The Hartford Primary Battle: Real Estate

We’re not the political sorts, but every now and then real estate and politics intersect. Last week someone made a real estate based attack on one of the Democrats running for Mayor in Hartford. It was a misleading attack (we believe deliberately), but got us looking at the homes of the two candidates vying for the top line on the November ballot.

Two Democrats will be on the September party primary ballot in the City of Hartford. The party endorsed Luke Bronin, while incumbent Pedro Segarra leads a full challenge slate. The homes of the two candidates share a surprising number of similarities.

Segarra's West End HomeThe current Mayor, Mr. Segarra, lives in the West End neighborhood. His home is on prestigious Prospect Avenue, which forms the City’s border with West Hartford. When his partner bought the home in 2001 it was marketed as having 6 bedroom and 7 baths over 5,500 square feet of living space on a 0.51 acre lot. The description noted that it had mahogany library, 5 fireplaces, and an au pair suite on the third level.

During his time on Prospect Avenue, Mayor Segarra and his partner have improved the home considerably. The lot is lovingly landscaped, and meticulously maintained. There are multiple outside entertaining areas, a circular driveway with covered pull-through, and a tall metal fence. The home is in excellent repair.

Bronin's Downtown HomeThe challenger, Mr. Bronin, lives in the Downtown neighborhood. His home is literally the only single-family residence overlooking Bushnell Park, making it a one-of-a-kind property. It was purchased privately, so there is no marketing information is available. The City Assessor’s records show the home as 4 bedrooms and 4.1 baths over 5,227 sqft of living space on 0.077 acres.

Since the Bronins bought their home in 2012, they have completely rehabilitated the property. Their renovations were featured in the July 2104 issue of Connecticut Magazine, which described the Alice Washburn Award they won from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Both Mr. Segarra and Mr. Bronin live in homes that are similarly sized, and of similarly high quality. They reflect the different styles of the owners – a gated West End estate on the very edge of town for Mr. Segarra versus a park side Brownstone in the heart of the business district for Mr. Bronin. Both men live well, in homes that are in the top tier of Hartford real estate.

76 North Beacon Street, Hartford’s West End

This outstanding Queen Anne Victorian retains all of its period details, yet lives like a house for today.


Step back in time and take in the round porch, grand turned staircase, numerous stained and leaded glass windows, four uniquely tiled fireplaces, pocket doors, built-ins, canvas ceilings, and Doric columns.

Arrive through the double door entry into the formal parlor with fireplace. Flanked by the formal dining room with exceptional double China cabinets and the curved living room, this home is fantastic for entertaining. The updated kitchen features stainless steel appliances, stone counters, a breakfast bar and original butler’s pantry. A mudroom and powder room complete the first floor space.

Upstairs, the master bedroom is a quiet retreat with built-in seating area and oversized walk-in closet. The adjacent remodeled full bathroom has a soaking tub, shower, pedestal sink and marble floor. Another bedroom with built-in bookshelves and a fireplace shares a Jack and Jill bathroom with a third bedroom.

The third floor offers two additional bedrooms, a full bathroom and plenty of unfinished storage space.

Enjoy easy living with central air, gas heat, upstairs laundry, a fenced yard, and a 2-car garage.

76 North Beacon Street is offered at $519,000. If you’d like to see this property, please have your agent arrange a showing, stop by our open house on Sunday, April 12 from 1:00p-3:00p, or call me at 860-655-2125 to schedule a visit. More details and a photo tour are available.

Old Well

Well House

Lots of houses in Greater Hartford have wells. But how many still have the old well? This photo was taken at a mid-1700s property. Although the well is boarded up, the equipment is still there. Just bring your own bucket and rope.

Connecticut Temple Progress

2014-10-28 Connecticut Temple

Construction of the Hartford Connecticut Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is making good progress. The actual site is on Farmington Avenue (Route 4) in Farmington, CT across from the entrance to Winding Trails and the Devonwood community.

Plans for the temple were announced in 2010, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held in August of 2013. Those interested in learning more about the project, or the Church, can follow along online.

Counter-Weighted Sash Windows

The other night I was flipping through the chapter of my Elements of Styles architectural history textbook that covers the Baroque period, which the authors define as from 1625 to 1714.

Counter-WeightI discovered that one of the innovations of that era was counter-weighted vertical sash windows, which were developed in the 1670s. Up until this point many windows didn’t open, and those that did were casement windows that swung open.

Sash windows are a very common window style in Greater Hartford, especially in houses built in the Colonial style. Our home, constructed in 1911, was built with counter-weights to help make opening and closing easier. They are still in use in many of our windows, and are quite common among older homes in the area.

The photo is of the weight in a local garage window. Many windows utilize rope cords to connect the actual window to the counter-weight. This one was switched over to chain, another common material, to reduce future maintenance.

Modern sash windows don’t use the weights anymore. Thinking about the local homes I’ve toured, I would guess that the counter-weights were phased out around World War II. This article, titled The History of Sash Windows, goes into a lot of detail about the evolution of the window style, and supports my guess as to the point in time at which the counter-weights were surpassed by other technologies. Interesting stuff … right?