U.S. House advances Coltsville National Park plan

Claude Albert / Ctmirror.org

Two buildings in the Colt complex in Hartford that the National Park Service wants to use for its Coltsville headquarters.

Washington – The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday brushed aside a major obstacle to the full establishment of Coltsville National Park by approving legislation that changes the site of the park’s headquarters.

Coltsville was established by legislation Congress approved in December of 2014. That legislation required that the National Park Service be given 10,000 square feet of space in the Colt complex’s blue-domed East Armory in Hartford.

But the park service and the company developing some of Sam Colt’s former properties, including the East Armory, decided two one-story brownstones next to the armory would better serve as offices for park administration and visitor services. The two buildings were constructed in 1855 and are all that remains of Sam Colt’s original factories.

Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, introduced legislation in the last Congress that would allow modification of the original plan for Coltsville.

But the legislation died with that Congress. Larson reintroduced the bill on Feb. 3 however, and the House approved it Monday on a vote of 369-42.

“Coltsville has played an iconic part in our nation’s history since Sam Colt founded his company in 1855 and created a community around manufacturing that helped make Hartford one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution. Coltsville will continue to play an important role in Hartford as a national park,” Larson said.

The Senate must approve the legislation – and the White House sign it into law – before the National Park Service moves on its headquarters.

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