With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hartford Kewl Buildings: The Flat Iron Building

If New York has it's flat iron building, why can't Hartford? Located in one of our favorite areas of town between Ann and High Street, right after Albany Ave and Main Street split, this interesting building currently sits vacant and boarded up. The building doesn't seem to have any significant history, all we were able to uncover is that it was built for any Italian grocery store owner.

Around the flat iron building there is lots of kewl stuff. The Keney Memorial Clock Tower is right across the street. Right next door is a bodega that is home to pay phone #14 and some great memories for Sad City. With it's brick exterior, great windows and overall great design, it would be a shame to see this building sit and rot, but as for now it looks like there isn't any effort being made to do anything with it.


  1. In the 1960's I worked in a sporting goods store on Albany Ave.
    We bought our cigarettes and snacks at Tunnel Variety in that building.
    Isn't there another 'Flat Iron' building where Maple and Franklin?

  2. Comstock Building, Hartford (1896)

    Frederick R. Comstock (1866-1942) was an architect who worked in Hartford from 1893 to 1898. At the northern end of the triangle where Ann and High Streets meet is the Flatiron Building at 529-543 Ann Street. In 1896, architect Frederick R. Comstock designed and constructed this Neo-Classical Revival building.

    This is one of only three flatiron buildings in the city of Hartford, two of which are in this district. The third is at the intersection of Congress and Main Streets. Also known as the Flatiron Building, because of its floor plan, it accommodates the triangular area where it was built, resembled an iron, similar to other famous structures such as Flatiron Building in New York, built in 1902. The building has been vacant since 2004 after a fire. Now, the City redevelops the High/Ann Street triangle as it builds its new Police and Fireman Public Safety complex on the Market Street side. The Flatiron owners join the City’s redevelopment efforts of the High/Ann Street triangle.

    This is a mixed-use building. The current design of the building is for three offices on the first floor. In addition, floors two through four each have spacious three two-bedroom apartments for a total of nine apartments in the building. The owners envision to leave the floor lay out for the first floor intact. For the second to the fourth floors, the owners envision six studio apartments on each floor. The studios will average 400 square feet with rents of $500 and up depending on their size.
    To complement the City’s plans to expand downtown pass I-84, these studio apartments will be geared toward those who desire an urban setting at an affordable price. The studios will have lots of open spaces and natural light. The availability of these studios should dovetail with the current market need for smaller units and meet current needs of the housing market.
    Developing plans for the building meet the City’s objectives for the Ann Street Historic Corridor of historic preservation and development of commercial and residential property as stated on the 2008 Redevelopment Plan for the Downtown North Project. As the property has been unused in more than five years, it will qualify for city real estate tax breaks for blighted buildings. Renovation plans call for keeping the façade intact and seek to meet the look it had when it was first built in 1896. Tenant parking is available next door at 525 Ann Street or across the street at 532 Ann Street.

    Jose L. DelCastillo
    255 Main Street # 2
    Hartford, CT 06106-1808
    (86) 251-9606

    1. Those who can appreciate it can understand I walked to school everyday (la escuelita) ann st bilingual school it fills me with pride n joy to see a prayer come true its our history when riots of the 70s and civil right movements totally destroyed the city this building still stands would love to visit this one day for now just the thoughts and memories of my youth GOD bless America..

  3. Damn. we really need to put money back into Hartford.

  4. With its location and all...why not turn it into a clinic?

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