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May 16, 2024

Trinity College buildings named to national historic registry

Trinity College The Trinity College campus in Hartford.

Several buildings on Trinity College’s Hartford campus have been named to the National Register of Historic Places, the school announced Thursday.

The National Park Service designated an 11.4-acre rectangular area anchored by “the Long Walk” area and Chapel as the Trinity College Long Walk Historic District with national importance.

Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney said the designation “is a profound acknowledgment of the enduring significance of our past and the importance of Trinity’s architecture to American history and society today.”

The register is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation because of their significance in American life, and is part of a federal program that supports public and private efforts to protect historic and archaeological assets, the school said.

College officials said they sought the designation while planning the school’s yearlong bicentennial celebration. 
Trinity’s featured architecture dates back to the late 19th century through the mid-20th century, the college said.

That time period followed the campus’s 1878 relocation from a hill in downtown Hartford that is now the site of the State Capitol, to its Summit Street home, school officials said.

The Long Walk encompasses a series of attached buildings laid out around three sides of the Main Quad and roughly forming the letter “c.” It is made up of adjacent buildings including Jarvis Hall, built in 1878; Northam Towers, 1883; and Seabury Hall, 1878; as well as later additions Williams Memorial Hall, 1914; Hamlin Hall, 1931; Cook Hall, 1931; Martin W. Clement Chemistry Laboratory, 1936; Goodwin-Woodward Hall, 1940; and Downes Hall, 1958.

The area “represents a precedent-setting design, not only for its collection of Gothic Revival-style craftsmanship, but also for its innovation in campus planning, through the original vision of a series of quadrangles and international collaboration,” said Jenny Schofield, Connecticut’s deputy state historic preservation officer who shepherded the process for the National Register. “Following its completion, high-quality Gothic Revival architecture also proliferated throughout Hartford.”

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