Newfield restored and literally raised the Old State House facility in downtown Hartford to create an underground addition. Built in 1796 and designed by Charles Bulfinch, the Old State House is one of the oldest State Houses in the United States. When the new capitol building opened in 1879, the Old State House became Hartford City Hall until 1915. Today, the Old State House is designated a National Historic Landmark by the U. S. Department of the Interior and serves as a museum.
When Newfield began restoration, the Old State House was in a state of complete disrepair, having not been maintained in many years. All systems within the facility were upgraded, including HVAC and Electrical, a new basement was incorporated into the facility and Newfield raised the building one floor to add the new space including multi-media puppet theatre, classrooms and offices.
The 10,000 square foot, underground addition, including a 7,000 square foot exhibition gallery, was clearly the most challenging part of the project. To excavate this basement area, controlled blasting, small machines and painstaking hand labor were used in order to minimize risk to adjacent downtown buildings. A retaining wall of soldier beams and wood lagging with post tensioned tie backs was constructed to facilitate deep excavation adjacent to the city's streets. A since-patented system of compression block and mini piles was utilized to build the foundation for the underground gallery beneath the existing west loggia.
Major interior work included complete renovations for handicap accessibility, restoration of ornate woodwork to its original splendor, historic painting, new window openings, modification of columns and beams, installation of new mechanical/electrical systems, and other code compliance work. Particular attention was paid to the exhibit area which required precise environmental control and protection from ultraviolet exposure.
The project called for the planning and scheduling of 50 specialty contractors and more than 250 craftsmen.
AGC National Award of Excellence