Historic Hartford The Preservation Alliance has become a force for history
Hartford Courant Editorial
April 06, 2011
Not too long ago, historic buildings were torn down willy-nilly in Hartford. That, thankfully, is no longer the case, and a major reason is the emergence of the Hartford Preservation Alliance under executive director Laura Knott-Twine.
When Ms. Knott-Twine arrived in 2005, she was the sole staff member. Now there are four, and office space in the former Underwood Typewriter factory at 56 Arbor St. — a wonderfully successful historic restoration itself — has doubled.
The alliance was recently honored by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation for its work on behalf of Hartford's historic preservation ordinance, which now protects more than 5,500 buildings. The alliance has played major roles in the preservation of such buildings as the former gold-leafing factory M. Swift & Sons, the graceful 410 Asylum St., Sam Colt's factory village Coltsville and many others.
The city council has gone to the alliance to ask its help in listing properties on the National Register of Historic Places.
Despite the loss of many treasures, Hartford still possesses a trove of historic buildings. Saving and reusing them is one of the keys to the city's revival. In a low-key, collaborative way, Ms. Knott-Twine and her staff are getting the job done.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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