Bond Street Parkette .40 acres
The Bond Street Parkette became a public park on June 13, 1899. Its origin and original design are not known. The existing conditions are the remnants of the plan titled Proposed Bond Street "Parkette" that was generated by the Parks and Recreation Department, dated September 1963.
On November 26th, 1894 Colonel Albert A. Pope provided in his will a gift to the City of 73.0 acres of parkland. The establishment of a park south of Park Street was provided on the condition that the City of Hartford assume all costs for highway, sewers, curbs and general infrastructure. Two additional acres were then added from Hartford real estate. In 1897, the City finished purchasing additional southern tracts of land bringing the total acreage to 90 acres. Fourteen acres adjacent to the park were also allocated by the City for juvenile and orphan asylums.
This 694 acre park includes 584 acres in Hartford and 110 acres in Windsor. Keney Park is the largest park within the city system, providing not only neighborhood recreation in a historic designed landscape, but also ecologically rich environments. The Golf Course area, primarily in Windsor, is not a part of the master planning project. There are three historic gates in Keney Park. The main park entrance gate on Greenfield Street is a memorial ensemble with “Keney Park, A Gift From Henry Keney,” inscribed on the bronze plaque mounted on a limestone pier. A pair of stone gate piers flank the entry drive.
Rocky Ridge Park was acquired in 1892 from a partial exchange of land originally owned by Trinity College. Historically the area was a former quarry for street stones. The Park Board established a limit of work line for quarrying operations foreseeing park uses.
Goodwin Park was formally established as a park November 4, 1895, with the remaining 37 Acres acquired in 1927. It was originally named South Park on the preliminary design plans and on city plat maps. The design of the park was developed by Olmsted, Olmsted and Elliot of Brookline, Massachusetts in 1900. This plan shows a grand meadow framed by tree plantations with individual trees and small clusters within the meadow space, and a small water feature. The park was constructed essentially as designed. The park was named in 1900 in recognition of the valuable services of Francis Goodwin, first president of the Park Board under the new city charter. The design plan was expanded to include the southeast corner of the current park land, which includes part of the golf course, the second pond and surrounding area.
On August 30, 1894 the will of Former Parks Commissioner Charles H. Pond set aside, as a gift to the City of Hartford, about 90 acres in the Northwest section of the township. Additionally 5 Acres were purchased from J.C. Gaines, 2.5 Acres from B. Loomis, and other Westside lands, unnamed amount, were given by Mr. and Mrs. J. English in 1898. Commissioner Pond asked that the Park be named for his wife, Elizabeth. By 1898 Elizabeth Park had become the Nursery growing grounds for city wide parks and was referred to as the "Nursery and the Farmstead". The original design, by Theodore Wirth, dates to 1900. The famous Rose Garden was created under Wirth's design and guidance beginning in 1903.
Mrs. Elizabeth Colt gave 106 Acres of land to the City in 1900 and the donation was accepted by the Common Council on November 13, 1905. The donated lands, extending to the Connecticut River, are shown on the map following this page. A plan was developed for the park by Theodore Wirth, Parks Superintendent. This plan retained the portion of the Colt estate grounds (which was originally designated by noted landscape gardener, Ignatz Pilat) facing Wethersfield Avenue and included an ornamental pond with picturesque plantings, grand shade trees and a curving drive. The balance of the land was framed with an edge of trees, leaving the center open for field play. The plan includes an area adjacent to the river labeled “River Grove, Boathouse and Landing.” 1.5 Acres in 1919 from E. Valentin, H. Porter, and A. Lippincott.
As the premier park central to the core of the City of Hartford, Bushnell Park was indeed the visual point of reference for the City from 1860 for three decades of intense use and pleasure, through the 1890s. The Bushnell Park area was an eminent domain acquisition about the same time that South Green (Barnard Park) became park land by assumption, after decades of use as an historic common. The Park was one of the earliest public parks in the nation to be planned and built by a municipality as a graceful pastoral landscape rather than a formal European garden or New England square. It has been an important gathering place, recreation ground and green city space for over 130 years. Perhaps as important, the park serves as the landscape setting for the State Capital. The park was listed on the national Register of Historic Places on October 22, 1970.