87 & 89 Atwood Street
What a project! It's nearly as famous as the Victorian Lady, and rightfully so. It may have started as a Perfect Six, but once upon a time it was a derelict 33-room boarding house -- but that was before NINA got its hands on it. Co-winner with the City of Hartford, 2011 Hartford Preservation Alliance Award for the facade restoration and in-fill construction.
The homes at 87 and 89 Atwood Street are both halves of a former Perfect Six that was originally constructed in 1911. It was designed by locally renowned architect George Zunner, and it was built by brothers Louis and Morris Schoolnik. Morris, in fact, lived at 93 Atwood Street, the northern part of a duplex that used to stand just north of and now serves as the parking area for 87 and 89 Atwood Street.
The building that houses 87 and 89 Atwood Street stands out in the Sigourney Street District as a former Perfect Six. Along with several other Perfect Sixes found farther south on Atwood Street, all of which were constructed by the Schoolnik brothers, they represent the changing economy in Hartford as World War One approached. As industry ramped up along the Park River, Hartford’s population began to explode as people moved to the city for the increasingly numerous manufacturing jobs. The Schoolnik brothers, as well as other builders around the city, began to build Perfect Sixes throughout Hartford to provide housing for the influx of new workers, making the Perfect Six a signature style in Hartford.
NINA became interested in the property in June 2006. Despite the blighted condition of the building, the community still recognized the building’s potential, and NINA, which had just completed the successful rehabilitation of several historic homes on Ashley Street near Garden Street, decided to restore 87 and 89 Atwood Street to their former grandeur. Just as importantly, NINA saw a significant opportunity to create owner-occupied homes here, which was an important goal for both the neighborhood and for the City. NINA negotiated to purchase the municipal tax liens on the property in October 2006, and then it began the arduous and lengthy process to foreclose on the property.