Frog Hollow Hartford Walking Tour
The Park Street Library @ The Lyric is the largest of the seven Hartford Public Library branches. It provides all the services that a typical library would: internet access, printing, and of course, checking out books. Graciela Rivera is the current manager of the Park Street library branch, and she played a pivotal role in its opening.
La Biblioteca de la Park es la más grande de las siete sucursales que constituyen Hartford Public Library. Los visitantes pueden disfrutar de todos los servicios que una biblioteca típica ofrece: acceso al internet, impresoras, y claro, sacar libros. Actualmente, Graciela Rivera es la directora de la sucursal de la calle de Park, y ocupó un papel destacado en su apertura.
Victor Pacheco created this mural in 1997. It is painted on the side of the Caribe Auto Supply building and depicts the word "AIDS" in large block letters next to the flags of a variety of countries from across the globe and the faces of different people. The note in the bottom left hand corner of the mural reads "Dedicated to those struggling with HIV or AIDS". The piece challenges stereotypes about HIV/AIDS, asserting that anyone can be affected by the disease regardless of their identity.
The Park Street Festival was designed to celebrate Frog Hollow and its residents, but it attracted all sorts of people: it could be expected to draw in over 20,000 guests. The whole two miles of Park Street would be dedicated to vendors, performers, and more. For example, here, at the intersection of Lawrence and Park Street, stood one of the two stages on which bands entertained guests at the Park Street Festival of 1986. The festival ended by the 1990s.
El Mercado is a grocery store and marketplace selling produce, herbs, spices, and more. Many of these ingredients are foods that you won't find at the average Stop and Shop. In addition to being a supermarket, there is a food court with four different restaurants inside the building. These include El Tepeyac, a Mexican restaurant, Antojitos Colombianos, which serves Colombian food, El Gran Dominicano, both Dominican and Puerto Rican, and a Peruvian restaurant, Autentico Sabor Peruano.
This mural was a collaboration between Lindaluz Carillo and Mina Ellis. They created the piece at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The words read "Hoy miro hacia el futuro", or, "Today I look forward to the future", and they are from salsa musician Frankie Ruiz's song "Esta Vez Sí Voy Pa' Encima". The artists wanted to present a message of hope amidst the confusion and fear of the pandemic. The artwork can be read as both outstretched hands and wings.
The Art Box Lot occupies a formerly vacant lot on Park Street. The space features a community garden, a projector wall for film screenings, and most notably, several large murals. Each of the murals have been designed by local artists and they celebrate the history and diversity of Frog Hollow. The Art Box Lot also frequently collaborates with nonprofits and other organizations to hold events.
Julie Bergeron created this installation in collaboration with Our Piece of the Pie, which is a local nonprofit aiming to empower youth. The three main panels each depict a stage in food production: first the food is harvested, then it is sold, and finally it is enjoyed! This garden is one of three sites in the Grow Hartford program.
This mural was created by Japanese graffiti artist Shiro. She created the piece with the help of students from the organization Youth for Change, whom she first taught in a workshop how to paint graffiti. The mural only took about half a day to complete, and the artists were so invested that they stayed long after nightfall, with car headlights pointed at the wall to help them see.
In the 1800s, the section of Hartford that was popularly known as "Frog Hollow" became the center of the city’s industrial development. The neighborhood was located along the Park River and the railroad which made the area ideally suited for manufacturing. Though many of the factories which made the area a bustling part of Hartford in the late 1800s and early 1900s have long been shuttered, a number of the neighborhood's historic homes remain. The neighborhood is also noteworthy for Pope Park, a 90.5 acre park that began with land donated to the city by Colonel Albert Pope, the industrialist behind Pope Manufacturing. Frog Hollow is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Templo Fe is a church of the Pentecostal denomination founded by Pastor Julie Ramirez. Reverend Roberto Calcaño is the current pastor, who took over as Senior Pastor following Reverend Ramirez's death in 2016. He spent years learning under her guidance prior to this. The church offers services multiple days a week in Spanish. They also have their own radio program which broadcasts every Saturday morning at 9:00 at 100.1 FM.