants.
PROJECT
PROJECTHartline
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Adapting outdated and underutilized infrastructure to recreational and alternative transportation uses gives more residents of an area, bolstering its attractiveness.
PROJECT
PROJECTGoodwin University Development
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Not only is Goodwin growing its educational facilities, but it is also building mixed-use development in East Hartford, rehabilitating housing, and planning a marina.
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Sports & Tourism

Building on the growing success of a range of athletic and professional sports options in the Valley, both for spectators and participants. Bolster the activities of the Hartford Yard Goats, Hartford Athletic, New Britain Bees, Hartford Wolf Pack, and UConn Athletics.

An admirable Yankee reticence to boast also means a notable failure to tell our story – success stories in agriculture, food, the arts, innovative businesses, as well as new investments in transportation infrastructure and housing.

With funding to promote, we can expand cultural tourism both to the Capital City and the Connecticut River Valley as a whole.

A possible approach is to emphasize the region’s growing urban amenities and the convenient proximity of a host of activities in natural settings, a combination that most small towns and large cities cannot offer.

PROJECT
PROJECTColtsville National Historical Park
Read More
The National Park Service has been working with city partners to bring this authorized park to life. This park will tell the story of Hartford's industrial history in the Colt years.
PROJECT
PROJECTColt Park Renovations
Read More
The Coltsville neighborhood sports mecca is getting a great deal of investment to restore the fields and add amenities. The park is especially popular for baseball and soccer.
PROJECT
PROJECTDillon Stadium
Read More
The restoration of the stadium in Coltsville has brought numerous events alongside Hartford Athletic games, their anchor attraction. The Athletic has developed quite a following.
PROJECT
PROJECTParkville Market
Read More
The food hall is a unique offering to the region, and includes a game area, outdoor dining area, and a tavern. It has become one of the most popular attractions for casual gatherings.
Previous
Next

Resources:

The iQuilt Plan for Downtown Hartford (iQuilt Partnership 2011)

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