Congress Street

The Congress Street Project revitalized a Hartford neighborhood which was thoroughly blighted and had been slated for demolition. The area contains an extraordinary number of Nineteenth Century commercial and residential buildings, but in 1978 the area was in extremely poor physical condition and the City of Hartford had condemned several blocks of the neighborhood. Smith Edwards Architects recognized the potential of these buildings for reuse and lobbied heavily to save them. When a developer expressed interest in the project, Smith Edwards Architects was retained to provide historic consultant and architectural services. The project included the exterior restoration and interior renovations to 52 of these buildings, phased over a ten-year period. This resulted in 150 units of housing, including subsidized flats, mid-income condominiums, and luxury-level town houses. In addition several commercial buildings were renovated which brought restaurants, shops, offices and a new vitality to the neighborhood.

Smith Edwards Architects was also hired to design the Street Improvement package for Congress Street. This included cobblestone paving, reproduction lighting, street furnishings, and planting.

The buildings in the neighborhood were knitted together through a series of walkways and “vest-pocket” parks and the design won a Public Places Award from the Connecticut Society of Architects in 1983.


Martin & Belair




Completed 1989

Congress Street Before & After

Congress Street Before & After