In 2015 The Parkville Neighborhood was approved and then ratified itself as a national historic district. This represented several years of effort to protect and preserve a community built around one of Hartford’s industrial centers. Concerns for having someone make decisions on behalf of property owners was eased through community meetings and individual discussions. By the time the neighborhoods voted to become a district, they had realized that preserving the community in which they lived by protecting their historic fabric far outweighed their caution.
During the process the building at 84 Sisson Avenue, once home to The Phoenix Club, literally disappeared overnight to become a parking lot. Further the community had rallied for several years to prevent the installation of a new gas station. With the protections provided by the preservation requirements of an historic district the neighborhood now has a new, strong ally to oppose any changes to the face of the streets they call home. Available financial resources brought to renovation and preservation projects is a most potent argument as well.
In October the first request for a renovation project in Parkville went before the Hartford Historic Preservation Commission. The property owner at 94 New Park Avenue was referred to the Preservation Alliance for technical assistance on exterior design and materials to rejuvenate a terrific three-family property. Staff made suggestions and offered advice to the owner of how to improve the façade of the home while keeping an eye on the budget. New windows, porches, siding and steps were considered. A very workable project was crafted with the owner and once in front of the Historic Commission was approved unanimously.
In talking with the owner we find that he was totally comfortable with the process through which he gained a building permit. He feels that the property is a fine investment within a neighborhood he feels is stable and solid. With the attractive renovation features he will be able to attract renters, solidify his investment and improve the value of his property.
With the addition of the Parkville Historic District, Hartford now has 5,322 properties listed on the Hartford, State and National Registers of Historic Places. The Preservation Alliance is the resource that property owners can turn to, to gain advice to preserve and protect their investment without breaking the bank. Our job is not to be the organization of “no” but one of “here’s how we will make it work”. Happy to learn your thoughts.