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.

Friday, October 7, 2011

More Good Deeds: Pope Park Park

Pope Park Highway #4 not only has the oddest name of any street in Hartford, it continues to supply surprises. We first checked in on this bizzarre little road back in March when we found it in disgraceful condition from people dumping garbage there. Pretty disgusting stuff. A month later we noticed Pope Park Highway had been cleaned up and featured some before and after pics on our Spring Cleaning post. A few weeks ago we drove down Pope Park Highway and noticed some gravel had been put down and it looked like some grading was being done. "That's nice" we thought as we made a mental note to return and take some pictures. We finally returned yesterday and boy were we surprised.

It appears that Pope Park Highway #4 now has a park. While it seems to us a somewhat curious place for a park, it certainly is a vast improvement over the long grass and weeds that occupied the space before. We aren't sure that the six metal things set up like Stonehenge are. It's possible that it is three tin men half buried upside down or large metal shovels on which the shovel head was put on the wrong way. Either way it's pretty cool to look at.

There are concrete steps to sit on and newly planted grass and flowers. There are benches and a walking path. The walking path extends in all the way around the area with benches throughout. From the backside one can sit on a bench and watch the traffic fly by on I-84 or look the other way into the park.

Stumbling onto this is one of the biggest surprises we've ever had here. Coming around the corner was literally a "WTF" moment. It's a cool little place in Hartford and certainly a massive improvement on what we saw here just a few months ago. Credit where credit is due, good job to whomever gets credit for this.


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  2. My mother Natalie Sweeney gets credit for this =) at lifecaredesign.com.

  3. Thanks for your interest in pope park west.the sculpture is named "windy metal garden" created by hermann cortes barrios and natalie sweeney of lifecare design inc. There are a few things left to be done at the park, like the little plaque with the sculpture name but its open for use so please use it!! the sculptures act as a backdrop for the stage area, anybody interested to put on a show, contact hartford's park dept or DPW. and to see how the park developed check out www.popeparkwest.com

  4. I've never been a big fan of Hartford, even though I lived on Sisson Avenue back in the '70s and worked in town for many years afterward. But this little park is really cool. Thanks and congratulations to those responsible. Hartford would be a changed (for the better) city if more and more of these venues were created. This is a good idea well executed. Keep up the good work.

    And keep up the park!

  5. Awesome find SCH and kudos to those behind the rehab effort. Great little space that should provide a nice little getaway for the residents of the Design Center apartments. Now let's just get a new tenant for the old Spagetti Warehouse and a rehab on some of those old factories in the neighborhood and we could see a whole new Parkville community emerge.