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Old State House

Located in Downtown Hartford, Connecticut’s Old State House was designed by Charles Bulfinch and then built in 1796. It was used as Hartford’s City Hall from 1878 until 1915 and as the state capitol from 1796 to 1878. In May of 1796, the building had its formal opening. Then in 1814, the Hartford Convention took place in the historic Senate Chamber, which has been meticulously restored to its 1818 appearance. By creating display rooms within, the Connecticut Historical Society prevented the Old State House from being demolished in 1961. The Old State House in Connecticut was renovated by the Old State House Association in the 1990s, and it is currently open to the public.

Due to several key events and figures associated with it, it is significant in telling Connecticut’s African American history. One notable event is the Amistad trial, which took place in 1839. The trial centered around a group of African captives who rebelled against their captors aboard the ship Amistad. Their legal battle for freedom led to a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, and some of the proceedings occurred at the Old State House. Additionally, the Old State House was the site of the first statewide convention of African Americans in 1840. This convention, organized by the African American community, focused on issues of civil rights, education, and suffrage. Overall, the Old State House serves as a significant landmark in Connecticut’s African American history, representing the struggles and achievements of the community in the fight for freedom and equality.


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Opening hours

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
    12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday
    12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday
    12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Friday
    12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday
    12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Sunday

(Last ticket sold one hour before close)

School/Group Reservations available for Mondays