One of the best museums in the entire country, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art houses some of the finest collections of European art. The museum walls are lined with Renaissance and Modern art, including work by Caravaggio, Lorrain, Picasso, Degas, Cézanne, van Dyck, Monet, Van Gogh, and more. One of the most outstanding collections at the museum is that of the Hudson River School and late 19th Century oil and watercolors from local artists. Open since 1842, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is the oldest public art museum in the United States.
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.
Take a walk by the lake, have a picnic, or ride on the vintage 1914 carousel that is housed in one of America's first municipal parks. Since the mid-1850s, Bushnell Park has offered citizens a comfortable place to unwind away from the hustle-and-bustle of downtown Hartford. On the registry of National Historic Landmarks since 1970, the famous Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch dedicated to those in the Civil War is one of the major highlights as well as the Horace Wells Monument and the Corning Fountain.
The Connecticut Science Center is where everyone can immerse themselves in forensics, physics, astronomy and geology all while having fun at the same time. The stunning 3D theater, educational laboratories and over 150 interactive exhibits are sure to keep the kids as well as the adults amused. Parts of the venue can be hired for children's birthday parties, seminars and luncheons where catering is provided and the center also allows for overnight educational visits too.
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 New Children's Museum is the fifth oldest children's museum in the country and was established in 1927. It provides interesting technology exhibits as well as natural ones like a wildlife sanctuary, butterfly house (seasonal) and a visit inside "Conny the Whale." The planetarium is another highlight and the programs include field trips, birthday parties, facility rentals and other outreach events with the community.
This cluster of museums, plus a library and a national memorial, on the corner of Chestnut Street and State Street comprises the Quadrangle. The George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum is the oldest of the group, and consists of collection of ancient art and artifacts from Greek and Roman civilizations. The Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts is where you can find the collection of work by European and American artists collected over time. Among the most notable collection in the permanent exhibit of the museum includes paintings of John Singleton Copley and Currier & Ives' lithograph works. The Springfield Science Museum is a fine center where you can learn about the physical and natural science and its exhibits display such things as life size models and remains of dinosaurs and animals from Savannah. Various antique automobiles and weapons that were part of the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, are displayed inside the Museum of Springfield History that opened to the public in 2009. The Quadrangle also houses the Springfield City Library, which was built in 1913, the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, and the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. Hours and prices vary for each museum and attraction.
The South Congregational Church is a place that welcomes all and does not discriminate. Included in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, this religious landmark has been serving the region since 1875.
Court Square is the government and cultural district of Springfield, MA. Among other important buildings, the city's Old First Church, juvenile court house, and a section of UMass Amherst are all located at Court Square. There is also a landscaped park with monuments, statues, brick walkways, and benches for public use. Court Square was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 2, 1974.
The Pan African Historical Museum USA, also called PAHMUSA, is an interesting museum that explores the history of African and African American cultures. Stroll through the exhibits and view beautiful modern and historical artwork and interesting artifacts. On Saturdays you can schedule an appointment to go on the African American Heritage Trail Tour. This informative walking tour starts at the museum and takes you around the city to learn about Springfield's role in the Underground Railroad.
The East Longmeadow region in Massachusetts is flanked by the elegant and opulent Elijah Burt House. The house was constructed and established in 1720. It provides a glimpse, back in the history. It allows a look into the small role that Massachusetts played in granting freedom to the slaves. The house has its aesthetics intact and is a finely structured building. It occupies great monumental significance and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Titanic Historical Society Museum in Indian Orchard features a collection of artifacts owned by the Titanic Historical Society. The artifacts and works were mainly donated to the society's president, Edward S. Kamuda by survivors of the tragedy. The range of memorabilia is wide, and includes the original blueprints of the ship's tank top, Madeleine Astor's life jacket, dinner menus, crew communications, furniture, and more. One exhibit also examines the role the Titanic has played in popular media since the 1950s, featuring sheet music and movie posters.