Wadsworth Atheneum (1844)

June 29th, 2007 Posted in Gothic, Hartford, Museums

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The Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford is America’s oldest public art museum. Begun in 1842, and opening its doors in 1844, the Atheneum‘s original castle-like building was donated by the museum’s founder, Daniel Wadsworth, and was designed by Alexander Jackson Davis and Ithiel Town. In addition to the museum, it also once housed the Connecticut Historical Society, the predecessor to the Hartford Public Library, and the Watkinson Library, all under one roof! Three additional buildings would be added to the Atheneum complex in the twentieth century. In 1966, the interior of the original building was completely gutted and restored, while maintaining the original facade.

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