Horace Bushnell Promenade: Before & After

The Horace Bushnell Promenade is a beautiful new 30’ wide pedestrian and bike-friendly public space that runs along the north side of Bushnell Park, extending half a mile from Union Station to Main Street. It is the primary new feature of both Bushnell Park North* and the TIGER Intermodal Triangle project**. The Promenade effectively enlarges the northern edge of Bushnell Park, reclaiming some of the park space that was lost to roadway widening in the 1950s. The next phase of construction will extend the Promenade from Fox Gate at Trumbull Street up Gold Street to Main Street. The purpose of shifting the lower half of Gold Street is to create the space that allows the Promenade to turn eastward up Gold Street to reach Main Street, arriving at the new Horace Bushnell Gate and Tower Square.

Before & After

The Promenade includes a new brownstone perimeter wall for sitting and leaning; new street trees for shade and foliage; environmentally friendly planters that serve as raingardens; energy efficient pedestrian and roadway lighting; new benches, bike racks, and street furnishings; and six new or enhanced brownstone gateways into Bushnell Park, marked with bronze plaques. People walking along the Promenade will enjoy enhanced views of the park lawns and landscape; of the pond and its fountains; of Trinity Bridge and Memorial Arch, the Corning Fountain, and the State Capitol; and of the Travelers Tower and the downtown skyline.
The Promenade is designed with green infrastructure that captures and cleans stormwater on site, rather than draining polluted runoff into the Connecticut River: the raingardens absorb the water into the subsoil, and the Promenade is tilted towards the park landscape rather than towards the roadway.
The Promenade provides a safe, comfortable, historic and attractive walking environment for everyone, including children and seniors, visitors, workers, and residents. The Promenade will be usable in all four seasons, weekdays and weekends, day and night.

Facts & Figures

  • A beautiful, sustainable walkable new public space for Hartford
  • The first expansion of Bushnell Park in 150 years
  • A tribute to Reverend Horace Bushnell, creator of Bushnell Park
  • Conceived and designed by the iQuilt Partnership’s design team
  • Executed by the City, GHTD, and their engineers and contractors
  • Runs for half a mile from Union Station to Tower Square
  • 3 of 5 segments are nearly complete: Asylum, Ford, Jewell
  • Need to complete the final two segments: Wells, Gold
  • 30 feet wide, half a mile long (2700’)
  • 2 acres (81,000 s.f.) of sustainable, walkable new public space
  • 80 new street trees
  • 30 new benches
  • 36 new sustainable rain gardens
  • 60 new energy efficient pedestrian and roadway lights
  • 15 shorter, wider, safer, crosswalks with protective bollards
Bushnell Park North is a street that starts at Asylum Street and ends at Gold Street – it combines Ford Street, Jewell Street, and Wells Street into a single name, while retaining the historic names as references on the street name signs.

** The TIGER Intermodal Triangle Project, named for the Federal TIGER transportation grant that helped fund it, focuses on intermodal (walking, bike, bus, rail) transit improvements along the triangle of Bushnell Park North, Main Street, Pearl Street, and Asylum Street, as well as Union Place. The project includes a road diet on Bushnell Park North that has narrowed the roadway to better accommodate walking and biking  — in some segments from four travel lanes down to two. The narrowing has calmed traffic, making it easier and safer to cross the street, and created the space for the Horace Bushnell Promenade along the edge of Bushnell Park.