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Frog Hollow Historic District


Lucius Barbour House, ca. 1865, 130 Washington Street, Hartford, CT, National Register

Photo: Lucius Barbour House, ca. 1865, 130 Washington Street, Hartford, CT. Listed on National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Photographed by user:John Phelan, 2013, (own work) [cc-by-3.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed July, 2016.

The Frog Hollow Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 with a boundary increase listed in 1983. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from copies of the original nomination documents. [] Adaptation copyright © 2010, The Gombach Group.

Description

Frog Hollow takes its name from the marshy conditions once caused by the Park River, which forms the northern boundary of the Frog Hollow Historic 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 Frog Hollow Historic 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.

The Frog Hollow Historic District is densely built up with little vacant land. The buildings generally have the same mass and scale. They are three sometimes four stories high, whether they were built for housing, stores, or factories. On residential blocks the lots are usually about 40 by 140 feet in size with houses set 20 feet from the walk and about the same distance from one another. It is an urban scene with unity of mass and scale which gives a remarkable sense of place.

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.

As the area began to develop in mid-nineteenth century the first group of houses was built in the Greek Revival style on the south side of Grand Street between Oak Street and Hungerford Street. Here are five wooden houses, gable fronts towards the street forming pediments, built near a single brick farmhouse which may be the oldest building in the Frog Hollow Historic District. The Greek Revival structures have simple classical doorways with transoms and side lights which occupy one of the three bays of the front facades. Probably all identical at the time they were built, they have undergone varying degrees of alteration and modernization some with the addition of inappropriate siding.

Next in the time sequence came individual homes of brick in the Italianate style with brownstone lintels and sills, wide, overhanging roofs supported by consoles, and porches with Greek columns. A trend toward multiple-unit housing became evident with the construction of the double Italianates along Affleck Street between Park and Ward Streets, and multiple-family housing came to dominate the area. Occasional individual houses in wood were built toward the end of the century with the turrets and bays, shaped shingles and colored glass windows of the Queen Anne style, for example along Oak Street and on Russ Street between Babcock Street and Putnam Street.

The real building boom occurred toward the end of the century, when blocks of houses and apartments, schools, factories and churches were constructed. The universal use during these years of a single building material — red brick — gives cohesiveness to the district. Similar techniques were used in buildings of different types. For example, the tower of the Billings and Spencer office building on Russ Street has round-headed windows and brownstone string courses setting off its brickwork, just as does the tower of its neighbor, the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church at the corner of Broad Street.

The single structure which typifies Frog Hollow more than any other is the "perfect six." The perfect six is a multiple family dwelling, oblong in shape and three stories high, with two families living on each floor. Customarily, the entranceway leading to the two ground floor apartments and to the stairs for the upper floors is recessed in the center of the facade, often under a round arched opening. On either side of the entrance are often bold three-story bow fronts leading up to heavy applied molded cornices supported by consoles. Perfect sixes were often built two or three at a time, sometimes in rows of six or eight, and are to be found along Zion, York, Jefferson, Madison, Putnam, and Ward Streets, Park Terrace and Putnam Heights.

A popular variation on the perfect six was a version designed to house three families. Here the entrance is at one side, with a single bow on the facade, or perhaps a tier of three porches. The building in effect is half a perfect six and is familiarly known as a "three-decker." A row of eighteen of these three-deckers is located on the west side of Babcock Street between Russ and Park Streets.

Almost without exception the perfect sixes and three deckers throughout the Frog Hollow Historic District are lived in and are in good condition, sustaining a viability and level of maintenance above that of other types of housing in the district. This happy circumstance can perhaps be explained by the fact that the structures are sturdily built, commodious, and economical to operate and maintain.

Entirely different in concept, scale, style and originality are three rows of attached houses off Capitol Avenue along Columbia Street and Park Terrace, designed by Hartford architect George Keller. The first row of 12 single family units was put up on the west side of Columbia Street in 1888. Well received, it was followed by the row across the street in 1899 and by that on Park Terrace in 1895. These are modest homes but done professionally and designed cohesively in brick with large expanses of shingled roofs, wooden porches, and shed dormers. The row on the west side of Columbia Street is anchored at each end by a large round tower with conical roof straight from a medieval keep, while the roof line of the Park Terrace row consists of an arrangement of central paired towers flanked by dormers running out to end pavilions.

The two main arteries servicing the area, Capitol Avenue and Park Street, grew up as the area developed. The factory buildings started at the south-west corner and gradually stretched east to Broad Street between Capitol Avenue and the riverside railroad. Built and re-built as growth and changing conditions demanded, the factories now present a steady four story facade along the north side of Capitol Avenue and have now largely been remodelled into office space.

An additional important factory site is one block to the south in the block bounded by Broad, Russ, and Lawrence Streets. Here the Billings and Spencer Co. built its drop forging plant (later known as Arrow, Hart) with most of the construction coming in the 1890's. Its two and three story brick buildings, with office tower at the corner of Russ and Lawrence streets, are unchanged in appearance from the time they were built and thus present and unusual example of industrial buildings from three-quarters of a century ago. Presently vacant and for sale, the buildings are under study for possible rehabilitation into housing.

Park Street is far more lively. Its original single and two-family dwellings now have added store fronts for retail shops. Some three and four story commercial buildings were built along the street at the turn of the century, with the ground floors used for stores and the upper floors for offices and apartments. Several of these buildings are now in poor repair. A theater was built (now closed) as well as some twentieth century commercial buildings, of nondescript nature except for an Art Deco variety store. Two churches, Immaculate Conception Church and St. Anne's Church, were constructed during the building boom and continue to serve large congregations. On the whole the street is given over to shops, boutiques, cafes, bars, banks and general commercial activity of a neighborhood type.

Neighborhood development brought the need for schools and churches. In addition to the two churches mentioned above, one was built on Broad Street south of Park Street, and four were constructed along Russ Street at various corners. All save one were constructed in red brick. The Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church at the northeast corner of Russ and Broad Streets is typical. Built in 1891, its tower, already mentioned above for its similarity to the Billings and Spencer tower, has a tall, pyramidal spire over flared eaves with a gold cross finial. The church is cruciform in shape on high brownstone foundations under a roof of slate shingles. The fenestration is an interesting combination of a rose window on the west, a rose half window on the south, and round headed windows grouped under large blind arches. A drip stone over the entrance, like that over the office factory door, and splayed brick lintels complete the anonymous execution of this well designed church.

The neighborhood got its own public school in 1878 when the first section of the Lawrence Street School was constructed, fronting on Lawrence Street. It is a 54 by 92 foot, two-story, red brick structure of eight rooms in the Palladian mode with a central pedimented pavilion flanked by pilastered walls, with the windows set in recessed panels and capped by incised brownstone lintels. The architect is unknown. The next, middle section of the school, put up in 1895 to the designs of Hapgood and Hapgood of Hartford is Renaissance Revival in spirit under a broad overhanging roof, the whole dominated by multiple tall chimney stacks. The third and final section, fronting on Babcock Street, completed the school in 1905. It exhibits the round headed windows of the Romanesque Revival. In this one building is an array of three architectural styles important during the final quarter of the century. A new Lawrence School was built in the 1930's at the corner of Putnam and Sigourney Streets which is now called the Burns School. The original school was sold to St. Anne's Church which continues to operate it as a school.

Across Putnam Street from St. Anne's Church is St. Anne's rectory, formerly the dormitory for the Watkinson Juvenile Asylum and Farm School for neglected and abandoned boys. This 1884 work of George Keller brought to Hartford at an early date sophistication and simplicity of the prominent English architects Phillip Webb and Norman Shaw in an H-shaped plan of balanced asymmetry using the gabled roof over a brick first story, with shingles above. The Watkinson School's land abutted that of the Hartford Orphan Asylum, now occupied by Burns School, Both of these institutions moved to the western edge of Hartford at the turn of the century.

The neighborhood mix of factories, homes, stores, churches and schools is made up of individually modest resources which together constitute a classic turn-of-the-century working class neighborhood. Despite some intrusions and some decay the working class character of the neighborhood is remarkably well maintained at the present.

In sum, of approximately 904 buildings, only about three per cent are incompatible intrusions, almost all of them recent commercial buildings along Park Street. The earliest structures date from the Greek Revival period; about 24 houses were built around 1850 in the eastern side of the district off Park Street at Grand, Hungerford, Ward and Wolcott Streets. Filling in the blocks just south of Park and west to Affleck Street are some 53 simple Italianate structures from the years 1850 to 1869. In the next eleven years about 98 houses, mostly multiple-family, were built in the blocks to the west, north and south. The real building boom started about 1880, with some 290 buildings in 16 years; characteristic brick dwellings with wood trim filled in the southern and northern areas of the district. By 1909, about 247 perfect sixes and three-deckers brought development up to the edge of Pope Park. The most southern blocks and the rest of the undeveloped land were filled in with approximately 180 buildings between 1909 and 1929, Only about 40 buildings date from after 1930.

Significance

Frog Hollow is significant because it provides an unimpaired demonstration of the development of a nineteenth century, factory-based, urban neighborhood. The Frog Hollow Historic District is a rare remaining example of how simultaneous growth of industrial and residential facilities complemented each other as the process of urbanization progressed. While the great majority of individual buildings are not architecturally distinguished, they do provide excellent, well preserved examples of their types, and Hartford's best architects of the era are represented by several buildings in the district. In addition, technical developments in machine tool manufacture gave the area's factories an important place in the industry of the period.

The initial invasion of the farm land that was Frog Hollow was accomplished by the Sharps Rifle Co. soon after mid-century. The factory was built at the western border of the district on the Park River. The road leading from town to the factory was called Rifle Lane; the name was later changed to College Street and then Capitol Avenue. A century earlier, mills had located along the Park River because of the water power, but by the 1850's water power no longer was used and the presence of the main railroad line along the river was the prime attraction.

Weed Seeing Machine Co. started up in space leased from Sharps, and in the 1870's, when Sharps was sold to P.T. Barnum and the operation moved to Bridgeport, Weed bought the Sharps buildings. Later Weed manufactured the Columbia bicycles for the Col. A.A. Pope who soon took over the company and re-named it Pope Manufacturing Co. In time this enterprise failed and the buildings were sold after the turn of the century to a new but prospering firm already located along the Park River by the name of Pratt and Whitney. In 1872 Billings and Spencer started their drop forging plant a block away, from which enterprise Spencer soon withdrew to form Hartford Machine Screw Co. on Capitol Avenue.

Billings, Spencer, Pratt and Whitney all gained their early industrial training while working for Col. Samuel Colt in his Hartford Armory. Colt's great success was in part to the early introduction of rational production methods and utilization of the latest in efficient machinery. The experience gained at Colt's by these four men was a strong boost to the industrial development and prosperity of Frog Hollow.

The technology fostered by Colt was refined and developed along Capitol Avenue. Billings in his plant brought drop forging to an advanced state of precision which broadened the application of this technique into the area of dies and tools. Spencer carried forward the development of machine tools with his Hartford Machine Screw Co., and Hartford became a machine tool center of international importance with the growth of Pratt and Whitney. The contract which put Pratt and Whitney on their feet in Frog Hollow came in 1872-1874 from the government of Germany for production of machines for several German armories to manufacture a modern rifle which was used effectively in the Franco-Prussian War. Today Pratt and Whitney Aircraft continues as a major supplier to the African military in the manufacture of jet engines and associated equipment.

The present buildings date from the early 20th century but derive from their famous forebears. On the north side of Capitol Avenue running west from Broad Street to Capitol Avenue a building now used for State offices was built by Hart and Hegeman, who also took over the nearby Billings and Spencer factory. The multipurpose building from Lawrence to opposite Babcock was initially a unit in the Pratt and Whitney complex. The new office building of the Aetna Insurance Co. from Babcock almost to Putnam Street replaces Pope Manufacturing Co. facilities, and the complex further west running to opposite Columbia St. incorporates structures used originally in part by Pope Manufacturing Co. and in part by Hartford Machine Screw Co.

All of this industrial activity along Capitol Avenue was matched by neighborhood development in the blocks to the south. Streets were laid out and houses constructed by a variety of individual builders who bought farm land, often from the heirs of the old families. The Babcock farm provided the land for Babcock Street, and the Russ and Hungerford estates sold building lots on streets which carry these names.

In the case of George Mortson (1856-1919), however, the man for whom a street was named was active in its development. Mortson's area was the acreage made available when the Watkinson School moved to the edge of the city. "A large part of Putnam Heights was developed and built up by Mr. Mortson," according to his obituary in the Hartford Courant. Putnam Heights parallels Mortson Street; both streets are one block long and lined with perfect sixes built from 1906 to 1910. At the time of his death Mortson's estate was inventoried at $56,917, almost all in the form of more than a dozen second mortgages on residential properties. It seems appropriate that the developer of working class homes should himself be a man of modest means with his assets invested almost exclusively in the brick and mortar he knew so well.

The Columbia Street and Park Terrace row houses which the Weed Sewing Machine Company built across from their factory are another matter. This is the only corporate housing development in Frog Hollow. Alternate theories have been advanced to explain Weed's motivation. One theory has it that Weed provided housing near the plant as an attraction to help draw workers. Another view holds that as Weed already owned the land and since the sewing machine business was slow, the housing venture was simply an effort to develop some needed income. Whatever the motivation, the Weed Sewing Machine Company employed George Keller (1842-1935) at the height of his creativity and he produced three outstanding rows of houses. Although Weed soon sold them, the rows remained under collective ownership until well into the twentieth century.

The neighborhood churches, in addition to being worthy examples of the local bricklayers' art, demonstrate by their names the ethnic diversity of the people who lived nearby. The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Emmanuel and Our Savior's Danish Evangelical Lutheran Churches on Russ Street proclaim the origin of their communicants. On Park Street St. Anne's Church continues to conduct its services and its school in French. Nearby are located the Lithuanian-American Citizens Club and the Polish-American Club. In recent years Portuguese and Spanish speaking people have become important in the neighborhood.

All these ethnic cross currents are the expression in Hartford of the national policy encouraging immigration. As wave after wave of immigrants came to the city they sought factory jobs and settled in Frog Hollow, moving on in some cases to other parts of the city or suburbs only to be followed by others. Frog Hollow thus encapsulates an important phase of the social history of the era.

The Lawrence Street School, now St. Anne's, is a rare three-step demonstration of contemporary architectural styles. St. Anne's also has preserved the Watkinson School in an excellent state of repair. This school building, in addition to its importance architecturally as an early example of its style, is interesting as an artifact in the history of nineteenth century charities. David Watkinson (1778-1857), the donor by testament of the school, was an immigrant who became a highly successful merchant and entrepreneur. He felt it incumbent upon himself to provide for community benevolences. He did so with the Watkinson Library and the Watkinson School both of which actively survive today. In the twentieth century such individual efforts have been largely supplanted by foundation and government grants. In Watkinson's Frog Hollow building we have a reminder of an earlier approach to community services.

Frog Hollow in the 1890's was a beehive of activity. Industry was strong and growing. New housing was springing up on block after block of former farm land. Seven churches were built. The neighborhood school was expanded. The results of all this activity are in place today with few intrusions or additions. The area therefore presents a rare example of a classic turn-of-the-century working class neighborhood. The Frog Hollow Historic District preserves a sense place and a neighborhood feeling which provide unique insight into conditions of the era.

References

Commemorative Biographical Record of Hartford County, Connecticut, Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co., 1901.

Hartford City Atlases, 1869, 1880, 1896, 1909.

Hartford Courant, 22 November 1919.

Hartford Land Records, various entries.

Guy Hubbard, "Development of Machine Tools in. New England," American Machinist, 7/1923.

Jeffrey L. Mandler, "Industrialization in Hartford," unpubl. MS, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, 1977.

Robert E. Pawlowski and Christine Palm, "Frog Hollow, Neighborhood Discovery System," unpubl. MS, Human City Associates, Hartford, Connecticut, 1977.

J. Hammond Trumbull, ed., The Memorial History of Hartford County, Connecticut, Boston: Edward L. Osgood, 1886.

Technical Amendment

This technical amendment revises the period of significance of the Frog Hollow Historic District and its accompanying Frog Hollow Boundary Increase documentation. Accordingly, the period of significance is extended from 1910 to 1929, the beginning of the Great Depression.

The Frog Hollow section of Hartford experienced strong industrial growth in the late 19th and early 20 centuries, as part of the industrial revolution. Important factories for the production of rifles (Sharp's), machine tools (Pratt & Whitney), drop forgings (Billings & Spencer), job-specific machine manufacturing (Hartford Machine Screw), and other products of mechanical ingenuity were built and operated in Frog Hollow. Community support buildings, including, churches, housing, a commercial strip, brewery, and theater, followed the factories to provide essentials required for people living in the basically industrial environment.

The greatest period of growth came, roughly, between the times of the Civil War and World War I, in terms of new factories and new community support buildings. Thereafter, the growth rate slackened but did not stop, witness the construction of large working-class apartment houses at 929-943 Park Street and 316-326 Park Terrace in the early 1920s. The later buildings enriched the architectural heritage of the district, adding, in the case of the two cited buildings, Georgian Revival and Neo-Classical Revival designs to the earlier Victorian-era works, while continuing the materials, mass, setting, and purpose of the earlier buildings. Red brick continued to be the dominant building material, used for apartment houses, theaters, churches, and factories of size and mass sympathetic to one another in an urban setting.

After 1929, Frog Hollow ceased to grow and in due course deterioration set in.

Boundary Increase

The purpose of this boundary increase is to add to the Frog Hollow Historic District the square block bounded by Park Terrace on the north, Summit and Zion streets on the east, Hamilton Street on the south and Hillside Avenue on the west. The buildings in this block are similar to those in the district, but the block originally was omitted from the district. There are 53 structures in the block, almost all of them three stories high and almost all constructed in the first decade of the 20th century of brick in the Neo-Classical Revival style.

The dominant building type in the block is the 3-story, 6-family, brick structure known in Hartford as the Perfect Six. Often built with double bow fronts that give access to the 3-story wooden front porches, the buildings have wooden, 3-story rear porches with stairs, as well. The front roof-line cornice usually is sheet metal formed into moldings and dentil course to give a heavy, classical appearance, sometimes with raised swags in the frieze. Such buildings are found on Hamilton Street and on Park Terrace in the block; they are quite similar to buildings already in the district found nearby on Zion Street and Park Terrace.

While the dimensions of the Perfect Six varied, the apartment units of the interior tended to be small. Often each apartment consisted of only four rooms occupying only 800/900 square feet. The central entrance to the building led to a public stair hall. There were two doors to each unit from the hall. One, at the front of the hall, opened into the-front room of the apartment. The other, at the rear of the hall, opened into the third room. The layout was that of a railroad flat, because to get from the first room to the third room required passing through the second room.

The stair halls often had wainscotting of narrow, beaded, vertical boards and doorway surrounds of channeled trim with circle corner blocks. The stairs were straight runs from floor to floor, next to the central brick bearing wall, with railings of square spindles, handrails and newels. All the wood was stained a dark color. Within the units, the front room with its triple window of the bow often had the same trim as the hall, while the rest of the rooms might have flat trim. Often the kitchen had an embossed metal ceiling.

A variation of the Perfect Six is the Triple Decker, which is a 3-family version of the same structure, or half a Perfect Six, These are interspersed along the streetscape (there is a row of six on Summit Street), serving the same function of providing working class housing as the Perfect Six did. After World War II, four larger apartment buildings were constructed on Park Terrace, one on the corner of Hillside Avenue, one on the corner of Zion Street and two along the block in between. The building at the corner of Park Terrace and Hillside Avenue is unusual for having all three of its iron-and-glass marquises, supported by chains, still in place. These larger buildings continued to serve the same housing purpose.

Significance

Architecture

The 3-story, Neo-Classical Revival, brick structures in the square block of this boundary increase are excellent examples of a Hartford building type that successfully provided working-class housing in the Frog Hollow Historic District. Construction of such housing was essential to the district's development from the time of the Civil War to World War I as the city's principal factory and working class neighborhood.

The building materials of red brick and brownstone traditionally popular in Hartford during the 19th century were used in construction of these early 20th-century buildings. The brownstone foundation and sills and brick masonry walls had been used earlier in the many Italianate structures of the mid to late 19th century. In this block, classical revival influence displaced the Italianate style, primarily in the bold form and moldings of the cornices and in the smooth round columns of the front porches. Sheet-metal cornices proliferate, and account for much of the distinctive appearance of the buildings. Several of the structures on Park Terrace are unusual in the Frog Hollow Historic District, and in the city, for having decorative sheet-metal work at the roofs of their 1-story front porches, as well as at the roof lines.

The block was developed in the final phase of the Frog Hollow District's period of expansion. This was the last large-scale building program of Perfect Sixes in the Frog Hollow Historic District, and in the city. After World War I, factory employment in the district, having reached its peak, started to decline, and such housing as was built tended to incorporate more units per building and to be a less heavily detailed version of the Neo-Classical Revival style. The buildings at 268-270-272 and 316-324 Park Terrace belong to this later period.

Prior to construction of the existing buildings, the block had been open land. The 1880 city atlas shows that the north side of Hamilton Street was owned by William Hamilton, a farmer residing at 12 Zion Street, and the park area by George M. Bartholomew, president of the Charter Oak Life Insurance Co. The only structures standing were the two frame houses near the intersection of Summit and Zion streets.

The 1896 atlas reflects important changes. Not only is Pope Park in place, the gift to the city of Col. Albert A. Pope, but Pope also owned the land in the block that is the subject of this boundary increase and the land between Zion Street and Park Terrace running north to Park Street.[1] The estate of Albert A. Pope is shown as the owner of most of the block in the 1909 atlas, with the row of Triple Deckers in place on Zion Street owned by William McKone, a builder. The construction of two or three or half a dozen identical structures by builders was typical of such developments, as reflected by the 1917 atlas which lists a variety of owners. Thus, by the end of World War I the block was substantially complete, marking the final phase of new construction and development in the Frog Hollow Historic District.

Living in a Perfect Six

The origins of the Perfect Six as a building type and the reasons for its great popularity in Hartford during the period from the Civil War to World War I are obscure. No literature on the subject has come to hand, other than what is written in the Hartford Architecture Conservancy's Survey and in nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. No count of Perfect Sixes in Hartford has been made, but there were hundreds.

While ample evidence regarding the exteriors of the buildings is visually available, not so much is known about the interiors. The attached floor plan illustrates the point. Although drawn by an architect who was planning a rehabilitation, the front doors to the units were omitted in error, and the functions assigned to the rooms probably are correct only for the kitchens, where equipment makes determination of function a certainty. The room in front of the kitchen often had built-in cupboards and drawers, suggesting that it might have been the dining room. The front room, with the best trim and the fireplace (often only a non-functional fireplace mantel), probably was the best room or parlor. The second room, it seems likely, was a bedroom. Speculation suggests that the residents used the public hall for circulation from front to third rooms to avoid going through the second room. One bedroom is scarcely satisfactory for a family, leading to the speculation that beds were placed in other rooms as necessary.

There is a limited literature on Three Deckers, which can be regarded as half a Perfect Six, One published floor plan for a Three Decker appears in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.[2] It shows an apartment of 1095 square feet with a central hall, quite different from the Hartford Perfect Six and therefore not helpful.

Residents of the Boundary Increase block typically were factory workers. The 1915 city directory[3] shows that Fritz Gustafson lived at 18-20 Hamilton Street. He was employed as a grinder at Pratt and Whitney, a machine tool manufacturer located on Capital Avenue within the district. Other residents of this building were John A. Hanson, factory worker, A.C. Bartman, draftsman, and Claude N. Beidler, street railway motorman.

The roster at 76 Hamilton Street included James W. Radigan, fireman/engineer, Frederick W. Dixon, Jr., inspector, Henry F. Goff, assembler, Arthur W. Oberent, polisher, and Clarence F. Redfern, machinist. 294 Park Terrace housed Andrew Anderson, foreman, John G. Austrom, toolmaker, and John J. Davis, inspector at Hartford Rubber Works.

Often the buildings were constructed by builders or contractors who continued to own and rent them as income-producing properties. A felicitous and important accommodation prevailed with respect to rental rates. The rents were high enough to encourage the small-scale developers to construct the buildings but low enough so that working-class families could pay them. Because of this relationship, working-class housing that in the aggregate was quite substantial was provided at market rates without government planning, intervention or subsidy.

Endnotes

  1. Jacob Weidenmann, the landscape architect who designed Bushnell Park and Cedar Hill Cemetery, drew up a subdivision plan for Pope for all this land. What prevailed upon Pope to donate most of it to the city for a park instead of going ahead with the subdivision is unknown. That portion not donated to the city, including the square block of the boundary increase, was sold by his estate to others who built the buildings.
  2. Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, 1976, p.40.
  3. Geer's Hartford City Directory, Hartford: Elihu Geer Sons, 1915. Geer started publishing information on householders arranged geographically this year. 1915 is the first year for which such information is available.

Boundary Increase References

Atlas of the City of Hartford, Springfield, Massachusetts; L. J. Richards & Co., 1896.

Atlas of the City of Hartford, Springfield, Massachusetts: L. J. Richards & Co., 1909.

Atlas of the City of Hartford and West Hartford, Connecticut, New York: Sanborn Map Co., 1917.

City Atlas of Hartford, Connecticut, Philadelphia: G. M. Hopkins, 1880.

Geer's Hartford City Directory, Hartford: Elihu Geer Sons, 1915.

Kummer, Merle, E., Hartford Architecture, Volume Two; South Neighborhoods, Hartford: Hartford Architecture Conservancy, 1980.

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, Statewide Historic Preservation Report p-w-1, Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, 1976.

David F. Ransom and Marie E. Kummer, Hartford Architecture Conservancy, Frog Hollow, nomination document, 1977, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

†† David F. Ransom, Consultant and John F. A. Herzan, Connecticut Historical Commission, Frog Hollow Historic District Boundary Increase, nomination document, 1983, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Frog Hollow Historic District Map

Street Names
Affleck Street • Babcock Street • Broad Street • Capitol Avenue • Columbia Street • Grand Street • Hamilton Court • Hamilton Street • Hungerford Street • Jefferson Street • Lafayette Street • Lawrence Street • Madison Street • Mortson Street • Oak Street • Park Street • Park Terrace • Pope Park Drive • Putnam Heights • Putnam Street • Russ Street • Sigourney Street • Summit Street • Ward Street • Washington Street • York Street • Zion Street

**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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