Many news stories about the Farmington Avenue Plan and interesting
developments in the neighborhood have appeared in local newspapers.
summary of news coverage appears below. The complete story is available
at the Hartford Public Library.
Worth More Than A Face Lift (Commentary
by Tom Condon)
Hartford Courant, July 24,
…. the city garnered $17 million in bond
funds for streetscape improvements on five major arterials, including
Farmington Avenue. What the city had in mind was a traditional
streetscape program, with repaving, new lights and the like.
The Farmington Avenue Alliance is thinking much bigger; it wants
a major redesign of the whole avenue.
So now it's negotiating over how much and where. City transportation
official Kevin Burnham said the city wants to do as much of the
plan as the money will allow, and that he thinks the alliance and
the city will soon reach an agreement.
I hope so, because there's momentum that shouldn't be wasted.
The best vote of confidence is private investment, and that's been
happening over the past few years, said alliance board member Rudy
Arnold. Several new restaurants, new office buildings and the new
Mark Twain Education Center bode well.
If I were Mayor Eddie Perez, I'd bend over backwards to implement
the whole plan. The more attractive and vibrant Farmington Avenue
is, the better chance the city has of retaining the large companies
that reside along it. If Farmington Avenue were all it could be,
would MassMutual have left? Might ING have taken the MassMutual
campus? (Come to think of it, why didn't they?)
There are things the city could do quickly - there are a few bad
litter problems on the avenue, for example - and the mayor should
take care of them. With Blue Back Square and Farmington Avenue
improvements coming in West Hartford, the corridor could be .....
a great linear neighborhood.
Ave. renaissance has $160 million and big growth plans
Hartford Business Journal –November 24, 2003
and property owners in the Farmington Avenue Business District
(FABD), long-range plans for the district are no longer the stuff
of paper dreams.
$160 million invested in major renovation and construction projects
in the FABD over the past few years, many of these projects are
now complete or nearing completion.
highlighted were: Mark Twain House Museum Center - $16.5 million
for a 3-story building with exhibits, café and meeting
rooms; Hartford Public High School - $85.8 million for renovations
and new construction; Colonial Theater area - $6.7 million conversion
of former theater into restaurant and other investments; Immanuel
Church Housing Corp.- $10.2 million for new assisted living facilities
and Children’s Theatre - $515,000 to renovate a carriage
house for black box theater.
Kane, executive director of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center said,
“The outlook is more optimistic than it was when I came
here five years ago.”
Opportunities: Activism drives West End development
Hartford Business Journal, March 4, 2002
believes in the West End so much he has three businesses there.
The third, a tea and coffee café called Tisane, opened
four months ago on Farmington Avenue. He is also president and
CEO of the RooBar and the Half Door; all three are located within
two-tenths of a mile from each other.
the cultural diversity that’s out here,” Gamble said.
“There are the artists, the gay crowd, the minorities, all
president of Hot Tomatoes, who will operate a Brazilian restaurant
at the former Colonial Theater site, agreed the appeal of the
West End is its diversity.
West End has a real, true personality,” Altmann said. “It
is such an eclectic place. It is (a place) of different colors
that makes it a beautiful tapestry.”
the Colonial Theater projects represent just a fraction of what’s
happening in the West End these days. Though diversity is part
of what makes this neighborhood attractive to businesses, its
residents’ grass-roots activism is the driving force behind
its economic development.
Design: Big Plans Unveiled For Low-Key Visitor Center At Twain House
The Hartford Courant, November 2001
Robert A.M. Stern displayed his latest plans Thursday for a new
visitor center at the Mark Twain House – a $14.6 million
project designed to enhance the tourist attraction while staying
in the background.
kept in simple and quiet,” Stern said of the 35,000 square-foot
building, which will be partially underground. “It’s
not like a big box.”
structure will include a lecture hall, a seminar and reading room
for scholars and others, two exhibition galleries, a restaurant,
a gift shop and a video room.
will change the face of the institution and everything it can
do for the city, the state and the country,” said John V.
Boyer, executive director of the Twain house.
Avenue Plan Revealed
The Hartford Courant, January 17, 2002
idyllic Farmington Avenue where motorists no longer used angry
hand gestures, pedestrians were not endangered, and business owners
never worried again about customers growling over the lack of
A $12 million
plan shows a kinder, slower and more unified Farmington Avenue
which supporters hope will lead to a better life for all three
explores traffic parking, transit and business patterns and was
greeted with smiles and congratulations from many of the nearly
125 people who crammed a dance studio at the Hartford Courant
Arts Center on Wednesday.
The Road to Being Functional? Group Presents Plans for Farmington
The Hartford Courant, July 26, 2001
vanished. Trees rose from the concrete. Entire blocks surfaced,
bursting with plazas, cafes and roundabouts.
It was just
on paper, but the painstaking detail of the plans for a new Farmington
Avenue that were aired Wednesday couldn’t help but fill
those who viewed them with a sense of destiny.
Public Spaces, a nonprofit group commissioned by the Farmington
Avenue Joint Committee, introduced the plans during two public
meetings at the St. Francis Care Center for Health Enhancement
on Woodland Street after studying traffic, parking and transit
patterns for six months.
presented two options and engaged in an extended discussion with
residents and representatives of business and development interests.