The Colt Memorial Parish House is one of the most exuberant
and architecturally distinguished examples of Victorian architecture located
in Hartford. It was built in 1896 by Mrs. Samuel Colt as a memorial to
her son, Caldwell. Mrs. Colt engaged the architect Edward Tuckerman Potter
who created an enduring composition of brownstone, limestone, rare marbles,
and stained glass.
For the past one hundred years the building served as the parish house
for the Church of the Good Shepherd. During that time, it endured two major
hurricanes, increasing pollution and vandalism. In 1992, it was in a dangerously
deteriorated condition, and Smith Edwards Architects was hired to provide
a Master Plan to ensure the building’s future.
The first phase of the Master Plan, restoration of the exterior, was completed
in early 1995. The work included repairs to existing slate and copper
roofs, a gentle cleaning of the brownstone and limestone facades, and
restoration of the building’s elaborate stained glass windows. Site
design, exterior lighting, and landscaping were also a component of this
initial phase. In future phases, the interior of the building will likewise
be restored, accessibility for the disabled will be achieved, and the
lower level of the building will be renovated as a community services
Upon complete implementation of the Master Plan, the Colt Memorial Parish
House will be restored to its former glory and will be well poised to begin its
second century of service.