For anyone who has taken on a complete rehabilitation of a vacant and abandoned historic building (I write from experience) requires vision, patience, hard work, perseverance and …. money. It can be fun to uncover architectural elements which have been hidden but designing and creating new features with which to bring the building into the 21st Century is exciting. Maja and Aaron Gill have accomplished just such an astounding project on Capitol Avenue. Long dormant and neglected 389 Capitol was a building you passed while remarking how dilapidated its condition brought down the street. All too often thinking “someone should do something with it”. The Gills who were long on enthusiasm and saw nothing but opportunity to recreate a building which once housed six residential units and two retail spaces and have done just that. Assembling a construction team is no easy task for a renovation project which, among other financial resources, has utilized State Historic Tax Credits. Rehabilitation projects require constant management, endless decisions, creativity to figure out alternative construction approaches, and a robust sense of humor. If, as happened to the Gills, you live in the project add the headache of a constant battle with dust!
Yet what has emerged is a fine example of one of Hartford’s most iconic residential buildings the Perfect Six. Most recently the metal “garage doors” have been taken off the retail spaces and what is joining the streetscape is a lovely, elegant building painted green with red trim. Porches now grace the upper floors and soon the retail construction will present inviting space where commerce once again brings vitality to the street.
Now complete the building enters a period of leasing, the units are enticing with heated bathroom floors, exposed brick, modern kitchens and a component of energy efficiency which is remarkable. An urban residence to be sure and within a fifteen minute walk to downtown! As the building has emerged a whole new district is taking shape with new apartments, restaurants, a cocktail lounge and small food boutiques. Indeed a neighborhood renaissance in Hartford worthy of the dedication of a young couple’s investment in the urban fabric here. For more information: 860-337-4849 or firstname.lastname@example.org.