Hartford and the Connecticut River Valley Sights

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Old State House

Fodorite Reviews

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Old State House 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.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 800 Main St., Hartford, CT 06103 | Map It
  • Phone: 860/522–6766
  • Cost: $6
  • Hours: Sept.–June weekdays 10–5; July and Aug., Tues.–Sat. 10–5.
  • Website:
  • Location: Hartford
Updated: 12-23-2013

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    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.

    by bachslunch, 10/19/08
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    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.

    by benct, 3/25/08

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