The “Butt Ugly Building” is rapidly being reduced to a pile of rubble and now another one of the city’s most prominent eyesores may soon be the target of the wrecking ball.
For well over a decade, the Capitol West building has stood abandoned on Myrtle Street, just west of Union Station, a five-story billboard for urban decay perched within virtual spitting distance of one of the busiest stretches of highway in the state.
On Tuesday, the Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., announced that it will be giving the City of Hartford $2 million to help purchase the Capitol West property, demolish the building and redevelop the site.
The $2 million contribution is part of The Hartford’s $7 million investment in the Asylum Hill neighborhood, which has been home to the insurance giant for over 90 years.
As part of this initiative, The Hartford will also provide substantial support for the youth of Asylum Hill through financial assistance to Junior Achievement, the West Middle School Afterschool Alliance (a collaboration between the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford), Asylum Hill Learning Zone and ConnectiKids, Hartford Public High School and Covenant Prep. It will also provide support for a Women’s Shelter run by the Village for Families and Children and work to promote homeownership in the area through support of the Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (NINA).
“Every day we provide millions of customers with the security and resources they need to achieve their goals and dreams for the future,” said The Hartford’s Chairman, President and CEO LiamMcGee. “We will bring the same focus to our investment in the greater Hartford community, especially to Asylum Hill. In collaboration with other Asylum Hill community leaders, we want to make a difference for the families that live here, the children who study and play here and for the people who work here.”
Following the announcement of The Hartford’s $7 million initiative, Mayor Pedro Segarra said, “Capitol West has stifled the growth and connection between Asylum Hill and adjacent neighborhoods, especially our central business district, for more than 10 years,” said Segarra. “Today, we are thankful that The Hartford has agreed to assist with funding a portion of the cost to demolish the building and help revitalize the Asylum Hill neighborhood and connect it to the tremendous progress throughout our city. Taking down this building and not seeing this eyesore from I-84 will be a symbolic step towards the positive and creative uses we could have in store for this land.”