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Hartford in Hartford County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
 

William H. Mortensen Riverfront Plaza

 
 
William H. Mortensen Riverfront Plaza Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, February 1, 2012
1. William H. Mortensen Riverfront Plaza Marker
Inscription.
Welcome to William H. Mortensen Riverfront Plaza
Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, the centerpiece of the Riverfront park system, spans I-91 to connect downtown Hartford with the Connecticut River. From the plaza, visitors can cross the river on the Founders Bridge promenade or walk down to the river's edge and on to Riverside Park, to the north. A riverwalk connection to Charter Oak Landing to the south is not yet completed.

I-91 was rebuilt at ground level so this elevated plaza could reunite downtown Hartford with the Connecticut River. Completed in 1999, the plaza ended a separation of more than 50 years and transformed adjacent parking lots into desirable development areas.
Riverfront Recapture, a nonprofit organization created in 1981 to restore public access to the Connecticut River and to build public spaces along its banks, considers construction of the plaza over I-91 as its greatest achievement.

This plaza-level connection to the river made it possible to build docks to bring excursion boat service back to downtown and introduce sporting events such as dragon boat races.
The plaza hosts most of the Riverfront's free public events, including festivals, concerts, and a variety of performances. The downtown docks serve sporting events such as dragon boat races and seasonal excursion
William H. Mortensen Riverfront Plaza Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, February 1, 2012
2. William H. Mortensen Riverfront Plaza Marker
east side
boats.

Our magnificent American Heritage River provides a unique scenic backdrop for music and entertainment – making the Riverfront stage one of the region's most popular performance spaces.
Riverfront Management Plan
Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, owned by the City of Hartford, is part of the Riverfront Park System. The Riverfront Parks, in Hartford and East Hartford, are managed as a single park entity under a unique management agreement signed in 1998 among Riverfront Recapture, the City of Hartford, the Town of East Hartford, and the Metropolitan District Commission.
Working on behalf of the municipalities, Riverfront Recapture coordinates all activity in the parks and continues to plan for and construct riverwalks and public spaces.

The Metropolitan District Commission, which provides water and sewer services to Hartford, East Hartford, and six surrounding towns, delivers day-today maintenance in the Riverfront parks and funds the park rangers program that is administered by Riverfront Recapture.
Visit riverfront.org for more details.
[ east side ]
Lincoln Financial Sculpture Walk at Riverfront
Starting here on William H. Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, experience one of New England's largest outdoor sculpture installations as you walk along the river – a collection that reflects the life and legacy of America's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln Financial Foundation provided a major grant to the Greater Hartford Arts Council in 2005 to work in cooperation with Riverfront Recapture to design a Sculpture Walk along the Connecticut River in both Hartford and East Hartford.
After a nationwide call for entries, 16 works from award-winning artists were selected for this permanent public art exhibit.

Riverside Park
Greater Hartford Jaycees Community Boathouse
Public Boat Launch
Riverfront Adventure Challenge Coures
Athletic Fields
Hike & Bike Trails
Picnic & Playground Areas
Fishing
Riverwalk to Mortensen Riverfront Plaza
Mortensen Riverfront Plaza
Riverfront Stage
Founders Bridge Promenade to Great River Park
Excursion Boat Dock
Riverwalk to Riverside Park
Riverwalk to Charter Oak Landing (future)
Science Center and Convention Center
Downtown Hartford
Great River Park
Public Boat Launch
Amphitheater
Picnic & Playground Areas
Fishing
Founders Bridge Promenade to Mortensen Riverfront Plaza
Walkway to Charter Oak Bridge and Charter Oak Landing
Charter Oak Landing
Public Boat Launch
Picnic & Playground Areas
Fishing
Riverwalk to Mortensen Riverfront Plaza (future)
Walkway to Charter Oak Bridge and Great River Park

The pieces reflect some of the major themes in Lincoln's life, such as equality and preserving the union, as well as illuminating some little known facts about Lincoln.
Just ahead, for example, you will find a piece called "Lincoln Meets Stowe," which depicts Hartford author Harriet Beecher Stowe's visit to Washington to lobby the President for an emancipation proclamation.
As you walk across the river on the Founders Bridge promenade, you'll find two pieces, including "Union," an abstract work that represents reunification.
All of the pieces in the Lincoln Financial Sculpture Walk are accompanied by plaques that identify the sculpture, the artist, and the sculpture's relationship to Lincoln.
As you move through the Riverfront park system, you will also find several other pieces of sculpture that are not part of the Lincoln Financial Sculpture Walk. These pieces were gifts from private donors or the Greater Hartford Arts Council, as part of its ongoing commitment to public art.
Visit riverfront.org for more details.
 
Location. 41° 45.918′ N, 72° 40.13′ W. Marker is in Hartford, Connecticut, in Hartford County. Marker can be reached from Columbus Boulevard near State Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located on the Founders Bridge Promenade. Marker is in this post office area: Hartford CT 06103, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Recapture of the Connecticut River (here, next to this marker); William H. Mortensen (within shouting distance of this marker); The Founders Bridge (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lincoln Meets Stowe (about 500 feet away); Bell of the U.S.S. Hartford (about 700 feet away); Union (approx. 0.2 miles away); William H. Putnam (approx. 0.2 miles away); Jonathan Trumbull (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hartford.
 
Also see . . .  Riverfront Recapture. (Submitted on February 14, 2012, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
 
Categories. Notable Places
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 14, 2012, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 384 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 14, 2012, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.
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