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Coltsville Historic District Gains U.S. Designation



October 15, 2008

The Coltsville Historic District in Hartford, where Samuel Colt made industrial history manufacturing firearms, has reached the end of its years-long quest to be included among the country's National Historic Landmarks.

On Tuesday, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne made it official, announcing that Coltsville is now officially designated a National Historic Landmark, a move that comes with tax and rehabilitation benefits and brings the site closer to becoming a National Park.

Kempthorne's approval follows a vote by the National Park Service Advisory Board in July and a positive recommendation in December by an advisory committee of the National Park Service.

Anchored by the blue, onion-domed Colt factory where the famous Colt guns were manufactured, Coltsville is historically significant for its role in the development of the American economy from 1855 to 1945, according to a press release from U.S. Department of the Interior.

"The Colt Factory was a vital component of Connecticut's industrial success and accordingly, it holds a prominent place in the history of our state and our nation," Sen. Christopher Dodd said in a press release.

Colt's firearms are also credited with winning the West and helping the Union triumph in the Civil War. Elizabeth Colt ran the business decades after her husband's death.

"I look forward to continuing to work with members of our community to secure the National Park status that the area deserves," Congressman John Larson, D-1st District, said.

The designation has taken years of effort by advocates and officials at Colt Gateway LLC — the developers looking to convert the area into apartments and commercial space. The status of the $120 million Colt Gateway conversion project, which has been stalled by a bankrupt lender, rising construction costs and a slumping economy, was unclear Tuesday night.

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 |
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