Web Sites, Documents and Articles >> Hartford Courant News Articles >

Wisdom Of Solomon

September 18, 2005

Park Street is looking good these days, and the Mi Casa Family Service and Educational Center near the corner of Broad Street is a highlight. Built in the 1930s and named for then-owner William Solomon, this three-story limestone beauty at 590-596 Park is one of Hartford's few remaining Art Deco-style structures.

Once home to an F.W. Woolworth's and a bowling alley, these days, the 11,000-square-foot Solomon Building buzzes with energy from Mi Casa's staff and the neighborhood people they serve. Happily, Mi Casa's renovation of the Solomon was as enlightened as its mission, which is to provide health, employment, housing and social services to Puerto Rican and Latino families in the South End and Frog Hollow neighborhoods.

Mi Casa's leaders wisely chose to renovate, rather than gut, the structure. They restored the limestone exterior as well as many interior features, such as a magnificent pressed-tin ceiling and original Deco light fixtures.

Mi Casa Executive Director Jorge Rivera said the Mi Casa board, working with strong input from neighborhood groups, decided to make the building as "green" as possible. To this end, Crosskey Architects of Hartford built a transom to allow light from the south to flood the interior and cut down on electricity use. And in the back, a large curvilinear window runs the full height of the building to shed light on all three floors.

Deputy Director Luis-Philipe Agrelot says, "Mi Casa needed to expand, and I guess we just fell in love with the design of this building. We're a hub for this community, and it seemed appropriate that we honor and preserve one of its resources."

In May, The Hartford Preservation Alliance gave Mi Casa its prestigious Jeffrey S. Czopor Preservation Award for its vision - a wise decision even Solomon would admire.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
Powered by Hartford Public Library  

Includes option to search related Hartford sites.

Advanced Search
Search Tips

Can't Find It? Have a Question?