|A series of entries designed to capture the ongoing adventures of NINA! See how we came to be where we are today, and follow along as we enter the new century of social media!|
Volunteers from The Hartford!
Andy, Sarah, and Chris have all worked for us before, but this was Kel's first time volunteering on a NINA site.
Congratulations to Mike Stockman!
Mike was instrumental in the completion of the Zunner Building, stepping in to oversee the final stages of construction which included the installation of the elevator. Mike's role in seeing this project through to the end simply cannot be understated.
NINA will of course miss Mike, and we have tremendous gratitude for everything he has done while working for us. We wish him well in his retirement -- he tells us he plans to do some traveling, see some Broadway shows, spend time with family, and, once he gets that out of his system (and Carrie orders him out of the house!), come back as a volunteer on future NINA projects. We're not fooled of course: we know he's coming back for the weekly "fellowship meeting"!
Best wishes, Mike: thanks for a great decade and the enormous difference you've made in Asylum Hill!
Thanks to Our Friends from JELLO!
Trinity College and NINA have partnered now for close to 10 years, with groups of students coming up at least three times each year to work on NINA sites. We're very glad to have their help, and thanks to the support of our member institutions everything these volunteers do goes directly toward the creation of affordable homeownership opportunities in Asylum Hill.
Taking Down the Tree at 94-96 Ashley
We're guessing the tree was planted in front of the house after it was built, which would have put it at close to 120 years old. We'll never know for sure, though, since the majority of the tree rings were gone.
In Memoriam: Stu Beckett
Stu was a wonderful person to have around, and NINA and our homeowners all appreciate the contributions he made toward our work and toward the revitalization of Asylum Hill. Our deepest condolences go out to his family.
Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting at the Zunner Building
Look for a dedicated page under Some of Our Past Projects under Our Work soon!
People's United Community Foundation Supports NINA!
People's United Community Foundation has been a tremendous partner with NINA for over five years, and its funding has contributed to the creation of over 20 owner-occupied homes in Asylum Hill.
Many thanks to our friends at People's United Community Foundation!
Consecration of 54 Huntington Street
AHCC has generously supported this project from beginning, donating the land to NINA and contributing funds and volunteers to the construction.
In Memoriam: Liam McGee (1954-2015)
NINA was honored to work with Mr. McGee during his tenure at The Hartford. His support for our efforts in Asylum Hill helped us to complete the rehabilitation and restoration of nine homes, all of which are now occupied by homeowners. The Hartford also committed significant funding to our mixed-use project at the Zunner Building and to our two new construction projects at 33 Sargeant Street and 54 Huntington Street.
We wish to offer our condolences to Liam's family and to his colleagues at The Hartford, and we also wish to express our gratitude for his commitment to our work and his belief in the impact it has on the Asylum Hill neighborhood.
Illumination Night in Sigourney Square Park
We estimate that around 125 people attended the event. For this being the first time the event was held in over a century, it went well, but we learned a few things. First, it wouldn't have been nearly as bright in the park 100 years ago -- they didn't have streetlights, and really we should have factored that in! And second, many of the attendees walked away with lanterns as souvenirs, which we hadn't anticipated. We are glad they liked them so much -- but we had been thinking that we would re-use them.
With lessons learned, we'll hope to bring this event back in a subsequent year. Until then, we had a good time watching great performances by Sankofa Kuumba and listening to great music performed by Ron Pitz & Friends.
Funding for the musical performances for this event was generously provided by the Evelyn W. Preston Memorial Trust Fund.
Raising the Wall at 54 Huntington Street
Consecrating and Breaking the Ground at 54 Huntington Street
First Fresh Express of the 2014 Summer Season
The Fresh Express, sponsored by The Hartford and Aetna, will take employees of those two companies to and from the market. These employees can then help to provide fresh produce for local families in need: for every dollar up to $2,000 an employee of either The Hartford or Aetna spends at the Farmers Market, The Hartford and Aetna will match that spending with a contribution to the double SNAP purchase program at the Market. Employees should visit the Master Table at the Market to enroll their purchases and to learn more about other offers during the summer.
Summer Walking Tour Series Kicks Off with a Concert at HartBeat Park
Congratulations to our friends at JELLO!
JELLO has been volunteering with NINA for the last everal years, and they've put in work most recently at 51 Ashley Street, 55 Ashley Street, and 1 Imlay Street. Their work helps us to keep our homes affordable for their future homeowners, and we truly appreciate all of the efforts that they have put in on behalf our homeowners and the Asylum Hill neighborhood.
In Memoriam: Robert Knowles
We will miss Bob's presence on our sites, but we will enjoying seeing him in the work he did on our homes, whether it was a door, a window, a fireplace, or framing. We offer our deepest condolences to his family, especially Betty, his wife of nearly 61 years, and we will remain grateful for his tireless efforts on our homes. Bob helped make our homes more affordable for our homeowners, and he helped make Asylum Hill a better place to live.
NINA in the news!NINA appeared tonight on NBC Connecticut. Debra Bogstie covered the installation of the new banners at Sigourney Square Park. Her story included interviews with Luwannia Martin, who is chair of the Friends of Sigourney Square Park, and several residents in the park. She also noted NINA's project at 156-158 Sargeant Street, which sits across from the northeaster corner of the park. The link to her story won't last forever, but please take a look to see if it's still live!
We're Going To Be In The Newspaper!
Luwannia Martin, Chair, Friends of Sigourney Square Park
Diane Cantello, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, The Hartford
Mike Zaleski, Executive Director, Hartford BID
Ken Johnson, Executive Director, NINA
It's very exciting to have the banners up -- and this was a great partnership that made it happen! Next step: reminding Hartford who Lydia Sigourney was!
By the way, compare the sky in this photo with the sky in the photos from the interviews with Debra Bogstie -- heck of a difference 3 hours can make in New England.
We're Going To Be On The TV!
Luwannia was attacked by a bee, Morgan didn't make the cut, and I couldn't keep my sunglasses out of the frame, but we had a great time all the way around!
The Banners Are Up!
The colors keep to the Victorian palette, and they match the changing leaves pretty darn well, too.
NINA in the news!Debra Bogstie did a story on the rehabilitation of 1 Imlay Street and some of the discoveries our crew has made while working on this site -- finds that include a shoe and a wedding invitation from 1878. You can view the story as long as the link remains live.
The story features great shots of the shadow lines that indicated the window crowns that had been in place as well as of the window crown we did find.
Also, Chris Montross came over to be interviewed on behalf of Aetna, which is the major funder for this project. Unfortunately, Chris didn't make the final cut, but we appreciate his coming over to support our project!
NINA in the news!Vanessa de La Torre's has a story about the $500,000 donation NINA received from Connecticut Light & Power for our project at 207-213 Garden Street. The article also describes some of the work we've done on this project as well as in the area of Asylum Hill around 207 Garden Street.
Our press release on the donation is also available for viewing.
NINA in the news!The Courant published an editorial (or is it an opinion piece?) on NINA's work at 207-213 Garden Street, also known as the Zunner Building. The editorial salutes this project as the last piece of the puzzle that improves the Ashley-Garden Street section of the Sigourney Square District.
NINA in the news!Mike McGarry commented on the recent work NINA has done in the Ashley Street area of Asylum Hill in the August 9-16, 2012 edition of the Hartford News. Mike also commented on the improvements the homeowners have been making on their own.
Full disclosure: Mike was a long-time resident at 40 Ashley Street, so he's very passionate about this part of Asylum Hill.
NINA in the news!Jesse Rifkin reported on the work NINA is doing at 199-201 Sargeant Street. Bank of America has been an important part of this project, and we appreciate Dean Andrews's continued for support for our work!
NINA in the news!Debra Bogstie highlighted the work NINA is doing in Asylum Hill on tonight's 5:30 broadcast of NBC Connecticut News. Unfortunately, the video isn't available, but you can read the story -- and it's a pretty great picture of 8 and 18 Ashley Street, too!
NINA in the news!Jenna Carlesso reported on the Landscape Design Challenge portion of our Vest Pocket Garden program. Her article also highlighted some of the other events that took place today.
NINA in the news!Susan Campbell wrote a great piece today about NINA's work in Asylum Hill and about our partnership with ServCorps.
NINA in the news!ServCorps is holding a benefit concert at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church on March 9, and in advance of that Ruth Grobe, the master of all things ServCorps, submitted an article that the Courant published today. It describes the upcoming concert as well as the productive partnership that ServCorps and NINA have forged.
The article isn't available online, but we preserved a copy of it for posterity.
NINA in the news!Bernie Michel submitted a very nice opinion piece on NINA and our work in Asylum Hill that the Courant published today. He focused on 33 Sargeant Street, which is NINA's first new construction project, and he thanks our major funders -- Bank of America and The Hartford -- as well as our partners -- ServCorps and YouthBuild Hartford -- on the project.
Bernie is chair of the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association (AHNA), and he's a long-time resident of Asylum Hill (1994!). Full disclosure: he's also a long-time friend of ours.
Key Conveyance Ceremony for 33 Sargeant Street
The house was packed! Attendees included Dean Amadon of AHNA and the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Mike Marshall of Aetna, David Panagore from the City, Andrea Perreira of LISC, Donna Taglianetti of Co-opportunity (sponsor of YouthBuild Hartford), Yasha Escalera of the City's Housing Division, Ruth Grobe of ServCorps, State Representative (and neighbor of the Herculeses) Marie Kirkley-Bey, and Thea Montanez of The Hartford.
As a special treat, Rich and Ruth presented the Herculeses with a quilt prepared by friends of ServCorps from the Asylum Hill Congregational Church.
Along with the slide show of the event, we also preserved HUD's press release and the event program put together by the City of Hartford.
HUD Celebrates NINA's Success at 33 Sargeant!HUD highlighted NINA's project at 33 Sargeant Street on its web site. The work here was funded through HUD's Neighborhood Stablization Program (NSP), and HUD featured 33 Sargeant as one of NSP's success stories.
UPDATE: HUD's page went dark, but we preserved our submission to them for posterity. They pretty much used this document verbatim.
Ribbon Cutting, 33 Sargeant Street
NINA in the news!We got a hold of the December 2010 issue of Hartford Magazine, and wow! what an article! Carol Latter wrote a feature about 87-89 Atwood Street for the magazine, and it's a great piece. We'll be honest, we're not so keen on the photos of the two "gentlemen," but 87-89 Atwood really shines.
We scanned the full article for perusal as it isn't available online (at least not that we could find). Photos are by Lisa Brisson.
NINA in the news!Ken Gosselin, the Courant's real estate reporter, published an article in the paper today about NINA's recent purchase of 207-213 Garden Street. The article is no longer available online, but we saved
NINA in the news!The Hartford Guardian published a brief article broadcasting our open house next week and describing NINA's work in Asylum Hill.
NINA in the news!Tom Condon's column today is about NINA and its work in the Sigourney Square District. Tom paid particular attention to the project at 87-89 Atwood Street.
The article isn't available online any longer, but we saved a copy of it for posterity.
NINA in the news!Ken Gosselin wrote a nice article about 87-89 Atwood that was published in today's Courant. The article isn't available online any longer, but we preserved a copy of it for posterity.
And seriously, we didn't spray paint the "no parking" on the street, but we think it was a fabulous idea to do it! (Likely it was our friends at the Hartford Fire Department.)
NINA's Work Recognized by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation
CTHP has a nice write-up on its web site, and they also mention the other awards given out tonight. We especially want to extend our congratulations to Trinity College and the University of Hartford Hartt School of Music on their awards -- together we are all working together to preserve Hartford's history well into the future!
NINA in the news!Lisa Prevost published an article today in the New York Times, describing NINA"s efforts to purchase distressed houses in Asylum Hill. The article featured photos of 246-248 Sargeant Street and 235-237 Sargeant Street, and it quoted some of our friends in the neighborhood as well.
NINA's Work Recognized by This Old House!Okay, this is just plain fun! One of our favoritest TV shows going (you'd kind of guessed that already, hadn't you?) recognized Asylum Hill as one of the "best old neighborhoods" in the country in their partner magazine. Not only did they mention NINA's work in the neighborhood, but they also including one of Ken's photos! Here's where to go to see it all:
Best Places for First-Time Buyers to Get an Old House (Slide 1 of 17)
Best Places for Retirees to Buy an Old House (Slide 4 of 15)
Best Places for City Slickers to Buy an Old House (Slide 1 of 15)
Best Places to Buy a Queen Anne (Slide 2 of 14)
Best Places in the Northeast to Buy an Old House (Slide 1 of 11)
The feature is the same under each category, so the additional links are really just an indication of how excited we are about this!
Placing the Commemorative Cornerstone, 21 Ashley Street
Moving the Victorian Lady - Day 2
Stay tuned -- more to come!
Moving the Victorian Lady - Day 1
Unfortunately, we had to pause at the corner of Ashley and Garden due to some issues with power lines, but we're looking forward to moving the Victorian Lady onto her new lot first thing tomorrow morning!
NINA in the news!And we're off! PR Newswire published NINA's introductory press release in full. This gives an overview of our mission, our members, and our partners. We'll look forward to posting more as we go, revitalizing one of the best neighborhoods in Hartford!