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The Park River: Exploring Hartford's Underbelly

Catie Talarski


A hundred years ago, a river ran through the city of Hartford. And I don’t mean the powerful, 400 mile long Connecticut river. It was the Park River…and it was not loved. Due to massive pollution, the spread of disease, and a few devastating floods –the Park River, was buried beneath the city, entombed in concrete tunnels and drainage ditches. Started in 1940, It was one of the largest and most expensive projects in the history of the Army Corps of Engineers. After four decades and more than 100 milliondollars, the river now runs underground, relatively forgotten. Where We Live senior producer Catie Talarski takes us on a tour of this hidden landmark with artist Samuel Rowlett and his homemade canoe.

See more photos of the adventure.

Samuel Rowlett’s exhibit (which includes his homemade canvas canoe) is at Real Art Ways now through September 29. He will be giving an artist talk Wednesday July 25 at 7PM, discussing his journey down the Connecticut River with Kim Lutz from the Nature Conservancy.


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