Final Renovation Of Historic Amos Bull House Breaks Ground
By CHLOE MILLER
July 10, 2013
HARTFORD — The final phase of a $2.4 million restoration of the historic Amos Bull House will begin with a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday.
The restoration project, which began in 2008, includes mechanical and structural upgrades and cosmetic improvements to the house, built in 1789. The renovations will create a community education space, permanent offices for Connecticut Landmarks administration, and a climate-controlled archive storage facility in the connecting Butler-McCook Carriage House. The final phase, with a $1.3 million construction budget, is expected to take one year to complete.
Connecticut Landmarks, which is overseeing the renovations, is committed to inspiring interest and education about American history through preservation of historic properties and collections. Its Hartford Campus Project, which occupies a city block between Main Street and South Prospect Street at Charter Oak Avenue in downtown Hartford, includes the Butler-McCook House and garden, Main Street History Center and Aetna Gallery.
The renovation of the Bull House will incorporate a number of sustainable preservation practices, including the expansion of a closed-loop geothermal heating and ventilation system, which has operated in the history center and gallery since 2010.
The Amos Bull House originally operated as a dry goods and hardware store. It is the oldest brick building in Hartford and is celebrated for its architectural detailing, gambrel-style roof, and red brick exterior. The house was in danger of demolition during urban renewal efforts in 1968, but after a successful community campaign to save the Bull House, it was the first building in Connecticut to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was moved to its current location adjacent to the Butler-McCook House in downtown Hartford and served as the headquarters of the state Historical Commission until 2007. It was then purchased by Connecticut Landmarks and renovations were planned to develop a multi-functional space.
Funds were raised through foundation and government grants and private donations. A fundraising event held last month, which honored Susan Kelly, outgoing chairwoman of the Connecticut Landmarks board of directors, raised over $100,000.
Immediately following Thursday's groundbreaking ceremony at 4 p.m., Connecticut Landmarks will host a cocktail hour at the Butler-McCook House and garden from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The event is free, with a suggested food and drink donation, and will feature an art exhibit opening and live music by the XY Eli Band.
Cathy Malloy, wife of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra will attend.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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