The recent dedication of a brick duplex in Hartford's North End went largely unnoticed, and it shouldn't have.
The Christian Activities Council celebrated the restoration of a historic but badly deteriorated "Perfect Six" apartment building on Edgewood Street, one of two such structures the council has brought back to life on the street.
Following a model used several years ago in the restoration of Mortson Street and Putnam Heights, the houses were not restored to their original six apartments, but instead were made into side-by-side townhouses — a Perfect Two. Buyers of each townhouse get a rental unit on the first floor to help defray the mortgage, and living quarters on the second and third floors.
The Perfect Six is Hartford's signature style of residential architecture. If these century-old buildings can be saved and creatively put back on the market, Hartford has an appealing product.
The Edgewood Street homes are the 14th and 15th that have been either restored or built new in the North End by the council in recent years. Eight of the homes are meticulously restored Queen Anne-style houses on Deerfield Avenue, which has made Deerfield one of the loveliest streets in that part of the city.
Such small infill projects, especially those that restore architecturally significant buildings, should be a big part of Hartford's revival plans. The Christian Activities Council, which has invested $7 million in the North End neighborhoods, is leading the way.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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