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.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hartford Houses Of Worship: West End Behemoths

Hartford is home to some very large churches.  The stretch of Farmington and Asylum Ave running between downtown and the West End is home to some of the city's largest churches.   This particular church dominates the area skyline, it's steeple is visible from quite a distance.  Along with The Hartford building. easily the most recognizable structure in the area.

You really can't get a feel for how long these sculptures above the doors are until you are standing right below them.  Jesus has to be a good 10-12 feet tall. Maybe more.

Directly across the street from Sad City favorite Tastease, there is nothing mini or midi about the this church. Probably the most exciting and ornate stonework we've seen.

This Congregational Church on Asylum is almost directly across the street from the massive concrete church. It's almost the opposite of its neighbor; stone instead concrete, angular instead of round, and lots of grass and shrubs around instead of....more concrete.

We don't know why all the doors on this church are painted bright blue, but they look good.

This church at the intersection of Farmington and Sigourney gets dwarfed by its massive neighbors but is a sizable one in its own right.  Notice the steeple of its neighbor in the background.


  1. these are not in the west end, its asylum hill

  2. You should step inside any of these in the late afternoon when the sun catches the windows.

    Congregational church has a beautiful organ, and the Episcopal (bottom) also has a nice organ and chorus.

    And Our Lady of Sorrows is in the West End, even if the others are technically on Asylum Hill.

  3. We choose to consider Asylum Hill and the West End one and the same.

  4. Our Lady of Sorrows is in Parkville. The "West End" isn't considered to extend south of Boulevard. Is Asylum Hill and West End are one and the same that would mean all of central Hartford from the Asylum/Farminton junction near I-84 is West End.

  5. Aaah, how the power of religion brings us together in the spirit of fellowship and harmony!

  6. Your interest in Hartford architecture is much appreciated. Too bad you could not be bothered to find out the names of these churches or when they were built. Each of them has a history, they're not just "big churches." The first one, for instance, isn't just a church, it's the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Hartford's Catholic cathedral, and it was finished in 1962.

  7. Is it accurate to call St. Joseph's a "massive concrete church"? Believe the cladding is light-colored stone. It may have been built using modern construction methods but they didn't just pour it in place like a parking garage.