Updates

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!

Congratulations to Mike Stockman!

Congratulations to Mike Stockman!
Today, Mike Stockman worked his last day as construction manager for NINA as he officially embarked on retirement.  Mike has worked for NINA for nearly a decade, and he has been a jack-of-all-trades as he's managed our construction schedules, overseen volunteers, worked on the houses himself, and completed, as he always called them, his "honey-do" lists that ensured that every house was ready for our new homeowners.

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!


Posted 5/5/2017

Thanks to Our Friends from JELLO!

Thanks to Our Friends from JELLO!
On January 17, a group of students participating in Trinity College's January Experience of Living, Learning, and Outreach (JELLO) volunteered at 115 and 117 Sigourney Street.  Work included cleaning up the site, inside and out, and making the whole place look presentable.

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.


Posted 1/17/2017

In Memoriam: Stu Beckett

In Memoriam:  Stu Beckett
We were very saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Stu Beckett on January 7, 2017. Stu was a dedicated member of the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, and in that capacity he was instrumental in the foundation of ServCorps, the building ministry that worked to re-build homes in disaster-stricken areas around the country.  ServCorps, of course, was a long-time partner with NINA, and although we met Stu through ServCorps we quickly came to know him in his own right.  Stu lent his carpentry skills to our projects, and his involvement can be seen on many of the porches of our homes.  We still have a batch of trim that he ordered for us in our storage area, and we will think fondly of him as we install it at 94-96 Ashley Street.

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.




Posted 1/7/2017

Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting at the Zunner Building

Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting at the Zunner Building
NINA and its partners held a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at the Zunner Building, 207-215 Garden Street, on Wednesday, May 11, 2016.  The ceremony marked the formal conclusion of work on the building, which was NINA's biggest project (5 years, $2.5 million) to date.

Look for a dedicated page under Some of Our Past Projects under Our Work soon!




Posted 5/11/2016

People's United Community Foundation Supports NINA!

People's United Community Foundation Supports NINA!
NINA is very pleased to announce that we received a $10,000 grant from the People's United Community Foundation to support our initiative to expand affordable homeownership opportunities in Asylum Hill for low- to moderate-income families.  The support provided by the People's United Community Foundation also furthers the Foundation's goal to increase homeownership opportunities in Hartford.

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!


Posted 10/28/2015

Consecration of 54 Huntington Street

Consecration of 54 Huntington Street
Our partner on our project at 54 Huntington Street, the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, held a ceremony following its Sunday morning service to consecrate the new house here.  Approximately 100 parishioners and neighbors came up for the ceremony and explored the interior of the house.

AHCC has generously supported this project from beginning, donating the land to NINA and contributing funds and volunteers to the construction.




Posted 9/29/2015

In Memoriam: Liam McGee (1954-2015)

In Memoriam:  Liam McGee (1954-2015)
It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Liam McGee, who had been CEO of The Hartford from October 1, 2009 through July 1, 2014.  Mr. McGee arrived at The Hartford during a transitional period in that company's history, but as he worked to transform the company he continued -- and deepened -- The Hartford's commitment to Asylum Hill.  On November 16, 2010, just over a year after he took over at The Hartford, he pledged $7 million to the neighborhood, including funding to acquire and demolish the Capitol West Building on Myrtle Street.

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.




Posted 2/13/2015

Illumination Night in Sigourney Square Park

Illumination Night in Sigourney Square Park
Working with the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association and the Friends of Sigourney Square Park, we staged a modern version of "Illumination Night," a late 19th century tradition in Sigourney Square Park that involved paper lanterns strung about the park and on surrounding houses.  Back then, they got to use candles in their lanterns, while we made do with little florescent flashlights.

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.


Posted 9/19/2014

Raising the Wall at 54 Huntington Street

Raising the Wall at 54 Huntington Street
With the foundation in and the first floor fitted into place, it was time to raise the walls at 54 Huntington Street.  Our partners gathered together for this momentous event, marking the start in earnest of construction on the house.  "In earnest" because from this point forward it will become more and more recognizable as the house it will be.




Posted 8/22/2014

Summer Walking Tour Series Kicks Off with a Concert at HartBeat Park

Summer Walking Tour Series Kicks Off with a Concert at HartBeat Park
A string quartet from the Hartford Symphony Orchestra helped to kick off our 2014 Summer Walking Tour in style at The Hartford's HartBeat Park.  About 200 people enjoyed the event, strolling around the park, eating lunch, and listening to the music.  Next week the tours begin with an inside look at the Hartford Courant and the studios of Fox61.

Posted 6/4/2014

First Fresh Express of the 2014 Summer Season

First Fresh Express of the 2014 Summer Season
A happy giant carrot greeted everyone who attended the opening Summer Farmers Market at Billings Forge today.  The happy giant carrot highlighted the importance of good nutrition as well as the difficulties inherent in finding fresh produce in Hartford.  The Farmers Market, now a mainstay of the Frog Hollow neighborhood, offers fresh produce from local and regional farmers every Thursday through October from 11 AM until 2 PM on the Billings Forge Green (just north of the Firebox Restaurant), and the Farmers Market doubles SNAP benefits, so that each SNAP dollar spent at the Farmers Market counts as two.

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.




Posted 6/5/2014

Consecrating and Breaking the Ground at 54 Huntington Street

Consecrating and Breaking the Ground at 54 Huntington Street
Our latest project, the construction of a new home at a vacant lot at 54 Huntington Street, officially got underway today as we broke the ground and consecrated it to its new use with our partners on this projdct.  The land here had been owned by the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, which bought it a few years back from Broad-Park Development Corporation, and AHCC generously donated the land, along with funding for construction, to NINA.  Our other partners are The Hartford, the City of Hartford, and ServCorps, all of which are contributing funds to the project as well, and of course ServCorps will be working on this project, too, as they have been on all of NINA's recent projects.




Posted 6/15/2014

Congratulations to our friends at JELLO!

Congratulations to our friends at JELLO!
We just learned that our friends at Trinity College's January Experience of Living, Learning, and Outreach (JELLO) won the prestigious 2014 Connecticut Higher Education Community Service Awards.  JELLO was honored for the demonstrated commitment to community service, the example that they set, and the inspiration that they are to others, all while pursuing excellence in higher education.

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.

Congratulations, JELLO!




Posted 4/8/2014

In Memoriam: Robert Knowles

In Memoriam:  Robert Knowles
We were very saddened to learn recently of the passing of Bob Knowles, one of our most steadfast volunteers.  Bob worked with us for the last several years, bringing his skills and his work ethic -- as well as his sense of humor -- to our work sites.

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.




Posted 2/1/2014

Ribbon Cutting, 33 Sargeant Street

Ribbon Cutting, 33 Sargeant Street
NINA and its partners celebrated the completion of the new home at 33 Sargeant Street with a ribbon cutting ceremony.




Posted 9/14/2011

Placing the Commemorative Cornerstone, 21 Ashley Street

Placing the Commemorative Cornerstone, 21 Ashley Street
NINA held a ceremony to place a commemorative cornerstone at 21 Ashley Street.  The house is now firmly ensconced at its new location, and the next step will be to build the front porch.




Posted 11/19/2004

Moving the Victorian Lady - Day 2

Moving the Victorian Lady - Day 2
She sat at the corner of Garden and Ashley overnight, but today we delivered her to her new location!  Next steps will include building the foundation under her and then adding a historically appropriate front porch and steps.

Stay tuned -- more to come!


Posted 7/19/2004

Moving the Victorian Lady - Day 1

Moving the Victorian Lady - Day 1
After weeks of preparation, today was the Big Day!  The Victorian Lady began her move from 47 Sigourney Street to 21 Ashley Street, traveling along Farmington Avenue and then up Cogswell Street to Garden Street.

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!




Posted 7/18/2004