Monday, November 06, 2006

Boring Postcards

[posted by Callimachus]

The Connecticut state capitol building, erected in 1879, overlooks Hartford's 41-acre Bushnell Memorial Park. The capitol is less interesting than the park, from a historical point of view. Originally known as "City Park" (till it was renamed for the Rev. Horace Bushnell), the park dates to 1854, the first era of urban parks in America. City Park was the first park in the nation to be conceived, built and paid for by its citizens through popular votes. The great landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, a Hartford native, directed the layout of the park, which unfortunately was much impaired by a 1936 redesign after severe flooding.

The Corning Fountain, in the foreground, was erected in 1899 and presented by John Corning (of Corning Glass Works fame), "as a tribute to his father, a Hartford businessman who operated a grist mill on the site."

Designed by James Massey Rhind of New York, the sculpture uses a Native American theme, rather than a classical one, which would have been more typical of the period. The monument is made of marble and stone, 30 feet tall, with the figure of a stag (or "Hart" for Hartford) surrounded by Saukiog Indians, the city's first inhabitants.

See? A whole post without mentioning the election. Ack! I just said "election." Ack! I said it again! ....