Hartford, U.S. ink Coltsville pact

BY Gregory Seay

PHOTO | Library of Congress
PHOTO | Library of Congress
A historical sketching of Colt Manufacturing in 1857.
The city of Hartford says it has satisfied one of three conditions of its pact with the Interior Department, moving the former Colt gun armory and surroundings closer to formal designation as a national park.
Mayor Luke Bronin's office announced Tuesday the signing of a five-year general agreement between the city, the federal Interior Department and that agency's National Park Service.

The collection of buildings and neighborhood in the city's South End, known as Coltsville, where Connecticut manufacturer Samuel Colt assembled his eponymous handguns and housed his workers, were designated as Coltsville National Park in Dec. 2014.

The the Interior Department is in discussions with Colt Gateway LLC to acquire by donation space in the East Armory which would include facilities for park administration and visitor services, City Hall spokesman Brett Broesder said.

On Oct. 24, the city council authorized Bronin to ink the Interior Department pact that stipulates that both parties work together for the preservation and redevelopment of the National Historical Park and the neighborhood; develop a pattern of collaboration and communication; develop projects of mutual benefit leading to the conservation of historic resources; and creatively research funding opportunities for projects.

"This is a big day for Hartford, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the National Park Service to make the vision of this new National Park a reality," Bronin said in a statement. "I believe there's huge potential for Colstville National Historic Park to draw visitors from across the country, and to act as a gateway to our city, which is so rich in cultural and historic assets."

CORRECTION: A previous version incorrectly reported that all conditions for formally designating Coltsville a national park had been met. A City Hall spokesman later amended that to say just one has been satisfied.