When it opened in 1915, this Beaux-Art building replaced the Old State House
as the seat of City government, the third such site in the city's history.
It was designed by architects Brooks & Davis with Palmer & Hornboste and constructed of brick and faced with white Bethel white granite, with a copper and tile roof. All of the entrances are bronze. The 3-story central atrium is 25' wide by 150' long, and incorporates Corinthian columns and pilasters, balconies, balustrades, a glass roof that serves as a skylight, and is decorated with panels depicting scenes from Hartford's history.
The site was selected after consideration of several options. In the end, J. Pierpont Morgan deeded part of his land to the City and the remainder was purchased from Richard J. Kinsella, Thomas A. Smith and Angelina E. Conklin. Mayor Louis R. Cheney laid the cornerstone on July 9, 1912.
The facility was dedicated over three daysNovember 4, 5 and 6, 1915and included the presentation of a key by the architects to a member of the Municipal Building Commission, addresses, musical performances, reciting of prayers, a concert of the Governor's Foot Guard Band, an open inspection and other festivities.
In the late 1930s a "detective laboratory" was set up in the building to investigate tuberculosisa disease that was killing more youth between the ages of 10 and 19 than all other acute communicable diseases of the day combined.
In 1962, at the time of the Cold War, the building was designated Hartford's first Fallout Shelter in the city by then Civil Defense Director Thomas Shortell. There would be 190 such shelters around the city that were designated.
Hartford's Municipal Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.
Move your cursor over any of the images below for a larger view.