(Washington) – Today Congressman John B. Larson and Senator Richard Blumenthal along with Senator Chris Murphy introduced legislation to designate Coltsville in Hartford a National Historical Park. The Coltsville complex, anchored by the iconic blue dome of the East Armory, was central to the birth of precision manufacturing in America and was a key driver in the advancement of the industrial revolution. Bringing a National Park designation to this historic treasure will promote economic development and tourism in Hartford while preserving the legacy of the Samuel and Elizabeth Colt and their contribution to our nation's history.
"Coltsville has deep roots in our nation's industrial revolution, along with a history of innovation and manufacturing. I am proud to reintroduce the Coltsville National Historical Park Act today, and am hopeful that this Congress can come together to pass this bill and preserve a critical piece of our national heritage," said Congressman Larson. "I am heartened by recent developments at Coltsville and look forward to seeing continued progress in the area.
"I applaud Senator Blumenthal and Senator Murphy for their support along with many other state and local leaders," Larson continued, "and look forward to working towards the National Park status this Congress."
"The Coltsville complex is a historic treasure, enshrining Colt's powerful role in advancing the industrial revolution and manufacturing in Connecticut and nationwide. The Coltsville National Historical Park Act will help preserve an important piece of our state's history and help ensure that generations to come have the opportunity to visit and learn about this historic landmark," said Blumenthal.
"Coltsville's rich history and contributions to our state's economy and manufacturing sector should be honored and recognized for generations to come," said Murphy. "Designating this site as a National Park will help boost economic development and tourism in the region, and will help educate visitors from across the country about Connecticut's manufacturing history."
The Coltsville National Historical Park Act is similar to legislation introduced by Representative Larson and Senator Lieberman in the last Congress. It would give the Secretary of the Interior the authority to establish a National Park once certain criteria is met. Over the last two years, significant progress has been made towards establishing a National Park at the site, including a pledge of support for a National Park at Coltsville by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar during a visit to Hartford. Unfortunately, no new National Park designations were passed in the 112th.
In 1855 Samuel Colt founded the Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company, which became model for precision manufacturing nationwide. For nearly 40 years following his death his wife Elizabeth would run and operate the complex, continuing their tradition of entrepreneurship and innovation. The site was a fully integrated industrial district that contained manufacturing facilities, worker housing, community amenities such as social and religious buildings, and the home of Samuel and Elizabeth Colt. Coltsville continued to be a manufacturing hub into the 20th century, attracting highly skilled workers and making a lasting contribution to the national economy. Coltsville was named a National Historic Landmark in 2008.