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Hartford and the Connecticut River Valley Sights

Old State House

  • 800 Main St. Map It
  • Government Building

Updated 12/23/2013

Fodor's Review

This Federal-style house with an elaborate cupola and roof balustrade was designed in the early 1700s by Charles Bulfinch, architect of the U.S. Capitol. It served as Connecticut's state capitol until a new building opened in 1879, then became Hartford's city hall until 1915. In the 1820 Senate Chamber, where everyone from Abraham Lincoln to George Bush has spoken, you can view a portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, and in the Courtroom you can find out about

the trial of the Amistad Africans in the very place where it was first held. In summer, enjoy concerts and a farmers' market; don't forget to stop by the Museum of Natural and Other Curiosities.

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Sight Information


800 Main St., Hartford, Connecticut, 06103, United States

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Sight Details:

  • $6
  • Sept.–June weekdays 10–5; July and Aug., Tues.–Sat. 10–5.

Updated 12/23/2013


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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating
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Oct 19, 2008

Not bad

Very attractive old building, akin to places like Boston's Faneuil Hall and Philadelphia's Independence Hall, if not quite as much a must as these others. Best parts are the two large upstairs rooms, the old senate chamber with Gilbert Stuart's full length George Washington portrait and the old city council chamber. The accompanying audio tour is interesting if exhaustive (pick and choose sections). The downstairs rooms are more interesting to architectural

buffs (there's nothing in them), and the little curiosities museum is forgettable.

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By benct

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Mar 25, 2008

Central and Historic

Located in downtown Hartford, the Old State House is a great historic landmark. The guided tour is wonderful and enriching. I learned many facts. Near a food court and restaurants.

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