For several years the signature building on the corner of Farmington Avenue and Marshall Street has been abandoned. According to the assessor’s records, it was purchased by Farmington Hari LLC in August 2009. Since then any remaining tenants were evicted and according to rumors the building was to have been demolished. Unfortunately for the buyers, 293 is a contributing building in the Asylum Hill (Laurel & Marshall) Historic District. Since that time, although maintained, no activity has been evident.
The Farmington Avenue Alliance, concerned about the future of Farmington Avenue, has worked for a decade to prevent the evident decline of a major artery linking Hartford to points west. Plans call for a holistic improvement of the corridor from Asylum Hill to the West End with a comprehensive set of activities aimed at stimulating the historic quality of the Avenue. What cannot be lost in the great work is the preservation of key properties which make up the community fabric. For Asylum Hill the historic building at 293 is critical to maintaining the streetscape of residences. It was developed to mimic the townhouses of Columbia Street. For Asylum Hill to restore such residences would be a distinct and important redevelopment activity.
What to do:
- Ask the Hartford Preservation Alliance to seek contact with the current owners to determine what they have planned for the use of the property
- Focus a joint task force of Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association (suggest Transportation & Economic Development Committee) and the Farmington Avenue Alliance to discuss potential reuse of the property
- Seek an arsenal of potential financial resources which the owner might utilize in a redevelopment/reuse strategy.
- Engage the City to become an ally in the preservation of this signature property.
- Raise the profile of preserving keystone properties along Farmington Avenue