The South Green neighborhood is adjacent to Downtown's southern border providing great access to jobs and entertainment. It is also adjacent to Hartford Hospital. This neighborhood provides wonderful housing options for those who crave historic buildings, townhouses, and a truly urban living experience.
The neighborhood got its name from the public green known today as Barnard Park. The Green was originally laid out as a common pasture in the 17th century and remained so well into the 19th century. It is said to have been the site of witches' gatherings in Puritan days. These were not tolerated by the early settlers and Hartford saw its share of hangings for those convicted of practicing witchcraft.
In 1816, the town voted to enclose South Green with a fence, and later appropriated needed funds to grade the area to be a military encampment. The green was also used as a venue for circuses, caravans and other types of public entertainment.
Jacob Weidenmann, the designer of Bushnell Park, redesigned the green in the 1860's, laying out paths that criss-crossed the park. At the intersection of the paths was a fountain, which is long gone. The only feature remaining today is sections of the ornamental cast iron fence that once surrounded the park.
In 1898, the green was renamed Barnard Park in honor of Henry Barnard, who pioneered the establishment of the American public school system, and whose home was located on Main Street overlooking the park. The Barnard home still stands today, used as transitional housing. The building was listed in 1965 as a National Historic Landmark.
Congress Street, which runs from Wyllys to Morris Streets, is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Greek Revival and Italianate buildings line both sides of the street. Among the early residents of these homes were Amos Whitney (33 Congress Street) and Francis Pratt (37-39 Congress Street), who partnered to form the Pratt & Whitney Company.
Housing in the area now includes condominiums, such as the Maple Avenue Mews, thus allowing the area to maintain its residential feel.