Trinity College Long Walk (1883)

October 28th, 2008 Posted in Collegiate, Gothic, Hartford


The “Long Walk” at Trinity College in Hartford consists of the two long structures of Seabury Hall and Jarvis Hall (named for the first two Episcopal Bishops of Connecticut), on either side of the central block of Northam Towers, named for Col. Charles H. Northam. In the 1870s, with the new state capitol building being constructed at the location of Trinity’s former campus in downtown Hartford, Trinity moved to its new Gallows Hill campus to the southwest. William Burges, a prominent English architect, created a master plan for the new campus. Burges, based in England, never came to Hartford to view the site. His ambitious plan of interconnected quadrangles, designed in 1873-74, was brought back to Hartford by Francis H. Kimball, who would supervise the actual construction. With available resources being far less than required to realize Burges‘s plan, Kimball adapted elements from it in 1875 for a reduced scheme. That year, construction began on Seabury and Jarvis Halls, completed in 1878. Northam Tower was completed in 1883. These were the only structures from the Burges plan to be built. The Long Walk is a famous example of the High Victorian Collegiate Gothic style, with gothic arches and dormers and polychromatic masonry. Trinity College recently completed a restoration and updating of the Long Walk buildings. A current exhibit, at Trinity’s Watkinson Library, provides a more in-depth look at the original construction and features original plans for the buildings.

  1. 2 Responses to “Trinity College Long Walk (1883)”

  2. By Darrin VonStein on Oct 31, 2008

    The current exhibition at the Watkinson Library (curated by Peter Knapp and entitled “‘They Should Stand For Ages’ William Burges, Francis Kimball and Trinity’s Long Walk Buildings”) offers a rare glimpse into the genius and artistry of William Burges, one of the leading proponents of the Gothic Revival movement in England. Through the well presented watercolor renderings, Knapp reminds us that Trinity College, and by extention, the greater Hartford Community posesses a group of remarkable and influential buildings designed by any major British Architect woking in the last half of the 19th Century. Though rather modest in size, the imaginative rendrings in the exhibition demonstrates the emotional and physical impact that Gothic Revival buildings held during that period.

  3. By David Carter on Nov 26, 2008

    I’m searching for personal information on Kimball. Where is he buried? Was he married; heirs, etc.
    I am a member of the Montauk Club in Park Slope, Brooklyn, designed by Kimball.
    Also seeking a photograph of the man for our archives.
    Best regards,
    David Carter

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