City acquires abandoned building, demolition next step
The Hartford Courant
November 19, 2011
It is the aesthetic equivalent of a sharp stick in the eye, and thankfully it will soon be gone. Under a court-approved settlement announced Thursday, Hartford will acquire the long-abandoned Capitol West building on Myrtle Street next to I-84 West on the edge of downtown for $1.7 million.
The next step will be to put it out of its misery. David Panagore, the city's chief operating officer, said it could cost another $2.5 million and take up to seven months to demolish the building, clean the site and landscape it. Fortuitously, the Hartford Financial Services Group, whose campus is just up the hill from the sad structure, announced last year that it would contribute $2 million toward the city's efforts to buy and tear down Capitol West, as part of a larger commitment to the Asylum Hill neighborhood.
The building, with a large hole cut in it and the windows missing, had become a world-class eyesore, a terrible advertisement for Hartford to the occupants of the 80,000-plus cars that pass it each day.
Now the city's attention must turn to planning. The site is a parking lot away from Union Station, focal point of three transportation projects in the pipeline: the Hartford-New Britain Busway, New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail and the Hub of Hartford project, which envisions replacing the aging elevated portion of I-84 with a surface boulevard. Mr. Panagore said the city has applied for two major federal grants for this work.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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