For several years Wethersfield photographer Jack McConnell has been walking the length of Park Street in Hartford, shooting streetscapes, architectural details, people walking the street, and merchants working in retail shops along the two-mile stretch of Park Street, from Main Street to Prospect Street bordering West Hartford. This is the commercial spine that enlivens the Frog Hollow and Parkville community, just south of the Capitol.
Recent neighborhood rehab projects added lampposts and brick bumpouts to the landscape, and encouraged merchants to paint business facades using a vibrant Caribbean color palette. Bright yellow, orange, and turquoise add intensity to every picture Jack makes, inspiring us to see this community as an amazing cultural melting pot.
For 400 years Hartford has welcomed dozens of immigrant groups to work in factories that flanked the Park River. Today Latinos make up 43% of Hartford’s population, and 75% of those live in the Park Street neighborhood. Most of the people Jack passes as he walks along Park Street are from Portugal, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Peru, Honduras, Mexico, and 20 Caribbean, Central and South American countries. They come to Hartford for the same reason as immigrants before them – freedom and a better life for their families. Enlarge to full size to see complete verticals and horizontals.