George Keller Historic District

Aerial view of the rhomboid shaped district showing the row houses; Source- Bing.
Historic/Common Name:
Frog Hollow, Frog Hollow National Register Historic District (Contained within)
Town:
Hartford »
Year of Establishment:
1994
Historic Designation:
LHD, NRHD, SR
District Authority:
Historic Property Commission/ Historic Preservation Commission
Nature of Authority:
Regulatory
District Character:
Urban Neighborhood
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
Yes
General description:

George Keller Historic District is an area containing Putnam Street, Columbia Street, one block of Park Terrace and Pope Park North. All together, the properties form a rhomboid shape in plan that defines the district. In size, the area stretches one city block north and south and two short blocks east and west. It is flanked by Capitol Avenue on the north and Russ Street on the south. This small neighborhood is part of the 35 block Frog Hollow National Register District. The district includes three rows of attached houses entirely different in concept, scale, style and originality. These are located off Capitol Avenue along Columbia Street and Park Terrace, designed by Hartford architect George Keller. The first row of 12 single family units was put up on the west side of Columbia Street in 1888. Well received, it was followed by the row across the street in 1899 and by that on Park Terrace in 1895. These are modest homes but done professionally and designed cohesively in brick with large expanses of shingled roofs, wooden porches, and shed dormers. The row on the west side of Columbia Street is anchored at each end by a large round tower with conical roof straight from a medieval keep, while the roof line of the Park Terrace row consists of an arrangement of central paired towers flanked by dormers running out to end pavilions. The district has two-fold significance. Here in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, manufacturing processes and inventions emerged that were important to Hartford, the United States of America and the world. Also, today with its building stock almost intact, the district is an example of how simultaneous growth of industrial, residential and commercial facilities complemented each other as urbanization progressed. [2 & NR]

Significance of the district:

Frog Hollow is significant because it provides an unimpaired demonstration of the development of a nineteenth century, factory-based, urban neighborhood. The district is a rare remaining example of how simultaneous growth of industrial and residential facilities complemented each other as the process of urbanization progressed. While the great majority of individual buildings are not architecturally distinguished, they do provide excellent, well preserved examples of their types, and Hartford's best architects of the era are represented by several buildings in the district. In addition, technical developments in machine tool manufacture gave the area's factories an important place in the industry of the period. Also, the 1884 work of George Keller brought to Hartford at an early date sophistication and simplicity of the prominent English architects Phillip Webb and Norman Shaw in an H-shaped plan of balanced asymmetry. [NR]

District Boundary:

The rhomboid shaped district includes properties along Putnam Street, Columbia Street, one block of Park Terrace and Pope Park North, as described in the district ordinance.

Features:

Buildings, Park

Use:

Residential, Recreation

Architectural Style:

Italianate, Classical Revival, Gothic Revival, East Lake, Stick Style, Colonial Revival, Shingle Style, Queen Anne

Era:
19th Century, 20th Century
Sources:

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.hartford.gov/.
[2] George Keller Historic District, Report of the Historic District Study Committee report, 1994, SHPO library, Hartford.
[3] Assessors information and Parcel IDs retrieved from http://assessor1.hartford.gov/default.htm.

[NR1] Ransom David F., and Kummer Marie E., Frog Hollow Historic District, National Park Service, 1977.

[NR2] Ransom David F. and Herzan John F.A., Frog Hollow Historic District Boundary Increase, National Park Service, 1983.

Notes:

The local historic district in contained within the much larger Frog Hollow National Register Historic District.

Links:
Map:

Map of the historic district retrieved from the Historic District Study Committee report, 1994, SHPO library, Hartford.

View PDF
Disclaimer:

The street addresses of the designated properties have been retrieved from the Historic District Study Committee report, 1994, SHPO library, Hartford. For further information on the district, the user is urged to contact the respective Historic District Commission.

Date of Compilation:
12/15/11
Compiler:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation