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Elizabeth Park Conservancy Receives Bond Funding for Visitor Center

The historic brownstone building at Elizabeth Park will be renovated and become a visitor center. Courtesy photo

The historic brownstone building adjacent to the greenhouses on the West Hartford side of Elizabeth Park will undergo a renovation and become a visitor center thanks to a grant approved Wednesday by the State Bond Commission.

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The Elizabeth Park Conservancy’s Chairman of the Board Ben Flynn and President & CEO Christine M. Doty expressed their sincere Wednesday thanks to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the State Bond Commission for a $500,000 grant-in-aid for a new visitor center.

The Elizabeth Park Conservancy has been raising funds to remodel and repurpose the historic brownstone building, located off the main parking lot and adjacent to the greenhouses, to a visitor center, complete with visitor amenities and improved public restrooms. The $500,000 grant-in-aid will assist with building renovations and adjacent parking.

“We’re very thankful for the governor’s and Bond Commission’s support, as well as the support of our many generous donors,” said Flynn. “A visitor center with modern restrooms has been a great need for years and we look forward to these enhancements that will improve the overall park experience for our guests.”

All improvements to the brownstone building, first built in 1938, will be within the existing footprint of the building and will not include expansion of the historic structure.

“Elizabeth Park is one of the top-10 tourist destinations in the State of Connecticut,” Doty said. “The park’s visitors – from all over the globe – will benefit from the new visitor center, as will the State of Connecticut’s reputation as a tourist destination.”

The Elizabeth Park Conservancy is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1977, that partners with the City of Hartford in the maintenance and improvement of Elizabeth Park. The Conservancy has a more than 40-year track record managing improvements in Elizabeth Park, which is owned by the City of Hartford is home to the nation’s oldest municipal rose garden. Portions of the park are located in the Town of West Hartford.

Elizabeth Park opened to the public in the spring of 1897 on property donated to the City of Hartford by Charles Pond, in honor of his wife Elizabeth. The park is on the National Register of Historic Places and offers more than 100 acres of formal gardens, green space, recreational facilities, walking loops and the Pond House Café. Elizabeth Park is open to the public year-round, from dawn to dusk.

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