Historic 287-289 Capitol Avenue
Sullivan & LeShane embraces the unique historical significance of our building, and in keeping with that attitude, our office features a variety of rare and historical items—including photographs, documents and memorabilia—that recall the history of the City of Hartford, the State of Connecticut and our state’s public relations and lobbying industries.
287-289 Capitol Avenue is located directly across the street from the State Capitol Complex in Hartford’s Frog Hollow neighborhood, which gets its name from the area’s historically marshy conditions and low-lying land.
The Frog Hollow neighborhood once included a multitude of three- and six-family homes, built circa 1890, originally intended for immigrant workers who labored in factories lining the street that is now home to the State Capitol, the Legislative Office Building and the State Armory. One of the neighbor’s original brownstones still stands on the corner of Capitol and Hungerford and it now houses our two companies: Sullivan & LeShane, Inc. and Sullivan & LeShane Public Relations, Inc. This three-family brownstone is also known as a “Triple-Decker” or “Perfect-Three.” Before it was developed, the land was owned by R.S. Lawrence, for whom Lawrence Street is named. Trinity College then purchased several lots, owning them into the 1880s when demand for worker housing spiked. Companies located in the neighborhood included Pratt & Whitney, Pope Manufacturing and Billings Forge. A local developer named Patrick McKone—who is best known for the apartment building bearing his name a stone’s throw away at 157-367 Main Street—more than likely built several of the houses in the area, including homes on Capitol Avenue, Oak Street and Hungerford Street.
In 1896, 287-289 Capitol Avenue housed two buildings on the same lot: one “Perfect-Six” at 283-285 Capitol Avenue, and our office building, 287-289 Capitol Avenue. McKone owned the entire corner, with four buildings on Oak Street and three on Capitol Avenue, including 279-281 Capitol Avenue. Our building is now all that remains of the original block, after the neighborhood underwent urban renewal in the 1950s and ‘60s.
Today the building still reflects its original look and features a large front porch that overlooks the beautiful State Capitol Complex—making it the perfect spot to catch the beginning of the Annual Greater Hartford St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Inaugural Parades for newly sworn-in Governors. Our building is also surrounded by an enclosed garden which KNOX Hartford, a Hartford organization that uses horticulture as a catalyst for community engagement, recognized with a Hartford Urban Gardeners Society (HUGS) Award in 2020.