The redevelopment of the former G. Fox Department Store at 960 Main Street was one of the pillars of a plan to revitalize the City of Hartford's Central Business District. Designed by prominent 19th century architect Cass Gilbert, the 850,000 square foot building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the principal gateways to downtown Hartford. Originally built in 1917, the building underwent additions and alterations in 1938 and 1962. The adaptive reuse of this landmark building utilizes authentic Art Deco details and modern amenities to create a three-story pedestrian mall and food court on the ground level with office space on the floors above, a day care facility on the lower level, and the adjacent co-location of the region’s Capital Community College.
Because of the G. Fox building’s landmark designation, historic features were respected and restored, and the entire building was brought up to existing code. The effort involved meeting the extensive requirements of the State of Connecticut Historical Commission and US Department of Interiors, and providing specific design solutions for many of the building’s features. These elaborate features include ornate Art Deco metals on the escalators, wood and pressed metal windows, cladding on the elevators and the 1939 marquee with original neon, as well as resurfacing 60,000 square feet of original stone floor. JCJ’s innovative approach to reusing of existing materials and finishes was instrumental in the award of a $4 million historic grant.
The Real Estate Exchange, Grand Prize, 2004
Hartford Preservation Alliance Award, 2004