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, December 14, 2011

More Of Hartford By Phil Lohman

Without question the coolest thing about doing Sad City is the people we've met through the blog. When we featured a simply awesome cartoon map of Hartford by Phil Lohman the Courant put out in 1989, we got an email from our good friend Steve Goode from the Courant, who told us that Mr. Lohman had done some other Hartford maps over the years. Well we then got to digging up Mr. Lohman's email address. The next day we had a response with an invitation to call. After a few minutes on the phone we were on our way over to Mr. Lohman's house.

Mr. and Mrs. Lohman couldn't have been nicer. We chatted about Hartford, trading our memories and   thoughts on the city in their kitchen. Mr. Lohman had laid out some pieces on his table which he then started telling me about.  He started with the piece we had featured on a post entitled "The Lohman Map." Mr. Lohman let us know that he appreciated the name of the map but that it was never intended to be called "The Lohman Map." We explained that it was actually coined by WNPR's Colin McEnroe, who simply said "oh The Lohman Map" when Sad City friend Chion Wolfe told Colin that she had photographed a map for us.

Mr. Lohman then showed us the article that the map originated from and pointed out hidden secrets in the map where he had put his co workers', friends', wifes' and daughters' (also a blogger) initials in various spots throughout the city. While the map is pretty awesome just to explore on its own, it's downright incredible to check it out with the creator and his wife and have the map's secrets pointed out.

 Ed. Note from Mr. Lohman:  Done for a Courant Commentary editorial headlined, "Go With The Flow, Why Hartford Should Bring Back The Park River" written by editorial writer Daryl Perch in 2004, praising the value of the Park River. As you know, that final run of the river is buried under Bushnell Park and then under the Conland-Whitehead Highway that goes to I-91. This drawing projects how the unburied Park River might appear as an urban linear park connecting Downtown with the Colt area.

Yeah, that's a drawing of the famous Park River opened up. Damn, that looks unbelievable.

Mr. Lohman then showed us two more maps of Hartford he had done. The one pictured at the top of this post is in the same style of the other map but focuses more on just downtown. The map below was to reflect the new riverfront after the Adrian's Landing project. Both are extremely cool and feature the unmistakable style of the original map. Just a really awesome way to draw Hartford.

Finally, Mr. Lohman showed us a very cool drawing he did of the Center Church to commemorate it's 350th anniversary. The three of us chatted for a little while longer before we thanked Mr. and Mrs. Lohman and left. Amazingly, Mr. Lohman gave us a couple of his drawings to take home. Our  collection of cool Hartford stuff just got a huge influx of awesome. Many thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Lohman who were about as nice and welcoming a people as you could hope to meet. Sad City thanks you and wishes you both Happy Holidays.


  1. I think this is great! I'd love to have one of Mr. Lohman's works framed on my wall. I wonder if he'd consider doing a limited edition print or something similar. This sort of thing reminds us all that there are so many older folks in our community with fascinating stories and achievements. Keep up the good work Sad City.

  2. Freaking awesome. Is there a way to buy posters?

  3. And don't forget Mr. Lohman's two maps of Wethersfield:

    Historic houses:

    and Witch of Blackbird Pond:

  4. I also would like to know if there are any purchasable works?

  5. Sadly no works for sale. Best bet is to try and track old ones down locally. Not easy, but they are around.