NEWS&VIEWS by Jacqueline Bennett

Posts from the “architecture” Category

A Facelift for Connecticut’s Old State House

Posted on August 14, 2015

Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett   The Old State House stands in beauty and dignity on the west side of the Connecticut River, the “high land side” in Hartford, Connecticut. Declared a National Landmark in 1960, it remains a constant, greeting visitors to the capital city.   Blue scaffolding currently engulfs this historic building as it undergoes exterior renovation and roof repair. However, the building is open for touring.   Construction of the original meeting house dates back to 1636, one year after the first settlers arrived in what would become a colony which quickly outgrew that earliest structure as noted on the Old State House website. Following a fire in 1792, it was rebuilt. Visit to view a full timeline.…

Scarves on Windham “Frog Bridge” – Sign of the Holiday Season in Northeastern Connecticut

Posted on December 17, 2014

Article & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett   A distinctive splash of red twirled around four gigantic green frog sculptures, perched atop spools of thread on the “Frog Bridge” has become a whimsical sign of the holiday season in northeastern Connecticut’s Windham county. Upclose, at a distance, front view or rear view, one might say the frogs in scarves visual – jumps out – to greet travelers.   Flurries playfully accented the 11- foot-tall bronze statues following a recent, early December snowfall, likely among the first of many snowflakes that will descend throughout the coming winter. The bright red scarves clearly bring holiday warmth to these creatures from the deep.     Four frogs squat, one perched on each corner of the bridge spanning the Willimantic River and Windham rail line from Pleasant Street (Route…

Gillette Castle Marks a 100th Anniversary in Holiday Style

Posted on December 15, 2014

Article & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett   Decorated in holiday style Gillette Castle in East Haddam, Connecticut is marking the 100th anniversary of its construction. Stone formations border a pathway to the castle where pine sprigs adorn exterior sections of the 24-room “medieval-looking” mansion. Actor, director and playwright William Hooker Gillette had it built, beginning in 1914. It took five years to complete this exquisite structure on his 184-acre estate atop a hill know as the “Seven Sisters”, overlooking the picturesque Connecticut River.     According to guides at the castle during a December 14 visit, Gillette designed the castle and influenced most every aspect its of contents. Its features include “near vertical stairways”, built-in couches, intricately carved wooden latches on some 47 doors – of which no two carvings are…

Hartford Times Building to Become Extended UCONN Urban Campus in Downtown Hartford, CT

Posted on June 19, 2014

Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb    The Hartford Times was an afternoon daily that served the city of Hartford, Connecticut and beyond for some 150 years, earliest publication dates vary from 1817 to 1826, through to 1976. Although the once grand newspaper ceased publication thirty-eight years ago, the marvelous building with its tall pillars that housed it has remained standing.   Soon it will become UConn Hartford, an urban extension of the University of Connecticut that has its main campus in Storrs.   An agreement has been reached among the university, the Capital Region Development Authority and the state Office of Policy & Management that will keep the “iconic facade” and add a new attached five-story building, according to UConn Today (…

Restoration of Travelers Tower – Iconic New England Skyscraper

Posted on April 29, 2014

Write-Up & Photo by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb Once the tallest building in New England, the Travelers Tower continues to dominant the skyline of Hartford, Connecticut. These days, however, what catches one’s eye is elaborate scaffolding that ensconses the tower, the subject of a $30 million restoration project. Designed by Donn Barber, the thirty-four story, 230,000 square foot neoclassical style skyscraper was built in 1907, as noted by on-line architectural sources. Its crowning glory wasn’t added until more than a decade later, a 527  foot tower featuring a pyramid-like roof, complete with a cupola where a beacon is reportedly housed. Finished in 1919, the addition earned Travelers Tower bragging rights at the time as New England’s tallest building and the seventh tallest building worldwide. Today…