Property Overview Inventory List District Map

The Old State House

LHD boundaries as described are approximate and subject to change. Consult the LHD Study Report on file with the relevant local district commission or municipal authority to verify district boundaries and whether a specific property, particularly one in proximity of a boundary line, is within the district. Also note that LHD boundaries may differ from those of State or National Register Districts.

East elevation of the Old State House (1970); Source- NRIS 66000878
Year of Establishment:
Property Authority:
Historic Property Commission/ Historic Preservation Commission

Map of the historic property retrieved the online GIS map.

View photo
Architectural Style:
18th Century

The three-story block building with tripartite open arcades in the pavilions of the east and west fronts, derives its overall form from the Liverpool Town Hall (1748-1755) designed by John Wood. The rustication, pavilions, and open arcade may be traced to the very influential work of Sir William Chambers, Somerset House, in The Strand. In the Hartford State House, we see the shell of a building which has hardly changed from the early nineteenth century, but it should be noted that changes were made early on to the original eighteenth century elevation. The wooden balustrade at the roofline was added in 1815 as a safety device in case firemen should have to work on the roof, and a major addition was made in 1825-1827, when the cupola was added, a copy of the one on New York's City Hall. In 1854, the open arcade on the ground floor which extended through the center of the building to connect the east and west pavilions, was enclosed at each end, forming one large room between. The building is constructed of brick and stone, with a low-hipped slate roof. Clearly, the east facade is the most elaborate front, where the Doric portico emphasizes the center of the building from which addresses were made to people gathered in the square further east of the State House. [NR]

Architecture, Political:The Hartford State House was designed by Charles Bulfinch in 1792, and constitutes the first of the series of great public buildings built by this noted architect. Followed by more ambitious works like the Massachusetts State House and The Court House, this is a prototype of the Adamesque-Federal style which acquires, through Bulfinch, a new level of dignity and bearing. The Hartford State House was the site of the famous Hartford Convention of 1814, one of the earliest debates concerning the sovereignty of the States versus the sovereignty of the nation. Although extensively reworked on the interior, the exterior of the Old State House has been little changed from its early nineteenth century appearance. Maintained in good condition as a museum for the City of Hartford, the Old State House has been regularly open to the public since 1921. [NR]

Assessors information retrieved from the website
Property information retrieved from the town website
[2] Old State House, Historic District - Historic Properties Study Committee Report, 1990, SHPO Library, Hartford.
GIS information retrieved from the website
[NR] Dillon James, The Old Hartford State House, National Register Nomination Number- 66000878 NRIS, National Park Service, 1966.

Date of Compilation:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation