As is customary for early settlements, the settlers of Hartford created a large central common in which to congregate and hold meetings. The first meetinghouse was a very plain structure, measuring only 36 feet by 23 feet and had a thatched roof. More improved structures were subsequently built, but the area of town on which these buildings were located remained the same. Unknown are the exact boundaries of Meeting-House Yard. For the first one hundred years, the town (of Hartford) as a corporation, owned all the land in the plantation and there was no need to record exact measurements. However, it is thought to have been a ten-acre field in 1640.
In 1792, the Connecticut General Assembly set about to make sure the construction of a suitable state house was undertaken. Funding for the project came fromamong other sourcesa lottery in which citizens would purchase tickets at $5 each. It took two years for the lottery to raise enough funds for the building, generating an a common opinion at the time that there was a distinct lack of "the spirit of enterprise in lottery speculations." Nevertheless, the State House building was completed and its design is credited to Charles Bulfinch.