Old State House

Hartford, CT
State of Connecticut
Smith Edwards Architects
Construction Management

Newfield restored and raised the grade of 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 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 a multi-media puppet theatre, classrooms, and offices.

The 10,000-square-foot underground addition, including a 7,000-square-foot exhibition gallery, was the most challenging part of the project. Controlled blasting, small machines, and painstaking hand labor were used to excavate this basement area 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 blocks 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, historical painting, new window openings, modification of columns and beams, new mechanical/electrical system installation, and other code compliance work.