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Built as a replacement for the Gothic-style church that burned down in 1956, the majestically modern Cathedral of St. Joseph built in was built in 1962. The cathedral is beautifully adorned with stained glass, elegant bronze bells and ceramic-titled murals that surround the altar of this impressive edifice.
Since the American Revolution, Connecticut has had three Capitols; built in 1878, this angelic-white structure is the state's third and last one. Designed by renowned American architect Richard M. Upjohn, the gold-domed building was erected in the Victorian Eastlake Movement-style and constructed using marble sourced from three different East Coast states. The iconic structure's stunning main facade is embellished with a series of carefully-crafted statues that bear likenesses to some of the most influential politicians and historic citizens to have come out of Connecticut. The capitol building is currently home to the state senate and the house of representatives, while also maintaining the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state.
This home on Farmington Avenue is where Mark Twain lived from 1874 until he moved to Europe (due to bankruptcy) in 1891. It is also the place where Twain wrote some of his most famous works, such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The estate is in constant renovation and the curating team is always looking to restore it as it was when Twain lived here. Nonetheless, the adjacent Museum offers an exclusive documentary about the writer by director Ken Burns and the home was one of the first 100 architectural sites to be registered as a National Historic Landmark in the United States.
Built in 1752, the Joseph Webb House is a historic Georgian-style house in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Joseph Webb, a renowned and successful merchant built this home post his marriage to Mehitabel Nott in 1749. It was the venue of a vital five-day military conference that was held during the American Revolutionary War. The house has an enormous history. After Joseph sold it in 1790, it was purchased by a group of entrepreneurs to start off a library. Further, it underwent extensive refurbishment and Wallace Nutting installed painted murals to open it as a sales area and studio. A visit is a great deal of a historic experience.
Built in 1876 by William Goodspeed, the Goodspeed Opera House is a gem of American musical theater. Overlooking the Connecticut River, this majestic building is now owned by Goodspeed Musicals and is home to award-winning shows and performances. It is the cradle of world famous musicals like Man of La Mancha and Annie. After its founder's death it became decrepit and was almost at the brink of destruction, thankfully, Goodspeed Musicals was formed to save this historic structure in 1959. It has since been restored to its former glory and opened after four years of intensive restoration in 1963.
Stage actor William Gillette, known for playing Sherlock Holmes on Broadway for several years, had this unique mansion built atop one of the Seven Sisters hills alongside the Connecticut River in East Haddam. Located southeast of Hartford, the peculiar castle is primarily made of limestone, wood and other utilitarian materials. The interior retains details from the mind of Gillette, such as wooden light-switches, stone columns and medieval doors. Guests can only visit the castle from May to October, but the 115-acre state park is open year-round and it highlights other eclectic areas. While outside, don't forget to visit the railroad station, vegetable cellar and the goldfish pond!. Tour around the park grounds is free, while a tour of the castle is chargeable.
Hartford Stage is one of the leading resident theaters, known internationally for entertaining and enlightening audiences with a wide range of the best world drama, from classics to provocative new plays, musicals and neglected works from the past. The theater has earned many distinguished awards and it maintains a strong commitment to private/public partnerships, educational programs and humanities initiatives within the the community.
One of the nation's oldest state houses, Hartford's Old State House dates back to 1796. A Federal-style building designed by famed architect Charles Bulfinch, the Old State House has been restored on numerous occasions and has been on the list of National Historic Landmarks since 1966. The state house bears an assemblage of architectural influences, where a Federal Styled-facade gives way to a Victorian chamber and a courtroom awash in Colonial Revival style. Home to the Museum of Natural and Other Curiosities, this regal, brick-hued edifice overlooks a pristine lawn, and lords over the sleek cityscape of Hartford. Even though it has not served the Connecticut government since the construction of the new State Capitol building, the Old State House is a stirring canopy lending insights into the history of the state.
The University of Connecticut was founded in 1881, originally as an agricultural college. Today, its location about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Hartford and the school prides itself in its their high academic standards as well as its basketball teams.. The university's architecture is reminiscent of early 20th Century colleges, with gorgeous Gothic buildings alongside the modern facilities. UConn is one of New England's top-ranked public universities and is worth the trip to the serene countryside for a basketball game, to see a show at the Jorgensen Center, or some sightseeing in fall when the leaves change.
This majestic building was designed by Donn Barber, architect behind the Connecticut State Library and Supreme Court as well as other landmarks around Hartford. It is the second highest edifice in the state, and with 34 floors, it offers beautiful views of Hartford all the way south to the Connecticut River Valley. Today it serves as one of the many headquarters of the Travelers Insurance Company. The observation deck is on the 27th floor, however it is not open to the general public; visiting is made by appointment only.
While this sight might look like something you would see on Ghost Hunters, the Old Newgate Prison is the ruins of the prison that once stood here back in the early 19th Century. A tour of the grounds informs guests of early American prison reform and models of prison architecture. A must-see for history buffs and those interested in local lore.