Historic rescue: Stately Victorian school building to become cultural center
Hartford Courant Editorial
September 16, 2010
The oldest surviving school building in Hartford is about to become part of the city's newest cultural district.
The handsome brick Victorian-era Northwest School building on Albany Avenue has been saved and named to the National Register of Historic Places. It will become the home of the John E. Rogers African American Cultural Center.
The 1885 building becomes another focal point of a growing cultural campus in the Upper Albany area, a cluster that includes the Artists Collective, the Albany Branch Library and the University of Hartford's Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center, as well as Keney Park and the Martin Luther King and Lewis Fox schools.
The synergy among these institutions, in combination with the avenue's strong small-business community and new housing opportunities, will help make this the desirable urban neighborhood it ought to be.
This small gem of a building could well have been lost, as so many others have been. Credit the Hartford Preservation Alliance, the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, the state's Office of Culture and Tourism and an energetic group of volunteers for several years of work to protect the building with the National Register listing.
As Laura Knott Twine, executive director of the preservation alliance, put it: "Hooray!"
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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