The intersection of Garden Street, Walnut Street and Homestead Avenue is a gateway into downtown Hartford. The rehabilitation of Liberty Gardens will help to revitalize this neighborhood and create a renewed sense of community pride. More importantly, it will house individual and families in need to help transform lives.
Originally built in 1911, and vacant for several years, this brick Neo-Classical Revival apartment building received an addition to the rear utilizing the additional site space provided from the combination of two sites. This allowed for a higher unit count and amenities, including a mix of two and three-bedroom units, a community room, and laundry room. The existing building went through a complete gut-rehabilitation of the interior and restoration of the exterior, including repair and repointing of the brick and brownstone, window replacement, and a new metal cornice. The new addition provides a new elevator and the entire building has been upgraded to be ADA and code compliant.
The biggest challenge this project had to overcome was the design of the new addition. When utilizing the state historic tax credits, projects must meet the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation, specifically standards 9 and 10, which relate to new additions. New additions must be differentiated from the old and respect the historic character of the building. The addition was designed to respect the massing, size, scale, and architectural features of the original building. Recognizing the importance of outward appearance, the north elevation at Liberty Street and the south elevation at Walnut Street were designed to be aesthetically pleasing. The design team was careful to create a design that did not detract from the historic building. Achieving harmony between old and new design requires thoughtfulness and attention to detail.