The area of the city known as "SoDo" lies primarily in the city center, with a bit of an overlap into the South Green neighborhood. It largely remains intact, with human-scale buildings and landmarks from the past. One of the more striking buildings in SoDo is The Linden, built in 1891 for Frank Brown and James Thomson, principals in Brown, Thomson & Company. With its ornate cupola, the structure built as an apartment housedominates the landscape at the corner of Main Street and Capitol Avenue.
Around the corner from The Linden on Buckingham Street is a row of brownstones. These were built in two stagesthe four houses on the right were built in 1870 and the three houses on the left were built in 1875. This span of townhouses is the only complete brownstone row still standing in Hartford. Whitman Court and Capitol Avenue also provide elegrant housing on a small scale. While such residential structures are scarce, there's no shortage of housing downtown. Hartford 21, a highrise built in 2006, offers luxury apartments located adjacent to the XL Center of Asylum Street. Bushnell Tower offers condominiums overlooking Bushnell Park and was designed by reknowned architect I.M. Pei and constructed in 1969. Another parkside luxury apartment complex sits at 55 Trumbull Street.
On the other end of the spectrum, The Hollander Building, built in 1926 and recently renovated as a LEED-Certified green residential building, offers 70 units for low-income working families. With commercial space on the ground floor and a 'green' roof, it is viewed as part of downtown's revitalization.
With the arrival of Capitol Community College and prospect of UConn's Greater Hartford campus moving to downtown, demand for student housing has increased and is being made available. Studio, loft and 1- and 2-bedroom apartments are to be found in a variety of locations downtown. There is a drive to convert smaller buidings into apartments which would increase the housing stock. Amenities such as grocery stores, dry cleaners, and services catering to a residential audience are still quite scarce but are on the upswing.
Restaurants are abundant and nightlife is to be found in the area between the XL Center and Union Place, the train station. The Star Shuttle, Connecticut Transit's free downtown circulator bus, operates on a regular schedule Monday through Friday and during special events.
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