Corning Building (1929)

March 14th, 2013 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Hartford, Renaissance Revival

Corning Building, Hartford

The Corning Building is at the southwest corner of Main and Trumbull Streets in Hartford. Today’s Corning Building was built in 1928–30 and replaced an earlier Corning Building on the site, which dated to the 1870s. Before that, the three-story Robinson and Corning Building stood here. Dating to the 1820s, it was long home to the Brown & Gross bookstore, which later moved to Asylum Street. Arriving by train to deliver a speech in Hartford on March 5, 1860, future president Abraham Lincoln walked up Asylum Street to the bookstore, where he first met Gideon Welles, the editor of the Hartford Evening Press. Welles would later serve as Lincoln’s secretary of the navy. Dr. Horace Wells had his office here, where in 1844 he had a tooth successfully removed without pain after first inhaling laughing gas–the first use of anesthesia. A plaque was placed on the Corning Building in 1894 to honor Wells on the fiftieth anniversary of his discovery.

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