Two Historic Hartford Landmarks Restored with Aid of Hartford Foundation Grants

The renovation of two of Hartford's historic sites – the Amos Bull House and the Butler-McCook Carriage House and Garden – has been completed with the aid of grants from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

A grant of $118,524 in December 2013 from the Francis and Mary A. Goodwin Memorial Fund at the Hartford Foundation capped a capital campaign begun in 2009 to preserve and renovate the two buildings. In 2009, the Hartford Foundation awarded $350,000 for the project. The completion of the $2.5 million project was celebrated June 5 with a ribbon cutting and annual Garden Gala.

With the renovation, the Amos Bull House and attached Butler-McCook Carriage House, at 59 South Prospect St., now serve as the administrative headquarters of Connecticut Landmarks as well as a central, climate-controlled archival repository for extensive archival and photographic collections. A grant from the Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation supported restoration of the terrace connecting the two houses.

“We are absolutely delighted to call the beautiful Amos Bull House our new home,” said Sheryl Hack, executive director. “The Bull House renovation and creation of the Community Education Center in the attached Butler-McCook Carriage House is a significant milestone for Connecticut Landmarks. We are deeply grateful to the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and to all of our generous donors and funders for making this dream come true.”

The renovation made Connecticut Landmarks a pioneer of environmentally sustainable preservation by undertaking one of the first “green” historic preservation projects in the region. Extensive mechanical upgrades include installation of a closed-loop geothermal HVAC system designed to support the needs of both buildings.

Built in 1788, the Amos Bull House is the oldest brick building in Hartford, dating from the Revolutionary War era. It was built as a dry goods store and a residence and later used as a hardware store, auto dealership, insurance offices and a restaurant. Threatened with demolition in the 1960s, it was saved through a community campaign by becoming the first building in Connecticut to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has since been moved twice, enabling it to survive into the 21st century.

The Bull House is at the back of the Butler-McCook House and Garden property at 396 Main Street. The historic 1865 Jacob Weidenmann-designed garden links the two buildings. The Butler-McCook House was built in 1782. Inside are the original furnishings ranging from Connecticut-crafted colonial furniture to Victorian-era toys and paintings to samurai armor acquired during a trip to Japan.

Founded in 1936, Connecticut Landmarks is a statewide, museum-based preservation organization that spans three centuries of Connecticut history. It preserves historic structures, sites, collections, and landscapes and interprets the social, familial, and material dimensions of the properties and the places where they are located through a wide range of humanities programming designed to reach a variety of audiences.

Landmarks owns 12 historic sites in Connecticut, nine of which are operated as museums. In Greater Hartford, Landmarks’ other properties include the Buttolph-Williams House in Wethersfield, Phelps-Hatheway House and Garden in Suffield, Isham-Terry House in Hartford and the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, established in 1925, is the community foundation for 29 communities in the Hartford region. It is dedicated to putting philanthropy into action to create lasting solutions that result in vibrant communities within the Greater Hartford region. It receives gifts from generous individuals, families and organization, and in 2013 awarded grants of more than $29 million to a broad range of area nonprofits. For more information, visit or call 860-548-1888.