Old State House

Old State House, Hartford, drawn ...

The Old State House is one of the most historic buildings in downtown Hartford. It was used for sessions of the Connecticut General Assembly and the Connecticut Supreme Court in the 1800s. It also served as Hartford’s City Hall from 1878 until 1915.

The building was designed by the first native-born American architect, Charles Bulfinch, in 1796. Consisting of brick and local brownstone, the distinct architectural features, like the cupola and “Justice” figure, were added at later dates. The interior was restored by Hartford architects, Smith & Bassette, between 1918 and 1920.

By 1975, the city-owned Old State House had fallen into disrepair. With its budget drastically cut, Hartford was exploring all of its options—including knocking it down to create space for parking. Fortunately, citizens banded together, and funds were raised to spare the building. Artist Richard Welling sold prints of the OSH to raise revenue for the effort.

Today, Connecticut’s Old State House is a museum and civic center.

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