grid interrupted

Grid Interrupted: Disputed Territories

from Hartford GIS Open Data

from Hartford GIS Open Data

In 2011 following the October snowstorm, the Town of Windsor had Violet Street, Sunset Street, and West Service Road on its plow route. The 2013 snow operations map for Hartford said that the City is responsible for plowing all of Violet, Sunset, and Midland. Trash collection is partially done by Hartford, partially by Windsor. Children from a few houses on these streets would go into the Windsor Public Schools, namely Oliver Ellsworth and JFK.

The divisions are not made on a north or south side of Violet and Sunset, nor are they at intersections. Streams or ridges do not create any natural boundary. It does not seem to follow a treeline. Only one part of this section’s boundary is based on something organic, like where a stream meets a pond, but with the development of the highway in 1952, this is not even obvious. As for everything else, it appears that the boundary cuts through (more…)

Grid, Interrupted: Budding Flower Street

It is a dumping ground for snow or a makeshift parking lot on parade days, now that the barricades have rendered Flower Street a nothing of a place, a glorified driveway for the Hartford Courant on one end and the same for Aetna on the other.

The road was previously divided before, with the stretch between the Park River and Farmington Avenue known as Flower Street, and what was south of the water, known as Lawrence. Other times, Lawrence was only the continuation south of Capitol Avenue. There have been various bridges before the covering of the Park River, showing how the desire for connectivity has spanned centuries.

Currently, poor infrastructure decisions reign in the Capitol-to-Farmington area, with the highway, and now busway, dicing up neighborhoods. In the 19th century, this area did more than provide commuters with a speedy way in and out.

Defined in an 1858 city directory as spanning “from Little River, north to 13 Farmington,” Flower Street appeared on record. Queen Street, north of the railroad tracks, connected Flower and Broad. (more…)

Grid, Interrupted: The Bushnell Neighborhood

Today Real Hartford introduces a new series: Grid, Interrupted. This will be a glimpse at some of a street or block’s history.

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A recent piece in the Courant painted a kind of dreamer’s dream. It reported that the State of Connecticut’s laboratory building, pictured above, is being vacated and is potentially slated for demolition. The Bushnell is eying this spot for condominiums and apartments. Other desired changes to this area: retail and restaurants. A potential change: a parking garage on part of a surface lot and the possibility of a garage elsewhere with (maybe) housing and (maybe) a restaurant surrounding it.

Lovely, ain’t it?

But what the iQuilt supporters have skated around is obvious and simple: no neighborhood is going to exist until all those hideous and isolating surface lots are dealt with, seriously. (more…)