January 23, 2006 - The Board of Directors of the future Hartford Botanical Garden has engaged TSKP STUDIO to assist in the creation of a visionary plan for development of a Botanical Garden and Conservatory to be located on a portion of Hartford's Colt Park along Wethersfield Avenue. The firm was selected because of its reputation for visionary planning, as well as its recent work on the redevelopment of the former Colt Firearms complex, the Colt Gateway. As the site is a short walk from Hartford's central business district, Members of the Board envision the future Garden and Conservatory as a significant educational and recreational resource to City residents as well as a regional tourism destination.
Discussions about a Hartford Botanical Garden have been on-going for more than a decade. The agreement, reached between the City and the Board to explore the feasibility of its location in Colt Park, on land once part of Samuel and Elizabeth Colt's estate, has brought renewed support. A visitors' center has recently opened on the site at 25 Stonington Street, offering information as well as botanical-themed gifts and items crafted in Connecticut.
The planning team, headed by Whit Iglehart and Tai Soo Kim includes landscape architects and horticulturalists: Carol R. Johnson Associates of Boston and Sylvia Corwith Winter, from the Arnold Arboretum; Civil and Traffic Engineers from Fuss and O'Neill; as well as specialists in the field of historic architecture to address the issues related to preserving three historic structures on the site which were once part of the Colt Estate. The planning team began work in January and expects work to be completed before the end of 2006.