Historic buildings, Katharine Hepburn, the HCW Art Gallery and part one of how I landed at Hartford College for Women

Russ DeVeau Russell DeVeau Hartford College for Women

 

I came to Hartford College for Women a while after working as an assistant in the development office at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in New York City. AADA is a two-year performing arts school that has been recognized for training some of the most respected and well-known actors in the world.

The AADA campus is located in a beautiful historic building in Manhattan at 120 Madison Avenue. There were many times during my days at HCW when I’d be working in one of the college buildings – or leading a tour of the campus – and would remember the AADA building. This is because the AADA building shared more than a few architectural similarities with some of HCW’s older homes and historic mansions.

The reception area and staircase in Butterworth Hall often reminded me of the stairway and great room on the first floor of the AADA building. And when I went up to the attic in Butterworth Hall, or passed through some of the hallways on the second and third floors in Johnson House, I would often be reminded of the narrow and winding stairs that led up to the top floor of the AADA building where I shared an office – and worked as an assistant to – Sarah Hoge.

Sarah was AADA’s first director of development. She joined AADA after nearly two decades of working as director of special events at the Museum of Modern Art. Sarah was charged with fundraising and expanding AADA’s alumni relations activities. She had strong relationships with a wide range of donors and influencers and taught me a lot about best practices for special event management. I leveraged many of the skills I learned from Sarah when I was producing and promoting events and artists at HCW – and I continue to rely on many of those skills when managing events in markets around the world today.

Of course, I crossed paths with – and learned a lot from – many notable women during my time at HCW. And without question, the five years I spent promoting events and programs at HCW expanded my knowledge of – and commitment to – a variety of diversity and women’s issues. But when it came to promoting notable women, it’s Katharine Hepburn’s name that came up most frequently during my time working at both AADA and HCW.

Katharine Hepburn took theater classes at AADA. Her longtime friend and partner, Spencer Tracey, graduated from AADA in 1923. During my time working in the AADA development office, there were many conversations about how Hepburn attended classes at the school.

One of the reasons Hepburn’s name came up so frequently at HCW is because she was born and raised in Hartford. Her childhood home was located on Hawthorne Street, in the Nook Farm area of Hartford’s Asylum Hill neighborhood. The house was about a block away from where the Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain houses and museums stand today.

The Hawthorne Street home was also relatively close to the Seaverns estate, which was located in Hartford’s West End at 1265 Asylum Avenue. The Seaverns home is the building that eventually became known as HCW’s Butterworth Hall. My offices – along with most of the HCW staff prior to the 1991 HCW/U of H merger – were located in Butterworth Hall.

Doris Pope, a gracious, stylish and welcoming woman, was the receptionist when I started working at HCW. She sat and worked in the lobby of Butterworth Hall, right across from the front entrance to the home. Doris, who was let go almost immediately after news of the HCW/U of H merger was announced, was one of the first of several HCW staff members to tell me stories about how Katharine Hepburn was known to play on the grounds of the Seaverns estate when she was growing up in the area.

While there’s no way to know for sure if that story is true or not, it is a story I often had fun telling when I gave tours and welcomed guests to Butterworth Hall and other HCW buildings.

Of course, the Katharine Hepburn and HCW story goes further than Hepburn playing on the grounds of what eventually became the HCW campus. The activism and groundbreaking work of her parents, combined with Katharine’s love of Hartford, her commitment to women’s issues and her many accomplishments throughout her career in theater and beyond, were discussed and noted frequently among the HCW community, and among some of the external groups I was working with at the time.

One of those groups was the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame (CWHF), which was in its infancy and growing quickly under the leadership of Geena Clonan in the mid-1990s. Katharine Hepburn, and her mother, Katharine Martha Houghton Hepburn, were among the first women inducted into the CWHF in 1994, the year the CWHF was officially launched. It was an honor to be involved in helping to promote some of the events celebrating the first inductees.

As director of the HCW art gallery at the time, it was also an honor to help promote the CWHF portrait exhibit – which of course, included individual portraits of Katharine Hepburn and her mom, when it was installed by me and my team for a short stay in the Butterworth Art Gallery. The exhibit was on display at HCW in conjunction with the Connecticut Forum’s “American Women in Focus: Breaking New Ground” event that took place in Hartford at the Bushnell in the spring of 1994.

The CWHF exhibit was reinstalled in the HCW gallery by the CWHF team for a longer stay in 1995, the year I left HCW to take on a research project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. – Russ DeVeau

Photos:

Upper image: The American Academy of Dramatic Arts Building at 120 Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Photo via Wikipedia.

Middle left image: Sarah Hoge’s AADA business card from my time working with her in the development office at AADA. Photo by Russ DeVeau.

Middle right image: Katharine Hepburn, Bryn Mawr College yearbook photo, 1928. Photo via Wikipedia.

Bottom image: Butterworth Hall photo from the U of H Entrepreneurial Center website in 2015.

Originally published September 20, 2016 3:30 PM

The early 1990s were challenging years for Hartford College for Women

russ deveau at hartford college for women

Working at Hartford College for Women during the first half of the 1990s was special for me largely because of the camaraderie among staff and faculty members and because of the family-like friendships I established during those years.

HCW was also special because the college had such a long history of unique traditions that were educational, fun and helped build an exceptionally caring and supportive environment for students.

But without question, the early 1990s were extremely challenging and turbulent times for HCW.

The economy was in a severe downturn that lasted for nearly three years. The downturn was hard on much of the global economy, hard on the Connecticut and Hartford economies and extremely hard on HCW.

Demographics were also changing. There were fewer and fewer women of college age interested in attending a single-gender two-year college.

Competition from other schools also played a role. Women who may have wanted to pursue a degree at a single-gender college had other options in the immediate area.

The University of Saint Joseph College, located in West Hartford, a few miles away from the HCW campus, was aggressively recruiting from the shrinking pool of potential female students.

Those and other factors weighed heavily on HCW. Several months after I started at the college, it was announced to faculty and staff that HCW was experiencing extreme financial difficulties.

Shortly after this internal announcement was made, news broke that HCW and the University of Hartford (U of H) were going to merge.

The merger took place in 1991. The University of Hartford closed HCW in 2003. – Russ DeVeau

The AADA building and Butterworth Hall share many architectural similarities

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The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) building is located at 120 Madison Avenue in Manhattan. It was designed by Stanford White of McKim, Mead & White, with interior design by Elsie de Wolfe. The building opened in 1907 as the Colony Club, a premier social club for women.

The development office, where I shared office space with Sarah Hoge, AADA’s director of development, and Judith Leire, AADA’s director of special projects during my time working at the Academy, was located in a relatively small space on the floor known as “five and a half.” The room had two windows on the back wall that looked out onto and over rooftops and chimneys on buildings located right behind the AADA facility.

Butterworth Hall, the original Seaverns estate, was designed by the firm of Goodwin, Bullard & Woolsey. The home, which is located at 1265 Asylum Avenue in Hartford, CT, was completed for the Seaverns family in 1917. I had three different offices on the second floor of Butterworth Hall during the five years I worked at HCW.

My first office was in the room once known as Laura Johnson’s bedroom. Johnson was HCW’s first president. That room was behind – and connected to – Carolyn and Gertrude’s office (two top-notch secretaries working at the college during my years at HCW) and right over where the office of Teddy Newlands, HCW’s much loved and highly respected librarian, used to be located.

My second office was in the first room on the right after coming up the stairs from the lobby and turning right. My third and last office in Butterworth Hall was in the first room on the left after coming up the stairs and turning left, in the space once occupied by my friend Alison Derrick. Alison was director of Alumnae Relations when I first started working at HCW.

The AADA building and Butterworth Hall share many architectural similarities. The grand staircases and the several smaller, narrow and often hidden and winding stairways that are located within both of these historic buildings mark a few of those similarities.

Last week – on December 21, 2017 –  I had the opportunity to tour the AADA building with my friend Patience Martin. Patience was a student at the school when I worked in the AADA development office as Sarah Hoge’s assistant. The receptionist made us feel very welcome, as did our top-notch tour guide, first year AADA student, Will Wheaton.

Photos:

Upper left image: The grand staircase in the lobby of Butterworth Hall. The oriental rug visible to the right of the stairway was there when I worked in this building. I took this photo during my visit to HCW with Beth Davis in August 2017, during a time when Butterworth Hall was going through a much needed spruce up to prepare for a long-term rental.

Upper middle image: Another view of the Butterworth Hall staircase from my August 2017 visit to campus with Beth Davis. These two pictures show what the stairway looked like during my time at HCW. The rug on the stairs is the same rug that was there when I worked in this building.

Upper right image: The stairs leading up to the attic and down to what used to be the kitchen area of the home when the house belonged to the Seaverns family. I took this picture from the door located just outside of my first office, Laura Johnson’s former bedroom – on the second floor in Butterworth Hall. The stairs on the right go up to the attic.

Lower left image: The grand staircase in the AADA building. These stairs are located to the left of the reception desk after entering the great room from the foyer area. A large fireplace is located on the wall across from the staircase. I took this image during my visit to the AADA building with Patience Martin on December 21, 2017.

Lower middle image: The narrow stairway leading to the floor known as five and a half in the AADA building. I took this image from the top of the stairs looking down. The open door visible on the left leads into the room that used to house the development office, where I worked with Sarah Hoge.

Lower right image: My friend Patience Martin and our AADA tour guide and first year AADA student, Will Wheaton. We are in the basement where costumes are kept and sets are built. This is the area where the swimming pool was located when the building opened as the Colony Club. – Russ DeVeau

Beth Davis, Russ DeVeau, the grandfather clock and oh, how the HCW campus has changed…

russ deveau at hartford college for women russell deveau and beth davis in butterworth

These are some very fun pictures of me and Beth Davis in front of the grandfather clock in the reception area of Butterworth Hall.

The top left image was taken in 1991 by Jane Barstow. We were at an event taking place in the Butterworth Living Room to mark the finalization of the HCW/U of H merger. That event was attended by many of the HCW trustees who were involved in the merger process and by several HCW faculty and staff members who would remain working at the college after the merger was complete.

The other pictures are selfies of Beth and me taken last week – on Friday, August 4, 2017 – when we were on campus for a long overdue in-person reunion. One of our goals for a meeting on campus was to update the picture Jane took nearly 25 years ago – and we had a lot of fun accomplishing that goal.

We began our visit by taking an interior and exterior tour of the Babcock House where we were welcomed by a very nice woman who was working in the room once known as the Babcock House dining room. We left Babcock House to go take a look at the student townhouse area and then made our way over to Johnson House. We eventually headed to Butterworth Hall where we were greeted by a team of maintenance workers who were busy prepping many of the rooms and spaces in the house for painting.

Last week’s visit to HCW was the second time I was on campus this year. I made a stop and did a very quick tour of the campus on my way back to New York City from a holiday visit in Massachusetts back in early January. These visits mark the first two times I have been on the HCW campus in over 20 years. I have a lot of pictures from both visits. I’ll include several of those pictures in upcoming posts.

It’s interesting for me to note that there have been some positive changes to the interior of the Babcock House since my January visit. During that time I was disappointed to see that many of the spaces on the first floor of the home were in need of cleaning, painting and repair. It appears that several of the issues I saw in January have been fixed because the rooms and spaces were clean and seemed freshly painted when Beth and I were in the home last week. I’m betting the maintenance workers Beth and I met later in the day in Butterworth Hall recently finished up some work in the Babcock House. This was good to see.

While painting and repair projects are taking place in some HCW buildings, it’s more than fair to say that the campus has been in a severe state of disrepair for quite some time. This is true when it comes to the historic buildings on campus and equally true when it comes to Cheney Hall and the Science Center, two of the newest and more modern facilities on campus during my days working at the college.

It’s also interesting for me to note a few of the significant changes that have taken place in some of the buildings over the years since I had a role in HCW facilities management.

The Babcock House kitchen – a room that was completely unusable as a kitchen and only used for storage during my days at HCW – has been divided into a few spaces. Part of the space consists of a somewhat modern and completely empty room that appeared to be designed as a private office. This room is located on the side of the kitchen that faces the bridge and Johnson House. A relatively large handicapped restroom facility was built on the other side of the space, in the area close to the Babcock House dining room. The only restroom facilities located on the first floor of the home during my days at HCW was an any-gender lavatory located under the stairway that led to the second floor. I remember painting that bathroom as part of the updates Beth Davis, me, Larry Jesse and Deb Stillman completed years ago. That lavatory looks pretty much the same as it did back then, including the somewhat bulky pink sink mounted on the wall immediately to the left after coming into the space.

The next significant change has taken place in the book stack area of the library in back of Butterworth Hall. This area of the library has changed dramatically since my offices were located in the home and when Teddy Newlands, Julie Aldrich and Kim Muller were HCW librarians. The book stacks are gone and the space where they were located is – at least on the first floor – one large room. The room was painted blue during my January visit and housed what appeared to be equipment for teaching medical-related courses. The space was in the process of being painted a creamy yellowish color (likely the same color that was recently used in the Babcock House) when Beth and I were in the building last week.

Teddy’s former office was completely empty and looked like it had just been painted and newly carpeted. The door that used to lead from her office directly into the book stacks now leads into a relatively wide hallway. A handicapped accessible bathroom and storage area is located to the right after leaving Teddy’s office and turning right into the hallway. The large room where the book stacks used to be located is on the other side of that hallway. Two handicapped accessible doors – one leading into the former book stack area and one leading outside toward the back door of Butterworth Hall, are located a few feet to the left after leaving Teddy’s former office and turning left.

I remember Mary Ellen Burns (MEBs) and I having discussions about handicapped accessibility during my first year working at the college. It was a huge and complicated issue at the time. Given the changes that have taken place in the Babcock House and Butterworth Hall, it looks as if the University of Hartford was able to address and fix some of the most pressing accessibility issues in HCW’s older buildings during post-merger years. This was also good to see.

Upper Cheney has also experienced some changes. This space was newly renovated and expanded when I started working at HCW. It was a large pleasant room that could seat about 150 people when the room was set up as a dining room for student functions and special events. Upper Cheney has since been divided into at least two rooms. The kitchen and serving area are on the left when looking into the space from the windows that look out toward the main green. An enclosed room that seems to take up about a quarter of the overall space, has been built to the right.

Beth and I took a few peeks into the Science Center and the art gallery, made our way by Larry Jesse’s garage and over to the building once known as the HCW Counseling Center, which stands empty and in need of repair on Elizabeth Street.

We walked past 80 Elizabeth Street, the former diCorcia family home – where Kathleen McGrory lived after HCW purchased the property in the late 1980s and where I lived for several years after Kathleen left the house – on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Girard Avenue. I also walked by 80 Elizabeth Street during my January visit when the current resident was nice enough to point out a change or two she made to the home since buying the property from the university back in 2000.

Beth and I then made our way over to 236 Girard, the house once known to the HCW community as the President’s House, where the current owner – who bought the property from the university in 2007 – introduced himself. We exchanged a few stories about the history of the house and met his dog, Oliver. Kathleen McGrory lived in that house when I started at HCW. Sue Blanshan moved into the home when she came to HCW after the merger as Dean of the college. – Russ DeVeau

russ deveau at hartford college for women beth on stairs twice russell deveau

The above image is a very fun picture of Beth on the Babcock House stairs taken in the exact same spot well over twenty years apart.

I took the picture on the left in 1994. This was right after Beth, me, Deb Stillman and some of Larry Jesse’s team had completed a major clean up and spruce up of several of the rooms and spaces on the first floor of the house. One of our goals at the time was to make the first floor more attractive to external groups so that the space could be used as a profitable rental facility for conferences, meetings and special events.

The picture on the right was taken on Friday, August 4, 2017, when Beth and I met on campus for a long overdue in-person reunion. – Russ DeVeau

Hartford College for Women moved into the Seaverns Home in 1958

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This is a springtime shot of the front of the original Seaverns home.

The picture is from a 2014 Hartford Courant story discussing a proposal from the UConn Law school that would turn some of the HCW campus into a student housing and apartment complex.

The Seaverns estate was built in 1917.  Hartford College for Women (HCW) moved into the home in 1958.

Over the years that followed, HCW grew to include properties and estates on Asylum Avenue, Girard Avenue and Elizabeth Street. HCW also grew by building new buildings on property the college owned.

When I started working at HCW in 1990, the college included 12 buildings located on an incredibly beautiful 13 acre campus in Hartford’s historic West End.

Those buildings included the Seaverns home, pictured above and later known as Butterworth Hall, Johnson House, Babcock House, the President’s House, 80 Elizabeth Street, The Counseling Center, Larry Jesse’s Garage, Cheney Hall, the Science Center and Lorenz and Wilkes Halls.

Certainly the historic and grand mansions were beautiful in their own right. But it was the lush landscaping – some of which was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted as part of the original Seaverns landscape plan – that added significant beauty – and a high degree of privacy – to the campus.

It’s fitting that this Hartford Courant image of Butterworth Hall includes flowers blooming in the spring.

Mr. and Mrs. Seaverns were both members of the American Garden Club and Mrs. Seaverns was a long-time member of the Greater Hartford Garden Club. Mrs. Seaverns was known to collect azaleas that were planted around the estate.

I don’t know how many of those azaleas were still in place during my years at the college, but I do know that HCW was particularly beautiful in the springtime when flowering bushes and trees were in bloom.

The Hartford Courant image above includes one of many mountain laurels (h/t Pat McKinley) that were planted on campus. The picture was taken in front of the HCW reading room, which was part of the HCW Library. The original circular driveway is located across from the front door. Lorenz Hall was located to the left when looking at Butterworth Hall from this angle.

Many HCW staff and faculty members had offices in this building and many HCW and community events took place in the Butterworth Living Room. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

Who sat where in Butterworth Hall during the time I worked at Hartford College for Women…

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This is a great – and looks like a relatively recent – image of the front of Butterworth Hall. The photo was taken from the driveway outlined in the original Olmsted landscape plan.

FIRST FLOOR

The Butterworth Living Room is on the first floor, on the left in this photo where the bay window – made up of three individual windows – is located.

The two windows to the right of the bay window were in a small room the Hartford College for Women admissions team used for interviews and one-on-one meetings with students and potential students. This room was entered through a wood panel door that I believe was either soundproofed or double insulated at one time because the door was extraordinarily thick. I recall Larry Jesse mentioning that this room was used by the Seaverns family chauffeur as a work and valet area for coordinating family car trips and when visitors came to the estate by car. The room was located directly across – perhaps fifteen  feet away – from the reception desk in the main hall. A desk and small couch were the main pieces of furniture in this room when I started at the college. I don’t remember this room being used for anything but storage after the HCW/U of H merger.

The two windows to the right of the front door were inside Anne Baldwin’s office.  Anne was Director of Admissions when I started at HCW. The double paneled doors that led into this room were right across from double doors that led into the Butterworth Living Room. This room had a fireplace on the wall across from the entrance to the room. Michael Mills, who came to HCW from U of H as Assistant Dean, occupied this office after the merger.

The next bay window was inside the reading room of the HCW Library. I believe this was the dining room when the home belonged to the Seaverns family. There was a large panel door in the main hall across from the grand stairway – and to the left of the student bulletin boards – that led into this room. But that door was usually closed and wasn’t typically used as an entrance into the space. Rather, the reading room was entered from inside the HCW Library. There was a fireplace located on the wall across from the bay window. Many important historical photos and HCW memorabilia were located – and cared for – in the HCW reading room.

The last two first floor windows on the right in this image were inside the HCW Library. This is where bookcases, shelving and card catalog files were located. This relatively small room was entered from the main hall. Teddy Newlands, HCW’s long-time and much-loved librarian, had an office to the left after entering this room.

An exterior door leading out to a small back porch and to the Asylum Avenue entrance to the HCW campus was located on the wall across from the entrance to this room. There was a wood bench on the porch to the right of the door after you left the building. Many important meetings – both formal and informal –  took place on the back porch during my time at HCW.

Stairs to the basement were located outside in the library area by the back porch. I was only in the basement once with Larry Jesse. I believe he went down after a power outage occurred in the building during the installation of HCW’s first networked computer system. I tagged along. I don’t remember much about how the basement looked, but I do recall several brick support columns running from the floor to the ceiling located in the area where I had followed Larry down.

Teddy Newlands’ office window can not be seen in this image. Her office was on the left, about fifteen or twenty feet away from the door leading from the main hall into the library. Teddy’s office was small, about ten feet by eight feet. It was entered through a single dutch door with glass on top and wood on the bottom. Her desk faced the door and her window, which was located to the right of her desk when she was seated, faced the back of Butterworth Hall. Teddy had a view of the back entrance to the building and the green directly behind Butterworth Hall when she was sitting at her desk.

Directly behind Teddy’s desk was a wall with a door that led into the the library book stacks. This area of the library was built in the early 1960s as an addition to Butterworth Hall  This room was approximately 50 feet by 50 feet in size and included a cement stairway leading down to a same-sized basement room. The basement housed more book stacks and a handful of private study and reading desks.

SECOND FLOOR

The office of Mary Ellen Burns (MEBs) was located over the Butterworth Living Room. The first bay window visible on the second floor on the left in this image was in her office. This is the office where I had my first HCW interview.  Mary Ellen’s back faced the bay window when she was sitting at her desk. This was a relatively large room. There was a good-sized closet to the left after entering the room and a window looking out toward Lorenz Hall on the wall on the opposite side of the room. Mary Ellen had several book shelves and beige metal filing cabinets in this room.

The single window to the right of the bay window on the second floor was located in a bathroom. The bathroom was reached by turning right after coming upstairs and following the hallway to the left and all the way to the end. Turning right at the end of that hallway brought you into Mary Ellen’s office. Turning left brought you into the bathroom.

The bathroom was simple and relatively small given the grandness of the home. There was a sink – with no cabinetry underneath -immediately to the right after entering the room and a toilet on the wall opposite the sink. The window seen in the image above was in between the toilet and the sink. An average to good-sized tub was located right across from the door entering the room, to the left of the toilet. I don’t know if the fixtures – including faucets and spigots – in this room were original to when the bathroom was first installed. They were in generally fine shape, but they definitely seemed old and somewhat bulky when my office was in this house. The lower part of the walls were tiled in white. The floor was made up of much smaller white tiles.

The window to the right of the single bathroom window was in another relatively simple private bathroom inside Henry Enright’s office area. The fixtures in this bathroom were blue. A toilet was located across from the door, a sink to the right of the toilet and a shower/tub combination to the right of the sink. The window seen in the image above was to the left of the toilet after entering the room. Some of the bathroom walls were covered in dark blue and turquoise colored tile.

Henry was VP of Development when I came to HCW. I was only in his office a few times given Henry moved to U of H shortly after the merger took place.  The window to the left of the blue bathroom was in Henry’s office. That window was behind Henry when he was sitting at his desk. As I recall, Henry’s office was furnished with a few simple antiques – including matching chairs across from his desk and a mirror on the wall to the left after coming into the room. The space – at least during pre-merger days – seemed more elegant than any of the other offices in the building.

Henry’s office was generally entered through his assistant’s office.This room had a fireplace on the wall to the left after entering the room from the main second floor hallway. A small conference table – where many envelope stuffing projects took place – was located in front of the fireplace.  Henry’s assistant’s desk faced the entrance to the room. Her back faced the two windows in this room when she was seated at her desk.

These two offices were occupied by the HCW legal department after the merger with U of H. The legal department had been based in the HCW Counseling Center, which was located in another stately, but much smaller home, on Elizabeth Street, somewhat behind Larry Jesse’s garage.

Sharon Pope was based in Henry’s former office and Joan Metcalfe took over the office of Henry’s assistant after the merger. Sharon and Joan were welcome additions to Butterworth Hall given so many of the offices in the building were empty after the merger dust had settled.

The next bay window on the second floor was in Kathleen McGrory’s office. This comfortable, very large and somewhat formal room was known as the President’s Office when I came to HCW. My second HCW interview took place in this room in 1990. This is when I first met Kathleen after interviewing with MEBs a few days earlier. This room had two long conference tables made of heavy wood and set-up end-to-end in the center of the room. The tables were surrounded by fifteen or so wood and rail arm/captain’s chairs. Kathleen sat on the left side of the table and I sat directly across from her – on the right after entering the room – during my interview. Kathleen’s desk was directly behind her facing out into the center of the room. A large fireplace was located directly behind me. The bay window seen in this image was way off to my right. Two matching arm chairs and a small conference table were located in front of the bay window. Many staff and faculty meetings took place around the conference tables in this room during my time at HCW. This room became Sue Blanshan’s office when Sue joined HCW as Dean of the college.

Turning right after leaving this room led into the second floor hallway heading toward the Asylum Avenue side of the house. My third and last office in Butterworth Hall was the first office on the left after leaving the President’s Office and turning right. Alison Derrick occupied this office when I came to work at HCW. We shared a Mac, as I recall, one of two Apple computers in Butterworth Hall at the time – and many, many good times in this office – both together and with other faculty and staff members during our time working at HCW. Alison resigned from HCW about a year after the U of H merger was announced.

Continuing five or six feet down the hall led to a few stairs heading down.

Turing right after coming down these stairs led into the copy room. This room was maybe 8 feet by 15 feet in size. This space was likely a linen and storage closet – and a servant’s prep room – when the house belonged to the Seaverns family. There were shelves and built-in cabinets where office supplies were stored on the left after entering this room. There was also a window looking out toward Asylum Avenue and a counter and work space in this area. More cabinets and counter space were located on the wall opposite the door used to come into the room. The copy machine was on the right.

Turning left after coming down the few stairs in this area led into a hallway leading to the back of the house. My first office – and Laura Johnson’s bedroom during her time at the college – was entered through a door at the end of this hallway.

This room had a fireplace in the center of the wall on the right diagonally across from the door leading into the room. There was a closet – one with a dumbwaiter – with built-in shelves located on each side of the fireplace. A french door leading out to a small covered balcony was located on the wall across from the fireplace. A single door leading into closet space and the offices of Carolyn and Gertrude was located on the wall to the right after coming into the room from the hallway.

I originally shared this office with Mary Jane Crosson – who was director of the HCW adult lecture series when I started at HCW – and an intern who was working with MEBs on the Cheney business plan. All of us had matching heavy gray metal teacher-style desks that faced the wall with the balcony. Mary Jane had her desk set up so that it extended out from the wall to the right of the balcony. The intern’s desk was right behind Mary Jane’s. My desk extended into the room from the wall on the right after coming into the room from the hallway. The fireplace was behind me when I was seated at my desk. The door to the closet space – where portable metal typewriter stands were stored – and to Carolyn and Gertrude’s office and work areas was behind me on my left when I was seated at my desk.

Mary Jane was let go shortly after faculty and staff had received notice that the U of H merger may be in the works. The intern had finished up her assignment and was gone. This meant I was in this office alone while the HCW/U of H merger progressed. Soon after, I moved to my second office in Butterworth Hall, which was located in the back of the building over the grand stairway – the first office on the right after coming up the stairs and turning right.

My first office stayed empty for a while until it was updated with a fresh coat of paint – moving from the standard HCW office beige to a light mauve color – and new lighting fixtures and details. Jane Barstow moved into this office next, followed by Kathy Teso, who was hired after the merger to manage HCW development efforts within the U of H structure.

The attic was entered from a door located in the hallway on the right immediately before entering my first office. I was only in the attic a few times. Once as part of a long-term space planning committee, once on a tour with Alison Derrick and once with Bess Lewis, Marielle Hickey, Beth Davis and Deb Stillman when we looking for costumes for participating in the annual Shakespearean festival. Beth and I had been recruited to play Romeo (a role historically played by Oliver Butterworth) and Juliet as part of the annual celebration managed by Bess Lewis and the student affairs team.

The last two windows visible on the second floor on the right in this image were in Carolyn and Gertrude’s office. This room was entered by continuing straight after coming down the few stairs in the hallway and passing the copy room on the right and the hallway toward the attic stairs and my first office on the left.

Published on December 20, 2015

Photo via U of H wallpaper images page. – Russ DeVeau

Hartford College for Women’s Butterworth Hall – a grand and welcoming entry and reception area

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This is a fantastic image from the Historic Buildings of Connecticut Blog.

The lower image is the view to the right after entering the home from the foyer.

The upper image is the view from underneath the staircase looking back toward the front door. The Butterworth Living Room is all the way down on the left (the doors are closed in this photo) and the admissions and registration offices are on the right, where the doors are open. The reception desk was located right outside of these offices.

There were almost no changes to these areas from the time these two images were created through my five years of working at Hartford College for Women.

Two very small lavatories, one for men, one for women, were located under the staircase. Those lavatories were the only restroom facilities on the first floor of the home during my time working at the college.

To my knowledge, there were no original furnishings in the home during my time at HCW. But I am almost certain that the rugs in these pictures are the same rugs that were there when my offices were in this building.

The long wall on the left – where the credenza is located in the upper image – is where student bulletin boards were installed.

The banister and railings visible in the upper right hand corner of the top image were either removed or covered by a wall. That area of the second floor hallway was converted into an office before I came to work at HCW.

I sat in that office for about a year. It was my second office at HCW and it had a great view of Johnson House, the bridge leading to student housing and the main green in back of the home. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

1500 views – and counting! – and why I started this blog…

The library of the Seaverns estate is where the Hartford College for Women admissions and registration teams were located

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Another great photo from the Historic Buildings of Connecticut Blog Archive.

The top right photo shows how the library looked when the home belonged to the Seaverns family. That room is where HCW admissions and registration teams were located. Beth Davis, Marcy Webb, Terri Cain and Karen Rollins were some of the HCW staff members who worked in those offices during my early years at the college. The HCW reception area and reception desk were located right outside of this room.

HCW installed a counter that divided the length of the room pretty much in half. The left side of the space is where students would come to the counter to meet with the admissions and registration teams. Two heavy gray metal desks and several filing cabinets used by admissions and registration staff were located behind the counter, on the right side of the room.

The french doors led out to a sun room. The sun room – often heated by space heaters in the winter – was used as an office by several different faculty and staff members during my time at HCW.

The lower picture shows some of the Olmsted landscape plan, the garage and the original driveways leading into the estate from Asylum Avenue and Elizabeth Street. The driveways and the garage remain today. Cheney Hall and the Science Center were built to the right of the garage. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

Page 30 of the 1990 Yearbook features Alison Derrick, Beth Davis, Kim Muller and Teddy Newlands

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This is a photo of a page from the 1990 – the year I started at the college –  HCW yearbook. This was the last year HCW published a yearbook as an independent organization. My assistant, Deb Stillman Lopez, was responsible for driving the relaunch of the yearbook in 1995, a few years after the HCW/U of H merger dust had settled.

The top left photo is of my friend Alison Derrick. Alison joined HCW as director of alumnae relations shortly before I came to work at the college. Alison was the person who introduced me to HCW and to Mary Ellen Burns, HCW’s VP of finance at the time. My first interview with HCW was with Mary Ellen Burns.

The picture of Alison was taken in her office on the second floor of Butterworth Hall. Alison’s first office was located in the room on the right after coming up the stairs and turning right. Later on she moved to the office immediately to the left after coming up the stairs and turning left. Both of those offices had windows that look just like the one that can be seen behind Alison in the picture above. Those windows looked out toward the backyard of the property and over the main green of the campus.

The top right photo is of the business office staff and includes Beth Cartledge Davis, standing on the left, Amy Fowler, standing on the right and Barbara Gibbons, seated in front. This team shared a large second floor office – the third office on the right after coming up the stairs and turning right – that also looked out over the main green. A dutch door – where the bottom half generally stayed closed and the top half stayed opened during business office hours – served as the main entrance into this room. This is where students came to pay bills and faculty and staff could pick up paychecks.

Beth was the person who had the unfortunate job of handing out “pink slips” to HCW staff members who were not being offered jobs by the University of Hartford as part of the merger process. I recently came across my pink slip – which included a good luck message from Beth – in a Provincetown attic box containing HCW mementos.

Alison and I ended up staying on at HCW after the merger, Alison for about a year, and me for just about four years.

The business team – who all reported to Mary Ellen – were among the first to be let go after news of the merger was announced. Amy and Barbara left HCW. Beth became the HCW Registrar, a position she held for several years after the merger was complete and one that required her to move downstairs into the office next to the Butterworth Living Room, the space that was used as the library when the home belonged to the Seaverns family.

The bottom left photo is of Kim Muller. Kim was a member of the HCW Library team when I started working at the college. She too was let go shortly after the merger was announced. As I recall, Kim had recently completed her master’s degree in library services. The picture of Kim was taken in the book stack area of the HCW Library – a space that was added to Butterworth Hall shorty after HCW moved into the home. The book stack area consisted of an upper and lower level. It looks to me like Kim was in the upper level when this picture was taken.

The bottom right photo is a great picture of Teddy Newlands, HCW’s much loved, long-term Librarian. I’m quite sure this picture was taken in the HCW reading room, a space located off of the card catalog area of the HCW Library. Teddy is seated in one of many wood and blue leather arm chairs that were located in the space at the time. Her back appears to be facing the bay window that looked out toward the front yard and over the circular driveway in front of the house. I believe this area – the HCW reading room – was used as the dining room when the home was occupied by the Seaverns family.

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The picture above is of my pink slip I found in one of two HCW boxes I had stored in my Provincetown attic for the last 14 years. Beth Cartledge Davis placed these in the mailboxes of HCW staff members who were being let go as part of the merger process. The signature of Mary Ellen Burns, who was HCW’s VP of Finance prior to the merger, can be seen in the lower left corner of the document. – Russ DeVeau

Published March 25, 2017. Updated in the fall of 2019.

Hartford College for Women’s historic Butterworth Hall as seen from the original Seaverns estate driveway

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This is a spectacular photo of the Seaverns estate from the Historic Buildings of Connecticut Blog.

This early picture of what eventually became Hartford College for Women’s Butterworth Hall illustrates the grandness of the home and shows some of the original Olmsted landscaping.

The front door led into a simple foyer that was about 8 feet by twelve feet in size. There was a single, very simple, light fixture located in the center of the ceiling of this room.

The foyer led into the entry hall where the receptionist was located. To the left, behind paneled double doors, was the Butterworth Living Room. To the right of the living room, was the home’s original library where the HCW admissions and registration offices were located. – Russ DeVeau

Published December 15, 2015

Beth Davis, Russ DeVeau, Carolyn Forte and Deb Stillman in the Butterworth Hall reception area at Hartford College for Women…

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I loved coming across this picture…

The image shows what this area of Butterworth Hall looked like when I started at Hartford College for Women. This picture was likely taken in 1991. We were participating in an annual campus-wide cleanup event, another Hartford College for Women tradition.

Beth Davis is on the left. I’m kneeling under a photograph of Laura Johnson, who was Dean of HCW from 1943 to 1958. Johnson served as the college’s first President from 1958 to 1976. She lived in Butterworth Hall during the academic year. Her bedroom was in the back of the house on the second floor, over the space that eventually became the HCW Library, and where the office of Teddy Newlands was located. My first office in Butterworth Hall was located in Johnson’s former bedroom.

Carolyn Forte is standing next to me, and Deb Stillman – my assistant at the time, is all the way to the right. The Butterworth Living Room is on the left, where the blue rug is located. The Admissions Office is on the right, with the purple-ish carpet. That same carpeting was installed in the HCW Library, which was located directly across from us, on the other side of the house. – Russ DeVeau

Published on October 6, 2016

 

Selfies with Kathleen McGrory in front of Butterworth Hall in 2017!

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These pictures are part of a series of fun selfies Kathleen McGrory and I took during our visit to the HCW campus last month, on Friday, October 6, 2017.

While Kathleen visited my place in Provincetown a couple of times several years ago, last month’s meeting marks the first time we have been on campus together since 1997. That was when we met – along with ten or so other HCW friends and former colleagues – on campus for a reunion that I believe was planned by Kathy Teso and Sue Blanshan.

Kathleen and I met at Effie’s Place on Park Road in West Hartford. I drove from Forest Hills, New York, and Kathleen drove from her home in Holland, Massachusetts.

Kathleen and I had been sharing emails somewhat regularly since the end of May when we both learned from Pat McKinley that Mr. Jesse, HCW’s longtime maintenance man and supervisor of buildings and grounds, had passed away. We agreed that Larry would likely be somewhat pleased if he knew that his passing may have been a catalyst for helping some of his former friends and colleagues reestablish relationships that began at HCW.

I enjoyed exchanging email updates with Kathleen after not being in touch with her for so long. I learned a lot about her life, including her life before, during and after her days at HCW. I also enjoyed learning things from her about some of the people we knew together during our days at HCW.

In one of those updates Kathleen let me know that many years ago, and over a period of several weekends, Larry and Mary Ellen Burns (MEBs) – who was VP of Finance when I started at HCW – helped Kathleen put a new deck on her Holland home.

I knew Larry and Mary Ellen extremely well. They worked together and were very good friends for many years. They were both competitive, extremely independent, smart and very strong headed. They each had a fun and unique sense of humor and both of them would do almost anything for a friend or someone in need.

Given the personalities involved, I can picture some of the Lucy and Ethel-like antics that likely took place while Larry and MEBs were working on that deck. I can almost hear the kidding that went on, and the fun jabs that were exchanged while they shared friendship and good times with Kathleen during those deck building weekends.

I know that Mary Ellen and Larry would enjoy knowing that Kathleen and Jamie – a 13 year old cat Kathleen adopted after Jamie’s rescuers, Pat and Jack Burke, passed away – are enjoying that deck today, just about three decades after they all likely had so much fun putting it together.

Kathleen also let me know that she had officially retired from teaching as of June 2017, after 12 years as an adjunct professor of English at Eastern CT State University and after a long career in education. She told me that she had recently had lunch with Humphrey Tonkin – which was interesting for me to hear given Tonkin was president of the University of Hartford during the HCW merger years – and that she was looking forward to devoting some of her retirement time to a memoir she was writing about the year she spent in Europe looking for the Holy Grail.

Kathleen knew I started this blog. She also knew that I wanted to speak with her about some of the issues that occurred during the merger period. I was interested in knowing what that time was like for her given she became somewhat invisible shortly after HCW staff members – including Counseling Center staff – were told that the college was in severe financial trouble and that steps needed to be taken if HCW was to survive. That meeting took place in Lower Cheney in the fall of 1990.

There were about 30 people in the room, including members of the HCW senior leadership team, which at the time included Gail Champlin, director of the HCW Counseling Center; Mary Ellen Burns, VP of finance; Jane Barstow, academic dean; and Henry Enright, VP of development. I believe the purpose of that meeting was to let staff – faculty members did not attend that meeting – know that major changes were on the immediate horizon.

I do not believe anyone wanted to talk about a merger during that meeting. But I do know that several staff members went to that meeting with an understanding that a merger with the University of Hartford may be – or was already in – the works. The issue wasn’t confirmed at that meeting, but several – sometimes heated – questions about a merger with the University of Hartford were posed to the HCW leadership team during that session.

Shortly – perhaps just a few days – after that meeting took place, rumors about a merger with the University of Hartford were circulating widely at HCW and in communities outside of the college. Those rumors were confirmed when HCW and the University of Hartford acknowledged that talks were underway and indicated that some type of merger was on the horizon. The merger took place in 1991. The University of Hartford closed Hartford College for Women in 2003.

Kathleen and I ate lunch at Effie’s where we talked a lot about Hartford College for Women and our mutual friends from those days. We drove from Effie’s to HCW right after lunch and entered the campus from the Asylum Avenue driveway. We parked in the first two spots across from the back of the library and began a walking tour of campus.

Effie’s was a fitting place for Kathleen and me to meet. I remember working in Butterworth Hall on more than one occasion during my years at HCW when Carolyn and Gertrude, two incredibly devoted HCW secretaries at the time, would come back from a lunch break saying they had just had lunch with Kathleen at Effie’s. I have never been to Effie’s prior to this year, so it was somewhat special for me to meet Kathleen at a place where former colleagues and friends had enjoyed dining and meeting in the past.

I’ll share more details and a lot more pictures from our October visit in future posts. – Russ DeVeau

Posted on November 18, 2017

Russ DeVeau: Remembering G. Fox and transforming the windows of the former downtown Hartford store into a venue for art

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Almost everyone who shopped at G. Fox during its long and successful run in downtown Hartford has a special memory of the store. As a history buff with roots in the Greater Hartford area, I’m fortunate to have many special memories – spanning from my childhood through my days at Hartford College for Women – of G. Fox, the building and its longtime leader, Beatrice Fox Auerbach.

One of my earliest G. Fox memories is of the blue delivery trucks that were so popular on Connecticut streets during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. My dad drove one of those trucks. I remember, as a very young boy, playing outside in the neighborhood where I grew up and running home whenever I saw my dad driving to our house – something he often did for lunch – in that G. Fox truck. I loved that truck and loved when my dad parked it in front of our house.

Everyone who remembers G. Fox knows that Christmas was always a special time at the downtown Hartford store. I remember, perhaps when I was ten or so, my cousins visiting from New Jersey during the holidays and all of us piling into the car to go to G. Fox to see the Christmas windows and the village display on top of marquee. A trip to G. Fox to see the decorations was a fun and exciting part of my childhood Christmas memories.

Fifteen or so years later, when I was finishing my undergraduate degree and working as an assistant manager at The Comet on Farmington Avenue, I was back at the G. Fox windows. This time I was on the other side of the glass, working with the G. Fox visual merchandising team to help design and install the Christmas decorations and windows. The store had scaled back a lot over the years, but it was still fun to be inside and behind the scenes helping to create some of the G. Fox Christmas magic I enjoyed as a kid.

Fast forward to my Hartford College for Women days and I am once again back inside the G. fox windows. This time however, G. Fox had been closed for about a year. I was part of the cultural and community teams working to transform the empty windows into a public art space. My HCW gallery team – consisting of me, Deb Stillman and Beth Davis – worked with my pals at the Charter Oak Cultural Center to install a Karen Petersen exhibit in the empty windows. It was a museum-quality exhibition – complete with a catered opening reception held outside on the sidewalk in front of the building – that received many rave reviews.

While my childhood memories of G. Fox tend to focus on the holiday season, I do remember my parents speaking about Beatrice Fox Auerbach with admiration and respect, particularly when it came to some of her industry-leading workplace reforms. So I knew somewhat early in life that Auerbach was known to be a pretty remarkable woman.

My respect for Auerbach grew immensely however, during my time working at HCW. This is when I was promoting the Auerbach Auditorium on the HCW campus to a wide range of audiences; installed and promoted Auerbach’s portrait and bio in the HCW gallery as part of the first Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame (CWHF) exhibit; and visited her home on Prospect Avenue as part of a tour with the U of H conference team. I’ll write more about some of those initiatives in future posts. – Russ DeVeau

Photos:

Top left: The invitation to the opening reception of the Petersen exhibit in the G. Fox windows. The reception took place on the sidewalk in front of the building and was catered by my pals at the Reader’s Feast. My team painted the walls, installed the art (with Karen) and did the lighting for this highly visible and well promoted public event.

Top right: Each window had a different piece of art, sometimes multiple pieces of art.

Bottom left: A Hartford College for Women sign was placed in the lower right hand corner of every window.

Bottom right:  The exhibit transformed every window of the former G. Fox store into dramatic gallery space.

Published on March 9, 2016

The Miriam B. Butterworth Art Gallery at Hartford College for Women

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This photo is of a Karen Petersen exhibit I curated. The show was named The Sedna Stories. The exhibition was very well attended and received extremely favorable reviews from art critics at top tier media outlets.

I took this picture shortly after we installed the exhibition. I was standing at the far end of the gallery after entering the space from the main green and turning right. My back was facing the Girard Avenue side of the campus. Science Center room 208 – one of the most modern and popular classroom spaces on campus at that time – was to my right.

I own a piece of art from this exhibition. It’s an ink line drawing of a fierce and protecting male dog matted in white and framed in a dark brown wood frame. I am sure the piece was framed by Michael Shortell of Shortell Framing in Hartford. The drawing is hanging in the center of the back display wall in the picture above. Karen gave me the piece after this show was over – and I’m honored to have it.

I own four pieces of Karen’s art. These pieces have been displayed in my places in Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, New York and Provincetown. All four pieces are now in New York. I’ll include pictures of some of my Karen Petersen collection in upcoming posts. – Russ DeVeau

Posted on March 4, 2018

Beth and Russ DeVeau starring in a Hartford College for Women production of Romeo and Juliet

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Talk about an important Hartford College for Women tradition…

A performance of Romeo and Juliet was part of HCW’s annual Shakespearean Festival, an October campus-wide event that was managed by the HCW student affairs team.

Beth Davis and I were asked to play Romeo and Juliet by Bess Lewis, who was director of student affairs during my time at HCW. I believe the year was 1991, but it’s possible it may have been 1992. As l recall, the merger with U of H was in the works when this event took place, but not yet 100% complete.

I was honored to be asked to play Romeo because it was a role historically played by Oliver Butterworth, who passed away in 1990 – a year or two before this event took place.

I recall this being somewhat of an emotional event because this was the first HCW performance of Romeo and Juliet that went on without Oliver Butterworth playing the leading role. Mims Butterworth, Oliver Butterworth’s wife – who once served as acting president of HCW – and who was a long-time friend of the college – was in the audience on the night of this performance.

Beth found this picture in a box in her attic and I was thrilled to get it by email earlier this year. I knew the picture existed, but I didn’t know if it was still around, or who may have had it stored away somewhere.

This picture of Beth and me rehearsing, something we did only once, must have been taken by Bess Lewis, Marielle Hickey (Bess’ assistant), or Deb Stillman, my assistant at the time. I know this is a rehearsal because. as I recall,  the actual performance took place in the living room of the Babcock House. This image shows Beth and me in the student center on the first floor of Johnson House.

I remember this being an incredibly exciting autumn evening. Of course, Beth and I were a bit nervous. But we had a lot of fun participating in this important HCW tradition during a time when the college was going through such dramatic changes.

I also remember having a lot of fun with Beth, Bess, Marielle and Deb when we were rooting around in the Butterworth Hall attic – a space made up of several rooms on the left and right side of a hallway that ran the length of the building – to find the costumes we wore during this performance. – Russ DeVeau

Published on July 9, 2016

Kathleen McGrory, Russ DeVeau and the grandfather clock, October 6, 2017

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Kathleen McGrory was president of Hartford College for Women when I started at the college in 1990. The last time we were on campus together was in 1997.

Last Friday, on October 6, 2017, Kathleen and I met at HCW for a catch up, a tour and some reminiscing. We took a lot of selfies, a lot of pictures of the campus and did our share of strolling down memory lane.

For me, it was a fun and valuable visit. Fun because we shared so many stories about people and places we remembered together, and valuable because I was able to talk to Kathleen about her personal thoughts and experiences related to the HCW/U of H merger.

This photo was taken by Gretchen Hall, director of training at the Montessori Training Center. Montessori is the current occupant of a good portion of the newly spruced up areas of Butterworth Hall. Gretchen and her team were remarkably gracious and very welcoming to Kathleen and me during our Friday visit to the Hartford College for Women campus. – Russ DeVeau

Published on October 8, 2017

Hartford College for Women – Butterworth Living Room

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This is a picture of an event taking place in the Butterworth Living Room.

The room was entered from the front door of the home after leaving the foyer and turning left.

Two wood paneled doors leading into the room were located on the wall directly across from the woman who is presenting to the audience in this image. There was a fireplace in the center of the wall to her left and a sofa right behind where she is standing.

A grand piano used to be located in the space in front of the bay window.

The Butterworth Living Room is where Peter Harvey, Hartford College for Women faculty member and acclaimed Connecticut musician, held events and classes throughout the year. Peter would also often lead the extremely popular annual HCW Christmas Concert in this room.

The painting visible to the left of the bay window in this image was hanging in the room when I worked at HCW. As I recall, a student painted this picture. It’s a contemporary representation of Truda Kaschmann, HCW’s highly-respected dance teacher.

The artwork in this room during my time working at HCW included several large framed paintings by Karen Petersen, HCW’s professor of art.

There was also a Karen Petersen sculpture installed outside of Butterworth Hall. It was located in front of the house in the area by the circular driveway.

Laura Lewis photo credit. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

Sue Blanshan, a new Dean in town

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Sue Blanshan on the stairs in Butterworth Hall…

Jane Barstow and Logan Clark – along with several other HCW Trustees – had various HCW leadership roles during the merger years.

Sue was the first Dean hired by the university to lead HCW during the post-merger period. She had the monumental task of moving HCW forward within the U of H system.

Sue was hired after the university conducted an extensive search. I was on the HCW component of the search committee. There were some phenomenal candidates possessing a wide range of impressive credentials participating in the search process.

I remember Sue coming out on top of every interview and follow-up session the search committee had during the hiring and interview process. As I recall, it was a unanimous decision – at least from the HCW search committee perspective – to offer Sue Blanshan the position of Dean of HCW.

Sue and I were office neighbors on the second floor of Butterworth Hall. My office – my third and last office in Butterworth Hall – was located on the left as soon as you came up the stairs. Sue’s was diagonally across the hall in the space formally known as the President’s Office.

We were also neighbors on campus. Sue lived in the HCW President’s House at 236 Girard Avenue and I lived two houses away at 80 Elizabeth Street, on the corner of Girard and Elizabeth Street. We had an easy commute to the office and an easy commute to the Reader’s Feast.

The picture above was taken by the University of Hartford Public Affairs team, the group that staged the photo for inclusion in a new HCW promotional brochure. That brochure was among the first pieces of HCW marketing collateral the university developed after the merger. The piece was produced shortly after Sue came on board, likely in 1992 or 1993.

I remember being in Butterworth Hall when this picture was taken. I was passing through the lobby while Sue was posing. I also remember Sue saying something in the area of “there’s a lot of pink here” as she prepped for the photo and joked about her blazer and outfit.

I chuckled when she said that in Butterworth Hall and chuckled again when I came across this picture in a box that had been stored in my attic in Provincetown for the last 14 years.

I’ve always thought this was a nice picture of Sue. But I guess I agree with the comment she made when this picture was taken. There does seem to be quite a bit of pink there. – Russ DeVeau

Published January 30, 2016

A glimpse of Bess Lewis, Johnson House and Planned Parenthood’s Faye Wattleton

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Bess Lewis, who was director of student affairs during my time at HCW, on the green prior to viewing the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame exhibition in the HCW art gallery.

Deb Stillman, Beth Davis and I were standing to the photographer’s right when this picture was taken in the spring of 1995.

Bess’ office was in Johnson House, which can be seen on the right in the background in this image. The art gallery, where my team had just installed the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame exhibition, was located to the right of Bess.

Faye Wattleton is standing on the right in this picture. Wattleton was president of Planned Parenthood from 1978 to 1992. She is the first African American and the youngest president ever elected to Planned Parenthood Federation of America. – Russ DeVeau

Photo by E2 Photography.

Posted on March 2, 2016

The President’s Office at Hartford College for Women twenty five years later…

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This picture was taken by U of H staff in 2015 and gives a glimpse of how the room once known as the President’s Office in Butterworth Hall probably looks today.

Kathleen McGrory was president of Hartford College for Women when I met her for the first time ever in this office for my second HCW interview (my first interview took place with Mary Ellen Burns a few days earlier) in 1990. This was Kathleen’s office up until shortly before news of the pending HCW/U of H merger was officially announced.

This room was later occupied by Logan Clark. Logan was part of the HCW Trustee team that managed some of the pre-HCW/U of H merger activities. This room eventually became Sue Blanshan’s office when she joined HCW – after the merger – as Dean of the college.

This somewhat formal room made an immediate impression on me, mainly because of its size. This room was extremely large when compared to other rooms on the second floor of the home. While the room needed updates –  just like almost every other space in Butterworth Hall – this office was both comfortable and welcoming.

All of the furnishings visible in this picture were in this room when I worked at HCW. The two tables seen in this image however, were set up end-to-end to form one long conference table that ran across the middle of the room from left to right – as opposed to side-by-side as they are arranged and seen in this image.

The photographer is standing pretty much where Kathleen’s – and then Sue’s – desk was located. The desk was opposite the fireplace and faced out into the room. A long row of built-in cabinets and shelves lined the wall behind the desk. The cabinets and shelves were painted white. The majority of the visible wall behind the shelving was painted red.

I know the piece of art hanging over the fireplace was in this room when I worked at the college. I believe there was a matching piece in the room as well. It may have hung on the red wall in the large space between the white shelves right behind Kathleen and Sue’s desk.  I also believe I framed a couple of prints for Sue that were displayed in this room. As I recall, they hung on the left and right side of the fireplace.

This room was located directly across from the top of the stairs on the second floor of Butterworth Hall and faced the front of the house. I am quite sure this was a bedroom when the home belonged to the Seaverns family. This room was right over the space known as the HCW reading room, which was part of the HCW Library.

The open door seen in this picture served as the main entrance into the space. The development offices (and then, after the merger, the legal studies offices) were to the immediate left after leaving this room and turning left in the hallway. My second office at HCW was in the first room on the right after leaving this office and turning left.

Coffee, tea and a few treats were set up on the credenza – visible to the right of the door in this image – on the day I interviewed with Kathleen. I found out later that it was Gertrude Rodrigue – Kathleen’s secretary at the time and a longtime friend to HCW – who put those refreshments out in preparation for my meeting with Kathleen.

I remember thinking – on more than one occasion – that the green color on the walls of the room was relatively pleasant. But I also remember thinking that the walls appeared to need another coat of paint to give the room a more finished look. Meaning, it looked like the walls got one coat of paint the last time they were painted when two or more coats were likely needed. This picture shows the walls look pretty much exactly as they did the day I was first in this room. To me, and after not being in this room for well over twenty years – the walls captured in this 2015 photo still appear to need another coat of paint! – Russ DeVeau

Published on September 5, 2016

From promoting and producing conferences and special events to welcoming Billie Jean King, Deborah Norville and a wide range of women leaders to campus…some of my roles at Hartford College for Women

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I came to HCW shortly after finishing my undergraduate degree in communications and marketing at Central Connecticut State University. My friend, Alison Derrick, had recently started working at HCW as director of alumnae relations. Alison – who was an HCW graduate – let me know that HCW was looking to fill a facilities marketing and special events position.

I had a background in alumni relations, fundraising and special events from my time working in the development office at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in New York City. I also had a great deal of program development, public relations, special events, facilities management and hospitality experience from my time working and going to college in the Greater Hartford area.

I was an assistant and promotional manager at the Comet – a trendy, upscale and incredibly popular restaurant and alternative dance club located, at the time,  a few blocks away from the HCW campus – and traveling back and forth to New York City to explore graduate programs at the School of Visual Arts and Parsons School of Design when I interviewed for the HCW position.

My first HCW interview was with Mary Ellen Burns, who was VP of Finance at the time. I interviewed next with Kathleen McGrory, HCW’s President. I was hired and started working at HCW in the summer of 1990.

My first year at HCW was the year the merger with the University of Hartford was announced. During my second year, HCW was transitioning into the University of Hartford and actively searching for a new dean who would be charged with leading HCW within the university system. I was on the search committee that selected Sue Blanshan to lead HCW as Dean of the college during the immediate post merger period. I worked with Sue for about three years before I left Hartford to finish my graduate degree in New York City and to complete a research project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Almost every staff person could wear many different ‘work hats’ at HCW. This was true before the merger and even more true during and after the merger when HCW was operating with an extremely small staff due to layoffs that were mandated by the University of Hartford as part of the merger process. Several offices and work spaces in Butterworth Hall were empty after the layoffs occurred and many of those spaces remained empty for quite some time.

My responsibilities evolved significantly over the years. I had roles in facilities management, arts and public program development, and in implementing marketing strategies to increase the visibility of the college – including the visibility of educational programs and auxiliary and conference services – to complement fundraising, community relationship building and student recruitment activities.

I had the opportunity to collaborate on programs with organizations such as the Connecticut Forum, the Hispanic Health Council, the Hartford Ballet, the Hartford Club and the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women.

I also had the opportunity to develop, manage and promote events featuring a wide range of activists, celebrities and educational and political figures such as United States Senators Chris Dodd and Joseph Lieberman, Gloria Steinem, Ellen Goodman, Billie Jean King, Deborah Norville and Sarah Brady. These programs regularly generated significant media coverage in print and broadcast outlets and brought a wide range of new audiences to HCW. – Russ DeVeau

Photos:

The top photo was taken on the main green of the HCW campus in the spring of 1995. Deb Stillman, my incredible assistant at the time, and I were standing to the photographer’s left when this picture was taken. Me, Deb and Beth Davis had just finished installing the first Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame exhibition in the Miriam B. Butterworth Art Gallery when this picture was taken. These women came to campus to preview the exhibition before it opened to the public and before they participated in the Connecticut Forum’s American Women in Focus event that took place later that evening at Bushnell Hall. From left to right, Sarah Brady, Faye Wattleton, Eileen Kraus, Ellen Goodman, Billie Jean King, and Debra Norville. Bess Lewis, HCW’s director of student of affairs, was standing just out of sight, to the right, when this picture was taken.

The bottom photo is a picture of a Hartford Courant press clipping of a story covering Gloria Steinem’s visit to Hartford as part of the Women Connect educational and networking programs. I had an early role in producing Women Connect, working shoulder to shoulder with my pal Sandra Bursey, who at the time, was director of membership at The Hartford Club.

Published on February 25, 2016

How press releases were distributed in the early 1990s and a glimpse of the admissions and registration areas

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These two pictures give a glimpse of how the admissions and registration areas looked during my time at HCW. This room was used as a library when the home belonged to the Seaverns family. The counter was installed by HCW so that students had an area to meet with the admissions and registration teams.

I remember taking both of these pictures. The upper image is a great picture  of Terri Cain, in the center, and Beth Davis, on the right. We were working on a mailing – it was either an invite to – or a press release announcing – the second Laura Johnson Women of the Year Award that was originally produced by HCW and the Hartford Club. We were stuffing envelopes when this picture was taken.

The sun room can be seen in the background in the upper image. That room was used as an office by Terri Cain when she came to HCW as Director of Admissions, a role Anne Baldwin had when I first came to work at the college. The sun room was comfortable and pretty. It had brick walls, french doors and windows and a view of the main green when looking toward the back of the house and a view of Lorenz Hall when looking toward the south side of the house. This room could also be drafty and cold. I remember space heaters being the norm in that room for a good part of the fall and winter.

The bottom image shows Jane Barstow on the left, Carolyn Forte in the middle, and Kathy Teso, on the right. Jane wore many hats during the pre- and post-merger years. I believe she was Professor of English when this picture was taken. Carolyn was one of HCW’s highly-respected and extremely devoted secretaries. Kathy Teso was the college’s newly hired Director of Development, a role Henry Enright had when I first came to work at HCW.

They are standing on the side of the counter where students would come to meet with Beth Davis, who was the HCW Registrar when this picture was taken. The original fireplace and wood paneled walls can be seen behind them. The fireplace was located in the center of the left wall after coming into the room. The Butterworth Living Room was located behind the fireplace, on the other side of that wall. – Russ DeVeau

Published on May 10, 2017

The map of the campus when I worked at Hartford College for Women

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This is the map of the Hartford College for Women campus that was used when I worked at the college.

Missing from this map is the former diCorcia home at 80 Elizabeth Street. This home was located on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Girard Avenue.  The college acquired the home in the late 80s. I lived in the house for a few years while I was working at HCW.

The University of Hartford sold 80 Elizabeth Street several years after the merger. – Russ DeVeau

Published on March 9, 2016

Flashback 1997! Hartford College for Women staff in front of Butterworth Hall

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This picture was taken in 1997, two years after I left Hartford College for Women and the Hartford area. We are in front of Butterworth Hall for a reunion that I am quite sure was arranged by Sue Blanshan and Kathy Teso. Sue was the Dean of HCW at the time and Kathy was the director of development. Both Sue and Kathy came to the college after the merger.

Most of these former colleagues and friends included in this picture were Hartford College for Women staff members prior to the HCW/U of H merger.

From left to right: Kathleen McGrory, me and Henry Enright in the back row.

Pat McKinley, Larry Jesse, Mary Ellen Burns, Carolyn Forte and Mary Parola in the front row.

Kathleen was President of HCW. She hired me to work at the college in 1990. Henry was VP of Development. Pat was an HCW Trustee, Larry was in charge of buildings and grounds and managed HCW maintenance. Mary Ellen was VP of Finance. Carolyn was an incredible secretary to many, and Mary was Henry’s assistant in the HCW development office. – Russ DeVeau

Published on August 26. 2016

Summer events on the green behind Johnson House

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A few of the events I managed as part of a community relations and HCW visibility program. These well attended and fun events were held on summer evenings on the main green of the campus, right behind Johnson House and in front of the art gallery. – Russ DeVeau

Published on February 26, 2016

At one time there were discussions about Hartford College for Women owning the entire block…

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This map by Mercer Realty Partners gives a view of how the campus has changed since I left Hartford College for Women. It also shows one of the plans that may be in the works for the HCW campus as of the end of 2015.

The map omits Lorenz and Wilkes Halls – which currently stand on the property – and The Counseling Center that was originally located on Elizabeth Street.

While the President’s House on Girard Avenue and the home at the corner of Girard Avenue and Elizabeth Street, the home known to the HCW community as 80 Elizabeth Street –  were part of the campus when I worked at HCW, they have since been sold by U of H.

This map makes it look as if one of the current discussions about what to do next with the property includes a new apartment building on the main green where no building currently exists, a new building where Cheney Hall now stands, and a new building along Elizabeth Street where it’s likely some of the original Olmsted landscaping still remains. Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2018

The Counseling Center building on Elizabeth Street in 2014

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Photo credit: Greater Hartford Real Estate Blog.

This picture of 50 Elizabeth Street – the historic building once know as the HCW Counseling Center – was taken in 2014, nearly 20 years after I left HCW.

There was bit more landscaping around the building and property – including a hedge around the perimeter of the front yard – during my time at HCW. But overall, this picture pretty much shows what the Counseling Center looked like when I worked at the college.

I believe the building was completely abandoned by the University of Hartford shorty after this picture was taken. – Russ DeVeau

Published on February 25, 2016

The Counseling Center building on Elizabeth Street in 2017

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These pictures were taken in 2017. They are images of the building once known as the HCW Counseling Center. This building is located on Elizabeth Street and housed a relatively large – perhaps 20 – number of staff members during my years at HCW.

This building – which at one time was a private residence –  was acquired by HCW as part of a college plan – a plan that had been abandoned prior to my days at HCW – to own an entire block of properties on Asylum Avenue, Elizabeth Street and Girard Avenue. HCW came very close to meeting that goal during the years after the college moved into the Seaverns Estate at 1265 Asylum Avenue.

In fact, to my knowledge, there was only one property on that block the college never did own. That house was known as the “judge’s house,” the relatively modern ranch style house located two houses down from the Counseling Center and right next to 80 Elizabeth Street, the former diCorcia family home that sits on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Girard Avenue.

The HCW Counseling Center – pictured above – was located in the first house on the right after approaching the HCW campus from downtown Hartford using Asylum Avenue and bearing left onto Elizabeth Street. The home’s driveway is located right after the Elizabeth Street entrance (which was the original driveway leading to the garage on the Seaverns estate, the historic building where Larry Jesse lived and worked) into the HCW campus.

The building appears to have been vacant for quite some time. The upper left image shows the front door of the home. There used to be a large red sign over the door identifying the building as the HCW Counseling Center.

The image on the upper right shows the front of the house. Gail Champlin was director of the Counselling Center during the years I worked at HCW. Her office used to be in the room on the first floor all the way on the right, in the space where the air conditioner can be seen in the window.

The four remaining images are views of what used to be Gail’s office. I remember this space being very pleasant, mostly because it was a bright and sunny room, and because Gail had it arranged and furnished so that it was welcoming and comfortable.

I am quite sure the desk in these pictures is the desk Gail used when her office was in the room. It’s in the exact same spot where Gail had her desk many years ago.

It’s interesting – and somewhat eerie  – for me to see how the desk was left when the space was abandoned. It’s almost as if time has stood still since I left HCW nearly 25 years ago, because I am quite sure most of those items were in Gail’s office the last time I was in that room. That was in 1995 when I walked over to the Counseling Center from Butterworth Hall to meet with Gail shortly before I left Hartford for New York.

It’s entirely possible that the typewriter on the desk is the typewriter Gail used when she worked in this room. I had one just like it in my office in Butterworth Hall. Many of HCW’s administrate offices were equipped with the same type of typewriter.

It’s also interesting for me to see the interdepartmental envelope that was left on the desk. Those envelopes were mainly used after the merger to send messages and mail to faculty and staff members located on either the HCW or U of H campus. The envelopes were put in a mail crate that was picked up and delivered between the two campuses at least once a day. – Russ DeVeau

Published on January 27, 2018

Irina Nakhova and me inside 80 Elizabeth Street, Hartford CT, circa 1994…

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Some fun pictures of my friend Irina Nakhova and me inside 80 Elizabeth Street, the former home of the diCorcia family. HCW acquired the house in the late 1980s. I lived in the home for a few years during my time working at HCW.

Irina was living on campus as part of the HCW visiting artist program, a program I launched and managed when I was director of the HCW Art Gallery. I invited Irina to HCW while she prepared to participate in Dialogue With the Other, an international exhibition and program featuring many of the world’s most influential contemporary women artists. In addition to Nakhova, Dialogue with the Other included works from Louise Bourgeois, Nancy Chunn, Dorothy Cross, Paloma Navares, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith and Nancy Spero. I attended the opening of Dialogue With the Other in Denmark with the goal of further positioning the Miriam B. Butterworth Art Gallery as an important venue for showcasing both established and up-and-coming women artists.

These pictures show Irina and me sitting in the dining area of the house. We had just had dinner and were playing cards. As I recall, I taught Irina Uno and she taught me Canasta.

The upper left image shows me at the dining table with my back toward the sliding glass doors that led out to the non-working (at the time) pool. The kitchen and kitchen door – the door that was used as the main entrance into the home during the time HCW owned the property – is pretty much directly across from me.

The lower left image shows Irina with her back toward the living room. The kitchen was to her right. The living room fireplace was behind her left shoulder. The lower right image shows me with my back toward the living room. The foyer – where the real front entrance into the home was located – was right behind me.

The front door – that can be seen right behind my left shoulder – led out to the walled in yard. The home’s main bathroom was located behind the fireplace, opposite the foyer and across from the door leading out to the yard.

The hallway leading to the home’s master bedroom (my bedroom at time) and the home’s second bedroom was right behind the foyer. The master bedroom was to the left after entering the hallway. A wall of floor-to-ceiling windows (that included a set of sliding glass doors that led out to a narrow deck and the yard) ran the length of the hallway on the right. The second bedroom (my studio at the time) was located at the end of the hall. A square area of glass bricks – perhaps eight feet by eight feet in size – was located on the wall on the left right before entering the second bedroom.

The two pieces of art that can be seen in these images were created by Jewel Gentile. I curated an exhibition of Jewel’s work in the HCW Art Gallery a year of so prior to when Irina and I took these pictures inside 80 Elizabeth Street.

A couple very large photographs on loan to me from Irina hung in the master bedroom during part of my time living in this home. A painting I purchased from Karen Petersen hung in the middle of the wall on the left side of hallway that led down toward the second bedroom.

I moved out of 80 Elizabeth Street in 1995 to finish my graduate degree at Parsons School of Design and to take on a research project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Published on October 9, 2016

Art in the G. Fox windows…

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A nighttime panoramic – circa 1995! – shot of the G. Fox windows after the Petersen exhibit was installed. This museum-quality exhibition was installed by Karen Petersen, me, and my team shortly after the downtown Hartford store closed for good – Russ DeVeau

Published on October 22, 2016

Carolyn and Gertrude in 2003

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This picture was taken by Kathleen McGrory in 2003, eight years after I left HCW. Kathleen sent this to me by mail in February, 2018.

It’s a great picture of Carolyn Forte and Gertrude Rodrigue, two incredibly talented and extremely devoted HCW secretaries. These women were good friends of mine during my days at HCW. I learned a lot from them both and respected them immensely. They worked at HCW for decades, supporting deans, presidents, faculty and staff, as well as countless committee and volunteer initiatives.

Carolyn and Gertrude provided administrative and secretarial support to Kathleen McGrory when Kathleen was HCW’s president. Kathleen stayed in close touch with Carolyn and Gertrude for years after every one of them left HCW. I know they had a lot of respect for each other and shared a lot of love and good times together.

This picture was taken at a restaurant in Bloomfield, CT, where the three had gathered to celebrate Valentine’s Day. There is a bookmark in the foreground that says “Behind every great boss is a great secretary!” Carolyn and Gertrude gave Kathleen that bookmark as a gift that day in the restaurant. – Russ DeVeau

Published on February 24, 2018

My first event in Hartford College for Women’s updated Cheney Hall featured a talk by Kathleen McGrory

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This picture was taken when I worked at Hartford College for Women and shows students studying in springtime on the main green.

The photographer’s back is facing Johnson House. Butterworth, Lorenz and Wilkes Halls were to the photographer’s left when this picture was taken.

The building in the background on the right is the Science Center. The doors into the art gallery can be seen behind the low hanging branches on the left side of the blooming tree. The art gallery was the first space a visitor entered when coming into the Science Center from those doors.

The building on the left is Upper Cheney Hall. Exterior stairs leading down to the lower level of the Science Center, Lower Cheney and the Lower Cheney parking lot, separate these two buildings;

Cheney Hall was updated shortly before I came to work at HCW. It was a large, simple and generally pleasant room where students ate meals and where internal and external special events took place.

There were two entrances to Upper Cheney on this side of the building, both located just behind the trees seen to the left in this image. The entrance on the left was directly across from the food service serving line where students, faculty, staff and visitors would choose from a daily menu of offerings.

The kitchen was located to the left of the serving line and was updated as part of the Cheney Hall remodel. Every caterer who used the space praised the quality of the remodel and more than one referred to the kitchen as state of the art.

The door on the right opened into the main part of the dining hall. The serving line was in the corner on the left diagonally across the room after entering this door. This side of the room had relatively new dining tables and chairs that were acquired as part of the recent updates to the building. The tables were rectangular with gray tops and sat 10 people. The chairs had matching gray seats and seat backs with stainless steel frames.

Both the tables and chairs were attractive, sturdy and could be very heavy. Deb Stillman – my top-notch assistant at the time – and I moved those tables around campus on a regular basis – often with the help of Larry Jesse and Louis Crespo – and sometimes with the help of Beth Davis – based on where they were needed on a particular day.

After the merger, the U of H union rules – something completely new to HCW  – did not allow me or my team to move furniture and set up rooms for special events. Those activities now required a work-order, a budget and a budget number. I was scolded many times for setting up a room without a work order. The reality was,  I had no budget for such things. My team and I did what we needed to do to get the job done.

One of the first events I attended in Upper Cheney took place shortly after renovations to the building were completed and during my first few weeks working at the college. The event was billed as HCW’s 1990 colloquium where Kathleen McGrory, President of HCW at the time, gave a speech and welcomed students, faculty and staff to the new school year.

I remember walking over to Cheney Hall to attend this event from my first office in Butterworth Hall – Laura Johnson’s former bedroom, which was located over the library – with a group of colleagues that included Mary Jane Crosson, Alison Derrick and Mary Ellen Burns.

It was a clear fall day and some of the leaves on the trees were starting to change color. I recall the weather so well because it was one of the fist times I realized just how beautiful the landscaping on the HCW campus was. This was a realization I had over and over again during every season throughout the five years I worked at HCW.

Two other memories stand out from that day.

First, that was the first time I heard Kathleen McGrory engage in any kind of public speaking activity. Her tone, pace, enthusiasm and message delivery skills were right on the money. Looking back, what made this motivating and welcoming speech even more special, was the fact that Kathleen – along with every other member of the senior leadership team in the room that day – likely knew HCW had to take drastic steps – and soon – to make sure the college survived. Kathleen stayed on message and delivered an incredibly engaging and passionate speech during what had to be a very stressful time.

Second, Upper Cheney Hall looked great during this event. This was one of the first large events Marriott Food Services managed in Cheney Hall and they went all out to impress. There were probably 175 people seated in the room, which was pretty much the maximum  the room could accommodate when set up dining style.

Marriott Food Services handled student and special event food services when I came to work at HCW. The Marriott contract however, was canceled shortly after news about the HCW/ U of H merger was announced.  – Russ DeVeau

Published on February 26, 2016

Parking on the Hartford College for Women campus was always in high demand, especially during graduation and special events

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I didn’t recognize this area of the Hartford College for Women campus when I first saw this picture on Amy Bergquist’s blog.

I then realized this was indeed a view of the Science Center taken from far behind Larry Jesse’s garage looking toward the back of Johnson House.

This area was heavily landscaped when I worked at HCW and the retaining wall and stairs were not there. The stair area used to be a sloped grassy lawn that was on Larry Jesse’s lawn mowing schedule.

I would bet this area was being prepped for building a parking lot. Parking was always in high demand, especially during graduation and special events. I would routinely work with the special events teams at the CT Historical Society and the UCONN Law School (both on Elizabeth Street) to arrange for additional parking when large groups came to HCW.

If this parking lot was built, it would be entered from the Seaverns estate driveway on Elizabeth Street. Once into the driveway, cars would pass Larry Jesse’s garage on the left and Cheney Hall and the Science Center on the right to pull into this area. – Russ DeVeau

Published on January 6, 2016

New signage increases Hartford College for Women visibility

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The  landscaping, some of which was originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, was one of the reasons the Hartford College for Women campus was so beautiful.

But as this picture somewhat shows, the landscaping was also thick and overgrown in many areas. This helped to make HCW almost invisible to anyone driving or walking along the perimeter of the campus.

This is a fun picture of Kathleen McGrory, on the left, and Mary Ellen Burns inspecting one of three new exterior signs that were installed right before I joined HCW.

These signs dramatically increased the visibility of the campus during all day parts and included the relatively new HCW logo.

My first HCW business card included this logo. Photo via HCW/U of H archives. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 16, 2015

Teddy Newlands at her desk

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This is a great picture of Teddy Newlands sitting at her desk in the library area of Butterworth Hall. I’m quite sure this picture was taken while I was working at HCW because this is how I remember Teddy looking – and how her office and desk areas looked – during my time at the college.

The photographer was standing in the doorway that led into Teddy’s office when this picture was taken. The card catalog area of the library was behind the photographer. The windowsill visible on the left side of this picture is under a window that looked out toward the backdoor area of Butterworth Hall. A door leading into the book stack area of the library is just out of sight – on the back wall, a few feet to the right of where Teddy’s typewriter is located.

This image was taken from the HCW video posted on the U of H Women’s Advancement Initiative website. – Russ DeVeau

Published on January 25, 2017

A view of Teddy’s former office space and the bookstack area of the library in 2017

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These are a few of the many pictures I’ve taken during my two visits to the HCW campus in 2017. This year marks the first year I have been on the HCW campus in over two decades.

The upper picture shows what the former HCW Library looked like in early January 2017. This is the area where the upper level book stacks were located during my days at HCW. I took this picture with my back facing Asylum Avenue. Johnson House was to my right. A handicap accessible door leading into a relatively large hallway can be seen in the left side of the image. I am quite sure the windows visible on the back wall are original to when the the library was added to the building. Those windows face toward the back yard of Butterworth Hall.

I took the bottom left and somewhat eerie image on the same day. This time my back was facing Johnson House. The library windows are out of sight, on the wall to the right. It looked like some medical related courses were being taught in this space at the time. The bottom right image is of the space that was once the office of Teddy Newlands. I took this picture last week, on August 4, 2017, when Beth Davis and I met in Hartford to take a tour of the former HCW campus. We were welcomed by maintenance workers busy in almost every area of Butterworth Hall. Teddy’s office appears to have been just painted. The carpeting also seemed new. The purplish carpet leading up to Teddy’s office was there when Beth and I had offices in Butterworth Hall.

The door visible on the back wall of Teddy’s office leads into a relatively wide hallway. That door used to lead directly into the bookstack area. Two handicapped accessible doors, one leading outside, one leading into the room seen in the top image, are located to the left after entering the hallway from Teddy’s former office. A relatively large handicapped accessible bathroom is located down the hallway to the right. The blue walls seen in the room in the top image were being painted a beige/yellow when Beth and I were on campus last week. – Russ DeVeau

Published on August 25, 2017

Hartford College for Women springtime signage

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A springtime shot of how the relatively new exterior signs looked when I worked at Hartford College for Women.

There was a sign on Girard Avenue outside Babcock House, another at the Asylum Avenue entrance, and one at the intersection of Asylum Avenue and Elizabeth Street.

I liked these signs because they were relatively low, fit nicely into the landscaping, and were just bright enough to illuminate the logo at night without disturbing the West End neighbors.

The signs were replaced after the HCW/U of H merger.

Photo via HCW promotional materials. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 17, 2015

Larry Jesse and Carolyn Forte

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This picture was taken during the years when I worked at HCW. Larry and Carolyn were good friends and extremely devoted to the college. They knew a lot about HCW – including its history and so many of its secrets. They were both longtime loyal employees who served HCW for decades. Larry (Mr. Jesse) passed away last year, on May 29 2017. Carolyn passed away in 2016. – Russ DeVeau

The Hartford College for Women reading room in 1992

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Two more shots of the reading room in Butterworth Hall. These pictures were taken during my years at Hartford College for Women.

The upper image shows the fireplace that was located on the wall to the right after entering this room from the card catalog area of the library.

The bottom pictures show some of the HCW memorabilia and historic photographs that were located in this room.

There is a large bay window looking out toward the driveway and front yard to the left of the built-in cabinet seen in this image. — Russ DeVeau

February 29, 2016

The reading room in the Hartford College for Women Library in 1992

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This room was on the first floor of Butterworth Hall, in the front of the house, directly below what was once Kathleen McGrory and then Sue Blanshan’s office.

I believe this was the dining room when the home belonged to the Seaverns family.

This carpet was installed throughout most of the first floor library areas including in the card catalog room that was located on the other side of the door seen in this image.

The reading room was loaded with HCW memorabilia that was carefully managed by Teddy Newlands and displayed on walls and in cases throughout the room.

The sign over the magazine racks is a timeline of important HCW dates and facts. – Russ DeVeau

Published on February 29, 2016

The back door area of Butterworth Hall in 1976…

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This is a great winter picture of what the back door area of Butterworth Hall looked like before the cement ramp and relatively small mud porch were added. The image was taken from page 15 of the 1976 Hartford College for Women yearbook. Once inside this door, the card catalog  area of the library would have been to the left – after passing the faculty and staff mail room – and the grand stairway and reception area would have been to the right.

This area was photographed by Noel E. Tomas around the time I worked at HCW.  Tomas’s photograph, which was taken in the fall, was transformed into a glossy color postcard that many staff members – my office included – used as an HCW promotional piece. A picture of that postcard is included in this blog in the “The Hartford College for Women postcard showing the back door of Butterworth Hall” post. – Russ DeVeau

January 31, 2018

Russ DeVeau, Hartford College for Women, 1990 – 1995

russ deveau at hartford college for women russell deveau blogOne of my post-merger business cards from the five years I worked at Hartford College for Women.

Life changed a lot for HCW staff and faculty after HCW became part of the University of Hartford.

Part of my job in special events and public programs at HCW somewhat aligned with the conference team at U of H. They were a fun, talented and extremely successful group, but our jobs were much different on a day-to-day basis. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

Dottie Church at the receptionist desk

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This is a good picture of Dottie Church. It was was probably taken in 1991. Dottie was director of financial aid when I started at HCW and later – after her position was eliminated due to the merger – worked full-time for a while at the reception desk. Dottie was a good pal who I enjoyed working with during my time at the college.

My back was facing the front entrance to Butterworth Hall when I took this picture. The grand staircase was to my right. The admissions and registration offices were to my immediate left. The grandfather clock was right behind Dottie. The settee and matching antique chair were to the right of the grandfather clock.

This picture provides a great glimpse of the main green – where graduation and many special events were held – behind Butterworth Hall. It also gives a surprisingly good view of the student townhouses and the roof of Babcock House on the other side of the green. I must have taken this picture during a season when there were no leaves on the trees because I don’t remember those houses being so visible from the reception area.

Johnson House was just out of sight, on the right. The Science Center, which housed the auditorium, art gallery and some of HCW’s most modern classrooms – was to the left. – Russ DeVeau

Published on 19, 2016

Hartford College for Women signage changes after the merger

russ deveau at hartford college for women signae hcw russell deveau

This picture shows how the Hartford College for Women exterior signage changed after the merger.

This sign was located at the Asylum Avenue entrance to the college, which was the original driveway into the Seaverns estate.

Johnson House was straight ahead and a bit to the right, and Butterworth Hall was to the left after entering this driveway.

Published on February 19, 2016

The reception desk in Butterworth Hall, the phone system and typewriters…

russ deveau at hartford college for women russell deveau lobby area

I’m glad to have come across a few pictures of the reception desk area in Butterworth Hall. This is one of several pictures of this area I’ll talk about on the blog.

This picture is fun for me to look at because I remember when it was taken. It’s an image that was used in a promotional brochure for the HCW Legal Studies Department. It was likely taken in 1992, shortly after the merger and after the Legal Studies team moved from  the Counseling Center building on Elizabeth Street to Butterworth Hall.

The Legal Studies team was a welcome addition to Butterworth Hall. Many HCW staff members were let go as part of the merger process, leaving many of the offices in Butterworth Hall empty. The remaining staff members – including me – were glad to have the legal studies team join us in Butterworth Hall after the merger dust began to settle.

I was working late in Butterworth Hall –  my office at the time was across from the former President’s Office, the first office on the left after coming up the stairs and turning left – one evening and came down to this very staged photo being taken. Those blue leather-like arm chairs came from the reading room in the HCW Library. They were moved to the reception area for this photo because they looked like they belonged in a legal office.

Missing from the desk – hidden while this photo was taken – is the telephone console, which was brand new when I came to HCW. The console was part of a new telephone system that helped alleviate the need for staff and faculty to have to wait for an open line to become available in order to make a phone call.

IBM AS-400s (a technology I helped promote when I started working for IBM public relations in the late 1990s) were installed shortly after the new phone systems went live, which was around the same time HCW got its first FAX machine. Apple computers came next.

I’ll talk more about some of of the technologies in use on the campus during my time at HCW in another post, and typewriters – similar to the one seen in this image – will be part of that discussion. Every office had a typewriter – some had several. – Russ DeVeau

Published on October 17, 2016

 

The Hartford College for Women postcard showing the back door of Butterworth Hall

russ deveau at hartford college for women back door post card russell deveau

This is a postcard many Hartford College for Women staff members used as a mailer to help promote the college. It’s a great fall shot of the back door area of Butterworth Hall.

The office of Teddy Newlands was directly to the left of the student approaching the door. My first office in Butterworth Hall was located over Teddy’s office. My third – and last office –  in Butterworth Hall was located on the second floor – right over this back door area.

The staff and faculty mail room was to the left after entering Butterworth Hall from this door. The grand stairway leading up to the second floor was to the right. Photo by Noel E. Tomas. – Russ DeVeau

Published on February 23, 2016

A Mac at the receptionist desk

russ deveau at hartford college for women russell deveau a mac in the lobby

I remember taking this picture of this student working in the reception area in Butterworth Hall. It was fall and it was evening. I was sitting in the antique settee. A portion of the chair that matched the settee, is visible on the right. The grandfather clock is to the left of the chair. The stairs leading up to the second floor were right behind me. – Russ DeVeau

Published on April 29, 2016

Joan Metcalfe

russ deveau at hartford college for women metcalfe office russell deveau

This is a great picture of Joan Metcalfe at her desk in Butterworth Hall. I believe I took this picture in 1992. This is when the HCW/U of H merger was complete and the HCW legal studies department moved from the Counseling Center building on Elizabeth Street to Butterworth Hall.

Many of the offices in Butterworth Hall were empty after HCW merged with the U of H because so many staff members had been let go as part of the merger process.

Joan was on the HCW legal studies team. She moved into the suite where Henry Enright, HCW’s VP of Development when I started at the college, and his assistant had offices. Henry’s office was moved to the main U of H campus soon after the merger was announced.

Joan, and her legal studies colleague, Sharon Pope, were welcome additions to Butterworth Hall.

Joan’s office was right next to what was once known as the President’s Office, where Kathleen McGrory sat before the merger and where Sue Blanshan sat after the merger.

The windows behind Joan are facing the front yard of Butterworth Hall and look out toward Asylum Avenue and downtown Hartford. The large tree trunk in the window on the right, shows a part of a very large tree growing in the center of the green in the middle of the circular driveway in front of the house.

There was a fireplace in the middle of the wall to Joan’s right and a small kitchenette to the left of the fireplace. A door leading into another larger office was located on the wall to Joan’s left. Henry Enright used to sit in the adjoining office. Sharon Pope moved her office there around the same time Joan moved into Butterworth Hall.

I recently learned that Joan passed away in 2012. I am very glad I got to know Joan – and her unique sense of humor – when she came to work in Butterworth Hall. – Russ DeVeau

Published on October 19, 2016

Russ DeVeau and Mary Ellen Burns – selfies before selfies existed…me and MEBs in NYC

russ deveau at hartford college for women russell deveau mary ellen burns

This picture of me and Mary Ellen Burns was taken after we both left HCW.

MEBs went on to work at the YWCA global offices in the Empire State Building. I went on to complete a research project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

We were inside the Hoboken, New Jersey Transit train station when I took this picture, waiting for a train to take us to Paterson, where Mary Ellen had an apartment.

Mary Ellen lived in Paterson – with her beloved German Shepherd, Logan – for several years after she left Connecticut.  – Russ DeVeau

Published on September 16, 2016

Anne Baldwin and Russ DeVeau. Anne went from Hartford College for Women to the Connecticut Valley Girl Scout Council

russ deveau at hartford college for women russell deveau anne

This is a picture of Anne Baldwin and me at a Connecticut Valley Girl Scout event.

Anne was Director of Admissions when I came to work at Hartford College for Women. She was also one of the first senior staff members to leave the college when the U of H merger seemed imminent.

Anne went to work at the Connecticut Valley Girl Scout Council as head of communications. We worked on several events together after she left HCW.

Anne gave me this picture and – as this image shows – she was famous for adding captions to photos. This fun picture was displayed in my HCW offices for several years. – Russ DeVeau

Published on July 30 2016

Hartford College for Women – Mr. Jesse’s garage…an update based on Larry’s passing and my 2017 visits to campus with Beth Davis and Kathleen McGrory

russ deveau at hartford college for women russell deveau hcw larry garage

An Amy Berquist photo. This is the best picture I have ever seen of the original garage on the Seaverns estate. This building was largely hidden by trees and landscaping during my time at HCW. The signage on the right was added by U of H.

Larry Jesse managed maintenance from this building. The garages are where Larry kept tools, spare parts and almost anything else he needed to take care of the grounds and 13 acre campus.

Larry lived on the upper level. I was at this building every day, sometimes multiple times a day. But I never saw what the upstairs looked like.

Everyone knew Larry. He was loved by many and was  a loyal and valuable part of the HCW community for decades. – Russ DeVeau

A November, 2017 update: Pat McKinley has always done an excellent job of keeping former HCW staff, faculty and the extended community up to date on relevant HCW developments. Pat sent an email around in May, 2017 to let people know that Mr. Jesse had passed away.

Larry was a good friend of mine during my time at HCW. I have many fond memories of him from our days working together and from the times when we palled around in Hartford, and then later on in New Jersey and New York where Larry would often go to spend time with  Mary Ellen Burns.

Mary Ellen was VP of Finance when I started at HCW. She stayed on at HCW for one year after the merger took place. She then left CT and HCW to take on a senior position at the global offices of the YWCA in New York City. I know Larry and Mary Ellen stayed friends for a while after Mary Ellen left Connecticut. Mary Ellen passed away in February, 2002.

Larry’s passing has been instrumental in helping me get back in touch with some of my pals from my HCW days. Beth Davis and I shared a few fun stories about Larry when we met on campus in August, 2017, and Kathleen McGrory and I shared even more stories about Larry when we met in person at HCW last month, on October 6, 2017. I have a lot of pictures – many of Larry’s garage –  from those two visits. I’ll include some of those pictures in future posts.

It’s also highly likely that I have a few old pictures of Larry stored in a box labeled “HCW” that I recently moved out of my Provincetown attic. I’ll post them when – and if – I come across anything interesting. In the meantime, I know many people miss Larry Jesse. I’m honored that I got to call him my friend. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

A glimpse of a Hartford College for Women graduation and a view of my first HCW office

russ deveau at hartford college for women graduation spring russell deveau

This picture gives a good indication of what the campus landscaping looked like at graduation time.

The woman second in from the left, in the white graduation gown, is my incredible former assistant, Deb Stillman. The graduates are walking along the sidewalk in the middle of campus. Butterworth Hall is on their left and the main green is on their right as they move along in the direction they are heading.

The area of the library that was built as an addition to Butterworth Hall can be seen directly behind the procession, where the row of vertical windows is located. That addition was built in the early 1960s and housed the HCW book stacks.

The first window to the right of the library addition was in Teddy Newlands’ office. That window was to Teddy’s right when she was seated at her desk. Teddy had a view of the back door area of Butterworth Hall when she was seated at her desk and looked to her right.

The back door area can be seen all the way to right in this image. The door opened into a small covered porch that was handicapped accessible from a cement sidewalk ramp. The porch was about six feet by four feet in size. The back entrance to Butterworth Hall was inside this porch.

The back door led into the first floor entrance hall. The door leading to the library reading room was straight after entering the house. The grand stairway leading upstairs was to the right. Across from the stairway was the area where student bulletin boards were located.

Turning left after entering this door led to the main entrance to the library. The faculty and staff mail room was located on the left, right before entering the library. All faculty and staff had a cubbyhole-like mail box in this room. My last mailbox in the mail room was located on the top, three or four boxes in from the left.

Sorting and distributing mail was one of Gertrude Rodrigue’s jobs. Gertrude was a remarkable woman who worked for many years as a secretary and typist at HCW.

I very much enjoyed working with Gertrude and her long-time office-mate Carolyn Forte. They were fun to work with, extremely dedicated and always so very helpful and professional. I learned a lot from both of these women and I had a lot of fun helping them transition into the era of fax machines and computers. Gertrude passed away in 2009. Carolyn passed away on April 29, 2016.

My first HCW office can be seen on the second floor in this image. It was right over Teddy’s office, where the white balcony is located. This room was Laura Johnson’s bedroom during her time at HCW. Laura Johnson was HCW’s first president. – Russ DeVeau

Image via U of H/HCW archive video.

Published on January 15, 2016

Beth Davis, Russ DeVeau and the grandfather clock in the reception area of Hartford College for Women’s Butterworth Hall

russ deveau at hartford college for women beth and russell deveau in lobby

This is a fun picture of Beth Davis and me in front of the grandfather clock in the reception area of Butterworth Hall.

We’re standing in front of the reception desk. The grand stairway is to our left and the entrance to the home is in front of us.

This picture was taken during an event taking place in the Butterworth Living Room in the early 1990s.

I’m quite sure the event marked the finalization of the HCW/U of H merger, and that Jane Barstow took this picture.

Beth was the HCW Registrar at the time. Her office was located in the former library of the Seaverns home.  The entrance to this room was about ten feet to our right from where we are standing in this picture and right next to the Butterworth Living Room.

Every staff member could wear more than one job hat during a typical HCW workday. This was true before the merger and even more true after the merger when HCW was operating with a very small staff.

Beth is a great example of a staff member who wore many work hats. She helped with special events, art gallery activities, the festival of lights, student activities and major campus spruce-up initiatives all year round.

An August, 2017 update: Beth and I met on campus on Friday, August 4, 2017 – for a long overdue in-person reunion. One of our goals during that meeting was to update the picture Jane took over 25 years ago – and we had a lot of fun meeting that goal. The post “Beth Davis, Russ DeVeau, the grandfather clock and a fast forward to 2017” focuses on our reunion and includes an updated picture. – Russ DeVeau

Published on February 19, 2016

Bess Lewis in the reception area of Butterworth Hall

russ deveau at hartford college for women bess lobby russell deveau hcw

Bess Lewis photographed while sitting on the antique settee in the reception area of Butterworth Hall. A matching chair was located to her right. The grand stairway leading up to the second floor is behind her.

Bess was Director of Student Affairs when I started working at HCW. Her office was located on the first floor of Johnson House.

This photograph was part of a series of black and white images taken of many staff members for use in the 1989 HCW yearbook. – Russ DeVeau

Hartford College for Women – Wilkes Hall

russ deveau at hartford college for women wilkes russell deveau at hcw

Another photo from Amy Berquist’s blog.

This is Wilkes Hall, one of two very small freestanding classroom buildings on the HCW campus.

This building housed three classrooms called Wilkes 1, Wilkes 2 and Wilkes 3. These rooms were updated with new conference-style furniture shortly before I came to HCW.

While the building could have used a few more updates during the time I worked at HCW, the rooms were cozy, comfortable and – when compared to many other spaces on campus – in relatively high demand by faculty and others who used college facilities.

Karen Petersen had a good-sized art studio in the lower level of this building where she worked and taught for many years. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

The Auerbach Auditorium in the Science Center…

russ deveau at hartford college for women auditorium russell deveau hcw

The Auerbach Auditorium in the Science Center…

The Science Center housed many of HCW most modern classrooms, computer and science labs, faculty offices, the Auerbach Auditorium and the Miriam B. Butterworth Art Gallery.

This is a view of what the Auerbach Auditorium looked like when I worked at HCW. This was a comfortable and popular room for holding internal and external events and often served as the main room for keynote presentations when large conferences and educational events were held on campus.

The auditorium could be entered from the lower level of the Science Center through two sets of double doors on either side of the stage. The room could also be entered from two sets of double doors located on the left and right side of the art gallery on the upper level of the building. The image above was taken from the right side upper level entrance after entering the room from the art gallery.

There were two main entrances into the Science Center when I worked at HCW, one on the lower level adjacent to the the Lower Cheney parking lot, and one on the upper level, directly across from Johnson House, on the other side of the main green.

Three or four classrooms were located on the left side of the hallway after entering the Science Center from the lower level. There were two entrances to the auditorium on the right, one soon after entering the building and another at the far-end of the hallway.

The upper level entrance into the Science Center led into the Miriam B. Butterworth Art Gallery, where I curated and promoted many art exhibitions featuring prominent and up-and-coming women artists. The gallery was also a space where I managed many public programs and special events. The space was about twenty feet deep and ran the entire length of the building, probably about seventy or eighty feet.

One of the double doors leading into the auditorium from the art gallery was located right across from the door leading into the building. The other upper level entrance was to the right of these doors, on the same wall about fifty feet away. The only other door on that side of the gallery led into Science Center 208, a classroom that was usually in high demand by faculty and outside groups because it was modern, relatively large and located in the center of campus.

A hallway running the length of the building was located to the left of the entrance to the auditorium, right off the art gallery. There were three or four faculty offices located on the left side of this hallway. A handicapped equipped restroom – one of two I recall on campus, the other was in Lower Cheney – was located on the right side of the hall.

Three or four more classrooms, including a computer lab that was recently equipped with numerous Apple computers – were located in the back hallway behind the auditorium. Science Center 208 was accessible on the right from the end of the back hallway and from the art gallery in the front of the building. This room connected the art gallery and the back hallway and classrooms.

I always thought more of the Science Center should have been used to generate additional revenues for the college by designating and promoting some of the facility as a conference and special events center, especially given Cheney Hall, HCW’s recently renovated dining facility, was right next door.

This would have required moving faculty and classroom spaces around a bit, something that was totally doable and something I brought to the leadership table a few times before the merger took place.

Of course, the clock – including the HCW financial clock – was ticking. There was no time to implement any new programs with the merger fast approaching. The idea was shelved – but only for a little while. Shortly after the merger, me and my team claimed the first floor of the Babcock House as revenue generating space for holding conferences and special events. – Russ DeVeau

Published on March 9, 2016

A peek into Lower Cheney and the Science Center in October 2017

russ deveau at hartford college for women cheney in 2017 russell deveau hcw

These pictures were taken in October 2017 when Kathleen McGrory and I met on the former HCW campus to tour the buildings and grounds.

The image on top shows the room once known as Lower Cheney. This room was newly spruced up shortly before I came to HCW. It was a relatively bright and pleasant space that was used as a conference, meeting and special events room by internal and external groups. Faculty and continuing education teams often used the room for holding movement classes, such as dance, karate and yoga.

The room had been newly carpeted in charcoal-gray carpet squares when I started a the college. Lower Cheney was somewhat private and easily accessible from the Elizabeth Street parking area. The room also had easy access to restrooms, including a relatively new handicapped accessible restroom that was added to the lower level of the building as part of the Cheney Business Plan.

This view of Lower Cheney was taken from the windows facing the Elizabeth Street parking lot. The space – just like many of the spaces on the former HCW campus – appears to have been abandoned for quite some time.

The carpet is gone and the tiles that are there appear to be in bad shape. There used to be two relatively large color prints of HCW’s  historic buildings – prints that I matted, framed and installed, – hanging on the wall that is visible directly across from where this picture was taken. As I recall, those prints belonged to Pat McKinley.

The door on the right – that can be seen underneath the exit sign – led to the stairway that joined Lower and Upper Cheney. That door also led to the handicapped restroom and a relatively small office that was used by Marriott Food Services when I first came to HCW.

Lower Cheney is where college staff members were called to a meeting to first hear about the severe fiscal issues HCW was supposedly experiencing at the time. There were about 30 people in the room. Shortly after that meeting, HCW was in the process of merging with the University of Hartford.

I remember walking to that meeting from my office in Butterworth Hall with at least Alison Derrick, Gertrude Rodrigue, Carolyn Forte, Mary Jane Crosson and Doris Pope. I’m quite sure Anne Baldwin and the admissions and registration teams walked over with us. We entered the building from the dining room area of Upper Cheney and took the stairs down to this room.

The room was set up with six or so large gray folding tables with chairs arranged casually on both sides of the tables. Those tables and matching gray plastic and stainless steel chairs were acquired as part of the Cheney Business Plan and matched the tables and chairs used in the student dining room upstairs, in Upper Cheney. One of the chairs from those days can be seen in the image above, next to the door under the exit sign. The chair appears to be the only piece of furniture left in the room when the space was abandoned.

The bottom two images give a peek into the Science Center from the lower level entrance to the building, the entrance located by the Elizabeth Street parking area. The Science Center was home to some of the most modern classrooms on campus during my days at HCW. The building also housed the computer center, biology labs, the Auerbach Auditorium and the Miriam B. Butterworth Art Gallery.

I enjoyed working in – and giving tours of – the Science Center. This is partly because the Science Center was a relatively new building and because the building was nestled pretty much in the center of the campus. It took me just a couple of minutes to walk from my office in Butterworth Hall to the Science Center. Depending on the season and weather, it was usually a very pretty walk through the main green (where HCW graduations and other special events were held) and by lush and flowering landscaping, some of which was originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. The Science Center marked a significant transition from the historic ambiance of Butterworth Hall (and some of HCW’s other historic buildings and spaces) to a modern – but often just as cozy and inviting – atmosphere where a wide range of classes, lectures,  seminars and gallery events took place.

The bottom left image shows what the lower level foyer and hallway of the Science Center looked like in the fall of 2017. The entrances to the lower level (stage level) of the Auerbach Auditorium are on the right side of the hallway. Classrooms are on the left. The Science Center – just like many of the buildings and spaces on the former HCW campus – appears to have been abandoned for quite some time. Fallen and broken ceiling tiles can be seen on the carpeting all along the hallway. An antique-like chair is visible on the other side of the second set of glass doors in this image. I remember that chair from my days at HCW. As I recall, it was in a faculty office that was located on the upper level of this building.

The bottom right image gives another view of this area. The gray and stainless steel chair is part of the Cheney Hall furniture set. Those chairs were extremely sturdy and relatively heavy. I would bet that chair was helping to hold those doors open at some point. I often used those chairs to hold doors open when I was setting up for events in the Science Center and other campus buildings. – Russ DeVeau

Published on February 3, 2018

Lower Cheney, Upper Cheney and the Science Center in 2012

russ deveau at hartford college for women SC cheney in 2012 russell deveau at hcw

Another hat-tip to Amy Berquist’s blog for the photo. This picture was in taken in 2012.

The image shows the back of Cheney Hall –  looking a little worse for wear – and includes a partial view of the lower level entrance to the Science Center on the left. Stairs up to the main green separate these two buildings.

Cheney Hall had two levels. Upstairs was where the student dining hall was located. This area was called Upper Cheney. Students, staff, faculty and visitors generally entered Upper Cheney through double doors on the other side of the building not seen in this image.

Lower Cheney referred specifically to a conference-type room on the bottom floor of the building. This room was entered from an exterior door located near the parking lot shown in this image, or by an interior staircase that connected Upper and Lower Cheney.

Lower Cheney is where college staff members were called to a meeting to first hear about the severe fiscal issues HCW was supposedly experiencing at the time. There were about 30 people in the room. Shortly after that meeting, HCW was in the process of merging with U of H.

Lower Cheney had been updated shortly before I came to HCW as part of a Cheney Hall renovation plan. It was a simple, relatively private and somewhat modern room used for classes and meetings.

The room had stark white walls where I installed two large framed and matted images of the campus. The room had relatively new gray carpeting and new tables and chairs that matched the furniture in Upper Cheney.

A gray fire door that led into a relatively small hallway was located on the opposite side of the room – in the corner, on the right – after entering Lower Cheney from this side of the building.

Once inside that hallway, stairs to Upper Cheney were on the left, a new handicapped equipped bathroom was straight ahead, and an office used by Marriott food services was on the right. The Marriott office had double exterior doors – visible behind the dumpster in this image – that opened to the parking lot. Food service deliveries – often delivered by an 18 wheel Marriott food service truck that backed into the parking lot from the Elizabeth Street driveway – took place in that area.

A single door was located on the wall to the left after entering Lower Cheney from the parking lot. This door went into a good-sized women’s bathroom that contained three or four toilet stalls on the right wall. This room was in original and generally poor condition throughout my time at HCW.

There was a door on the left wall of the women’s bathroom that opened into a square room that was maybe 15 by 15 feet in size. That room was the women’s locker room – also in original and generally poor condition – where about 35 lockers were located.

Behind the locker room and the women’s bathroom was a storage room with concrete walls that were painted bright white. This was a relatively large space where many old-style gray metal teacher’s desks were stored. This room was the basement area created during the relatively recent expansion of Upper Cheney.

Cars entered this area of campus from Elizabeth Street using the original Seaverns Estate driveway. Turning left here – where this image was taken – led to Larry Jesse’s garage.  – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

A peek into Wilkes Hall in 2017

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The photo on top is a picture of the upper level of Wilkes Hall in 2017. The empty space is where three relatively modern and comfortable classrooms – know as Wilkes 1, 2 and 3 – were located when I worked at HCW.

The bottom photo gives a peek into the lower level of Wilkes Hall. This is where Karen Petersen had an art studio and where she taught art classes for many years. – Russ DeVeau

HCW graduates started commencement ceremonies by crossing the bridge

russ deveau at hartford college for women bridge russell deveau hcwThis is a great shot of the bridge leading from the HCW student townhouses –  on the right – to the HCW student center in Johnson House, on the left.

The building in the background is the back of Butterworth Hall. Lorenz Hall is in the background to the right of Butterworth Hall.

This picture was taken with the photographer’s back facing the Babcock House. Photo via Amy Berquist. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

Hartford College for Women – Johnson House from the green

russ deveau at hartford college for women johnshon house russell deveau hcw

A Hartford Courant shot of Johnson House on the HCW campus. This building housed the student center, student affairs offices and dorm rooms.

This side of the house faced the Science Center and looked over the large green where graduation and many community and special events were held.  The opposite side of the house faced a parking lot and Asylum Avenue. Cars entered the parking lot by heading to the right after entering the campus from the original Seaverns estate driveway on Asylum Avenue. The window on the first floor of the house all the way to the left was located in a sun room. The sun room housed several vending machines.

The large window to the right of the sun room was in the student lounge. This room ran from the front of the house to the back of the house and was likely the living room when the home was a private residence. The room had dark wood paneled walls, thick green carpeting and a very large fireplace on the wall that faced Asylum Avenue. The room had a television –  with cable, which was a relatively new technology at the time  – where I remember Gulf war coverage playing frequently on CNN. This comfortable and homey room was furnished with couches and several matching arm chairs, along with a couple of round tables and chairs that were used for dining, studying and game playing.

The windows to the right of the living room window were in the back door area of the house. That entrance opened into a relatively large foyer. Student mail boxes were located on the wall straight ahead after entering the house from this door. This area also had thick green carpeting. A door leading to the Asylum Avenue side of the foyer – where the home’s main staircase was located – was in the center of the student mail box wall.

The next window was inside a relatively large room that was frequently used as a study and meeting room. This room was likely used as the dining room when the home was a private residence. The room was about a third of the size of the student lounge and was furnished with dated, but comfortable furniture, which included two couches, several chairs and a couple work tables. This space was often used as a staging area for graduation and other student and special events taking place in the home and on the green.

The last windows and the porch area to the right on the bottom floor of the house were in an area where kitchen facilities and a small apartment were located. The apartment is where HCW’s student resident director lived.

The asphalt sidewalk seen on the right led from the parking lot on the other side of the building into the main green and down to the Science Center and the Miriam B. Butterworth Art Gallery.

A bridge that led to student townhouses, the Babcock House and Girard Avenue was located to the immediate left of this house. Butterworth Hall and the library were to the immediate right when looking at the building from this angle.

The signage was added by U of H. It was not there when I worked at HCW.  – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

Hartford College for Women – Lorenz Hall

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Another photo by Amy Bergquist…

This is a picture of Lorenz Hall, one of two small freestanding classroom buildings on the Hartford College for Women campus. This building housed two relatively large classrooms that were named Lorenz 4 and Lorenz 5.

Wilkes Hall, the other freestanding classroom building on campus, was to the left of where the photographer was standing when this image was taken. Butterworth Hall would have been to the photographer’s right. The building that can be seen on the left, somewhat behind this building, is Upper Cheney.

Lorenz Hall needed updates when I worked at HCW. Unlike Wilkes Hall, where each of the three classrooms in the building had been updated with new conference-style furniture shortly before I came to work at the college, Lorenz Hall, including the furniture in both rooms, needed updating.

Some of the walls were made of cinder blocks and were painted an institutional green. The venetian blinds that covered the windows during my time at the college looked old and always seemed to need cleaning and repairs. Most of the wooden desks – the kind with attached chairs – that students used, were quite worn. Both rooms had a heavy gray metal desk – the same desk that could be found in many faculty and staff offices on campus – for teachers and presenters. As I recall, the floors were covered in original tile – speckled brown and white perhaps – the kind that were often installed in the basements and kitchens of homes that were built in the 1950s.

The two doors seen in this picture led into the same common hallway. Next to each entrance was a restroom, areas to hang coats and a door that led into each of the two classrooms. Some of the walls in the hallway were covered in wood paneling. – Russ DeVeau

Published on September 21, 2016

Getting ready to paint! The annual campus spruce up…

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Bess Lewis is second in from the left. Deb Stillman is next to Bess and Carolyn Forte is on the right.

This picture was taken inside Johnson House as part of the annual spruce up event that took place every year before the academic year started. – Russ DeVeau

Published on August 29, 2016

Carolyn Forte…

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I can’t say enough good things about this woman…a pro on all fronts. I recently learned from Pat McKinley that Carolyn Forte passed away earlier this year. She died just a few months after I started working on this blog. It was an honor to have gotten to know Carolyn – and an even greater honor to have spent time working with her at Hartford College for Women.

Carolyn was a secretary to many at HCW. She worked with deans, faculty, presidents, staff and trustees and was loyal to the college for decades. Carolyn was my friend and a valuable part of the administrative team during my time working at HCW.

Carolyn’s office was at the end of the hallway after coming up the stairs in Butterworth Hall and turning left. This was a relatively large room that was located over the card catalog area of the HCW Library. I believe the card catalog area of the library – where the door to the “back porch” was located – was part of the kitchen and kitchen preparation area when the home belonged to the Seaverns family.

In this photo, Carolyn is actually working at Gertrude’s Rodrigue’s desk. Gertrude often preferred to work in the space that can be seen right behind Carolyn, in the area where the brown typewriter is located. Carolyn’s desk was right next to the desk where she is sitting in this photo, to her right, where part of the Carolyn Forte nameplate is visible.

The copy and supply room was located on the right before entering this room. A hallway leading to my first office – Laura Johnson’s bedroom during her time at HCW – in Butterworth Hall, was to the left. As I recall, there were two closets – one on the left and one on the right – at the entrance to this room. Carolyn hung her coat in the closet on the left. Carolyn’s desk, which faced into the room, exactly like the desk she is sitting at in this photo –  was located on the left immediately after entering the office.

A work table/desk, where a computer was eventually installed for Carolyn’s use – was to the right after entering this room. I spent many fun times at that work station teaching Carolyn how to use the computer. She was an enthusiastic learner who embraced and enjoyed using new office technologies. I remember swiveling around in the gray metal secretary/typist chair that was located in front of the work station to face – and take this picture of – Carolyn.

The fireplace visible to the right in this picture was located in the center of the wall, directly across from the door used to enter the room. There was another window – just like the one that can be seen to Carolyn’s left – on the right side of the fireplace. Those windows looked out toward Asylum Avenue.

A sitting area, with a small green club chair – there may have been two of these green, somewhat dated, but pleasant enough, club chairs in this room – was to the right of the fireplace. A good-sized – maybe ten feet by eight feet – light green area rug covered the wood floors in this room.

The fax machine – a relatively new technology at the time and the only fax machine on campus for quite some time – was located in the center of the wall opposite from where Carolyn is sitting in this photo. She was facing the fax machine when I took this picture. The fax machine sat on a wide beige metal filing cabinet located between two more windows that looked out over the front lawn and toward downtown Hartford.

The area where Gertrude often preferred to work – the space that can be seen behind Carolyn in this picture – was likely a closet and dressing area when the home belonged to the Seaverns family. This space, which I believe was underneath the stairs that led up to the attic – was located between Carolyn’s office and my first office in Butterworth Hall, the room Laura Johnson used as a bedroom during her time as president of the HCW.

If Gertrude’s work area was entered from the door that can be seen behind Carolyn, there was another door – probably about four feet away – located straight ahead. That door led into Laura Johnson’s former bedroom. Gertrude’s work area had a desk facing the wall on the right side of the space. Another typewriter on a metal stand – in addition to the brown typewriter that can be seen in this image – was stored on the wall to the left in this area.

The walls in Carolyn and Gertrude’s office areas were painted the typical HCW beige. The only other offices that were not this color when I started at HCW were the President’s Office, which was painted a light green, and MEB’s office, which I seem to remember her and Larry Jesse painting a pleasant lemon yellow color around the time I started working at the college. Every other office on the second floor of Butterworth Hall was painted beige. This changed after the merger when Laura Johnson’s former bedroom was updated for use by Jane Barstow and later for Kathy Teso. – Russ DeVeau

Published on October 17, 2016

Hartford College for Women – the bridge from Johnson House to student townhouses and the Babcock House

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Gail Champlin, who was director of the Counseling Center when I worked at HCW, on the right, and Dorothy Goodwin, an HCW Trustee, on the left, crossing the bridge that led from Johnson House – which is visible on the left – to the student townhouses, Babcock House and the President’s House.

They are likely on their way to Babcock House or the President’s House for a meeting or special event.

This picture was taken around the time I worked at HCW and gives an indication of how beautiful and lush the landscaping was across the entire thirteen acre campus. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

Celebrating holidays and traditions…

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This is a fun series of pictures taken in Johnson House. I took these shortly after the merger was announced.

From Oliver Butterworth helping to set up the Christmas tree in Butterworth Hall, to community events such as the annual international food festival that was held every year on the main green to celebrate diverse cultures from around the world, holidays and traditions were always an important part of life at HCW.

These pictures show Deb Stillman – my top-notch assistant at the time – in the middle, and Marielle Hickey, HCW’s assistant director of student affairs, on the right, getting ready to celebrate Easter at the college.

They are in a student lounge in Johnson House, a room that was reached by coming into the house from the main green and turning right. The main green was outside, to the right of Marielle. This room was often used as prep and staging area for graduation and special events given its proximity to the Johnson House kitchen and the main green.

The HCW student affairs team was slimmed down dramatically after the merger. Marielle left HCW shortly after this picture was taken. – Russ DeVeau

 

 

 

 

 

Housing HCW students during the academic year and dancers from the school of the Hartford Ballet in summer months

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HCW students who chose to reside on campus had a choice of living in the historic Johnson House or in more modern townhouses.

The two-story townhouses consisted of either four or five private bedrooms, a full bathroom and a common room with kitchen, dining and living areas.

The picture was taken from a townhouse common room and shows some of the kitchen and dining areas. Two private bedrooms can be seen in the background. The entrance to the house and two or three more bedrooms and a full bathroom were located on the lower level.

The townhouses – along with a couple bedrooms in Johnson House – were occupied by students from the school of the Hartford Ballet during summer months.

I managed this summer program with Jennifer Etheridge, a top-notch administrator from the School of the Hartford Ballet, for several years. It was a profitable program for HCW that provided convenient housing and food service options for ballet dancers from around the world. – Russ DeVeau

Posted on February 16, 2016

Hartford College for Women – Johnson House patio area

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Another Amy Berquist photograph. This picture shows the back of Butterworth Hall taken from the patio area of Johnson House. Lorenz Hall, one of two small classroom buildings on campus, is visible in the background on the right.

This picture also shows a portion of the large green located in the center of campus where graduation was held and where many special events took place.

Directly across from Johnson House, on the opposite side of the green, is where the Science Center was located. The Science Center housed the Auerbach Auditorium, HCW’s most modern classrooms, faculty offices and the Miriam B. Butterworth Art Gallery. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

Hartford College for Women – Johnson House from Asylum Avenue

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Another hat-tip to Amy Berquist’s blog for the photo.

This is Johnson House as seen from Asylum Avenue. The HCW student center and the offices of Bess Lewis and Marielle Hickey were located in this building. The second and third floors were used for student housing. My assistant, Deb Stillman, lived in this building for a couple of years.

The photographer’s back was facing Asylum Avenue when this picture was taken. Butterworth Hall is located to the left. The bridge to student townhouses and the Babcock House is to the right. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

Springtime behind the Babcock House in 1992

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This springtime picture of students behind the Babcock House was taken when I was working at HCW, most likely in 1992.

The photographer is facing Girard Avenue; the students are looking across the backyard of the Babcock House toward the area where the townhouses were located.

The home once known as the President’s House – where Sue Blanshan lived when this picture was taken –  is to the photographer’s left.

The image shows a portion of the exterior of the sun room and part of the patio area in back of the Babcock House. The sun room – like most of the first floor spaces in the Babcock House at the time – was generally in poor condition.

The ceiling and walls had water damage, some doors and windows didn’t work and much of the white trim on the inside and outside of the doors and windows needed sanding, painting and repairs.

My team and I worked on completing many of those repairs as part of my plan to help transform parts of the first floor of the Babcock House into a venue outside groups could use for conferences and special events – Russ DeVeau

Published on February 25, 2016

The back of Babcock House in 2012

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This is another shot of the back of Babcock House taken in 2012. This home needed updates and repairs throughout my time at HCW. This image seems to show the same is true today.

The large window on the bottom left in this image was in the Babcock House Library. This was a cozy room with built-in dark-wood floor to ceiling shelves installed on most of the walls. Those shelves were generally packed with books that were not sold at the annual HCW book sale. There was a fireplace on the wall opposite the window. The room had a large light blue area rug on the floor and housed several of the same captain’s chairs that were located in the President’s Office in Butterworth Hall.

There are two more windows located to the left of the library window. While these windows can not be seen in this image, they were in the back of the Babcock House Living Room on either side of a very large fireplace.

To the right of the library window was the sun room. The dining room and kitchen, a room that was unusable during my time at HCW – were on the other side of the sun room.

The home once  known as the HCW President’s House was to the immediate right, on Girard Avenue.- Russ DeVeau

Published on January 30, 2016

The Babcock House – located on the corner of Asylum and Girard Avenues

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All of the historic buildings on the HCW campus were beautiful. That said, all of these buildings were always in need of repairs and updates. This was especially true when it came to Babcock House.

This photo of the Babcock House was taken in 2012 – nearly 17 years after I left HCW – by Amy Berquist.

The house appears to be missing a few shutters and some of the landscaping is gone, but the exterior – including areas where the white trim needs scraping, sanding and painting – looks pretty much as it did when I worked at the college.

The Babcock House was located on the corner of Asylum and Girard Avenues, with the front of the house facing Asylum Avenue.

The driveway seen here was entered from Girard Avenue. A Hartford College for Women sign – one of three exterior signs installed on campus shortly before I came to work at the college – was located on the left side of the driveway entrance. The asphalt sidewalk visible on the right in this image, leads over to the parking lot by Johnson House.

The Babcock House lawns bordering Asylum and Girard Avenues were surrounded by a hedge that was called “spindly” by more than one person during my time at HCW. Nonetheless, that hedge was decorated with lights as part of the holiday festival of lights celebration that took place for a couple years after the merger.

The student townhouses and the bridge to Johnson House are immediately to the left of this building when looking at the home from this angle.

The front door of this house opened into a large foyer and reception area. Once inside, there was a sun room directly ahead, the home’s library diagonally to the right and the home’s dining room diagonally to the left. The Babcock House Living Room was off to the right and stairs leading up to the second floor were to the left.

The kitchen was located diagonally behind the dining room on the left side of the house after entering the home from the front door. Some of the kitchen windows can be seen in this image all the way toward the back of the left side of the house – past the awning covering the side door and directly behind the blue recycling trash can.

I spent a lot of time in the Babcock House during my five years at HCW, but I was only in the kitchen a few times.  The door to this room was always kept locked. This is because the room was completely unusable as a kitchen. The space was used by the HCW maintenance team for campus-wide storage. The room was dirty, had a bad smell and was always hidden from view.

I used catering services from the Reader’s Feast whenever an event I was managing in the Babcock House required food and beverage services.

While the kitchen was unusable during my entire time at HCW, the rest of the rooms on the first floor of the Babcock House were in fine enough shape for holding internal and external meetings and student events.

One of my goals for the first floor however, was to bring the entry hall and adjoining rooms up to a level where they could be marketed to relevant outside groups as a venue for holding conferences, retreats and special events. My team spent a lot of time – and had a lot of fun – making improvements to help meet that goal. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

The updated first floor of the Babcock House

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I took these images right after Beth Davis, Deb Stillman, Larry Jesse and I finished clean-ups, updates and repairs in first floor areas of the Babcock House.

One of our goals was to make the space more appealing to outside groups as a potential venue for holding conferences and special events.

The upper picture looks to the left in the reception hall after entering the front door. There was a small lavatory – the only restroom on the first floor of the house – under the stairs. The door visible on the back wall opened into a relatively long hallway that led to the side entrance of the house. We created a small conference and telephone room in the room immediately on the left after entering the hallway as part of the first floor update. There was a door leading into the unusable kitchen area on the right, and a closet on the left immediately before reaching the door leading out of the house.

The lower left image is a view to the right after entering the front door of the home. The door visible all the way to the left is a closet located on the right side of the doors leading into the sun room. The double doors led into the library.

The lower right images show the french door leading into the dining room. The door to the right is a closet located on the left side of the doors leading into the sun room. The black and white tiles are in the sun room.

These three rooms – the dining room, the sun room and the library -were often used as breakout rooms when conferences were held in the home –  Russ DeVeau

Photos by Russ DeVeau

Published on February 27, 2016

The updated first floor of the Babcock House – another view

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These images show what the first floor of the Babcock House looked like after my team – made up of me, Beth Davis and Deb Stillman  –  with help from Larry Jesse –  made repairs and improvements. One of our main goals was to make the space more appealing to outside groups as a potential venue for holding conferences and special events.

The upper picture is a view from the staircase looking toward the library and the Babcock House Living Room.  The library was entered through the double doors seen on the left in this image. The living room was entered through the two french doors seen on the right.

The living room could comfortably accommodate about 75 people when the room was set up theater style. There was a large fireplace in the center of the wall on the left after entering the living room from the library and foyer areas.

The lower left image is a close-up of the new artwork I installed on the wall on the left before entering the living room. I matted and framed those images for permanent display in the Babcock House common areas. I believe the images may have belonged to Kathleen McGrory — or maybe Kathleen acquired them for the college during her time at HCW. They were black and white images of notable women in historic settings.

The image on the lower right is of new sun room doors, which were straight ahead after entering the front door of the house. There were no doors here prior to us making updates in this area. The  doors were needed to create a breakout room in the sun room and to offer privacy to anyone who wanted to use the space. There was a storage closet on each side of the new doors. The closet on the left housed AV equipment. The closet on the right could be used to hang coats.

The Babcock House Living Room generally served as the main meeting space for conferences and special events taking place in the house. The dining room, library and sun room served as breakout rooms. Given there was no usable kitchen in the home, food and beverage services were often catered, usually by the top-notch folks at the Reader’s Feast. – Russ DeVeau

Photos by Russ DeVeau

Published on February 27, 2016

A wide range of diverse and cutting-edge programs

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Three more brochures promoting some of the educational courses and programs HCW offered during the years I worked at the college. These brochures were produced soon after the merger took place and right around the time Sue Blanshan joined HCW as Dean of the college. I am quite sure the year was 1992.

The Women in Mathematics, Science, Engineering and Technology brochure – on the left – promoted a new HCW program that was designed to help women break into fields that were almost completely dominated by men at the time. The program was cutting edge in the early 1990s and is another example of how HCW developed courses and programs to help women from all backgrounds build skills to succeed in nontraditional careers and in an ever-changing job market.

The brochure in the middle promoted the HCW Women’s Studies program. Sharon Shepela headed up the Women’s Studies program during the years I worked at HCW. Sharon’s office was on the second floor of the Babcock House prior to the merger. She moved her office to the second floor of Butterworth Hall (the office once occupied by my friend Mary Ellen Burns, who was HCW’s VP of Finance prior to the merger) after the merger dust had settled.

The young women pictured on the cover of the Women’s Studies  brochure were HCW students when this piece was produced. They were asked to participate in the promotional brochure by the U of H public affairs team, the group responsible for creating these brochures at the time. The students are posing in the reading room area of the HCW library. That room contained books, magazines and a wide range of HCW artifacts and memorabilia, a collection that was carefully managed by Teddy Newlands, HCW’s much loved Librarian. I believe the reading room was the room used as the dining room when the home belonged to the Seaverns family.

The brochure on the right was designed to promote the legal studies program. The legal studies program was one of the most popular and likely the most profitable HCW program during the immediate pre and post-merger years. The legal studies offices were located in the Counseling Center prior to the merger. After the merger, the legal studies team – which at the time included Joan Metcalfe and Sharon Pope – moved into Butterworth Hall where many of the work spaces and offices were empty due to HCW staff layoffs that took place as part of the merger process.

The picture on the cover of the legal studies brochure was staged. I was in the building during the evening when the picture was taken. It was shot at the receptionist desk in the lobby of Butterworth Hall. The blue leather-like arm chairs were removed from their home in the library reading room and placed in the reception area to make it appear as if the office where this picture was taken was in a law firm. – Russ DeVeau

Published on March 3, 2018

The dining room in the President’s House

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The updated dining room in the home that was once known as the HCW President’s House. Many important meetings and fun events took place in this room and the HCW and Hartford communities always looked forward to the holiday parties that were held in this home. Image via Zillow. – Russ DeVeau

Published on April 8, 2016

Hartford College for Women – President’s House

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This Girard Avenue home was called the President’s House and used to be part of the HCW campus. If you are standing on the street facing this house, the Babcock House is on your left.

Kathleen McGrory lived here before she moved to the home at 80 Elizabeth Street. Sue Blanshan moved here when she joined the HCW leadership team as Dean of the college after Hartford College for Women became part of the University of Hartford.

This house has been updated and looks nothing like it did when it belonged to HCW. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

A few of the programs…

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Three brochures designed to promote some of the programs that were offered by HCW and the HCW Counseling Center during my days at the college. These brochures were used as mailers and were often handed out at HCW and community events. They were also on display on a table located to the left of the small lavatories under the grand staircase in the lobby area of Butterworth Hall. The Counseling Center, which at the time was located at 50 Elizabeth Street, also had these on display in the reception area and in offices throughout the building.

The brochure on the left promoted career counseling. Career counseling was a very popular Counseling Center program for many years. I believe career counseling eventually fell under the umbrella of the HCW Entrepreneurial Center, which at the time was a relatively new Counseling Center program. The Entrepreneurial Center was managed by my pal Jean Blake-Jackson in 1995, the year I left HCW for New York City. Jean’s office was located on the second floor of the Babcock House, the historic mansion on the corner of Girard and Asylum Avenues at that time.

The brochure in the middle and on the right promoted programs that  could be considered somewhat ahead of their time. HCW did a fantastic job of developing nontraditional programs that were timely, unique and helped women from a wide range of backgrounds succeed. This cutting edge-like philosophy when it came to program development was one of the reasons I enjoyed working at HCW.

These brochures include the University of Hartford name and logo, which means they were produced after the merger. I am sure they were developed in the 1992 -1994 time frame. – Russ DeVeau

Published on March 2, 2018

Afternoon tea with Laura Johnson in lobby area of the Babcock House

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Another HCW tradition…

This is a great photo of Laura Johnson attending a tea service in the the lobby area of the Babcock House. While afternoon teas had come to an end long before I started working at HCW, I do remember Larry Jesse, Allison Derrick, Carolyn Forte – and others – speaking highly of these events that took place regularly when Johnson was president of the college.

This image was taken from the HCW video posted on the U of H Women’s Advancement Initiative website.  – Russ DeVeau

Published on January 15, 2017

A musical interlude

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This event was held in the spring – when, in my opinion, the landscaping on the HCW campus was most beautiful – at the newly freshened up Babcock House.

The event was part of the celebration of women leaders series developed by Hartford College for Women and the Hartford Club, and with a lot of support from committees and volunteers from the Greater Hartford area.

I was on many of the committees that developed and launched several of these highly successful events, working hand in hand with my colleague and good friend Sandy Bursey, who, at the time, was membership director at the Hartford Club.  – Russ DeVeau

Russ DeVeau and Jean Roberts in the Hartford College for Women Art Gallery

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It was a pleasure to curate an exhibition featuring the work of acclaimed Connecticut artist, Jean Roberts.

The upper picture, which I believe was taken by Jean’s husband, is of me and Jean shortly before the opening reception started. The lower picture is of Jean’s studio, which was located in Glastonbury.  I had the opportunity to visit Jean’s studio prior to working with her on her one-woman exhibition in the Hartford College for Women Butterworth Art Gallery.

I had a great time working with this extremely warm, gracious and talented woman. – Russ DeVeau

Published on October 3, 2016

Beth Davis and the Babcock House stairway in 1994 and 2017

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These two pictures are fun for me to look at – and comment on – because they were taken in the same spot well over twenty years apart.

I took the picture on the left of Beth Davis on the staircase in the Babcock House sometime in 1994. This was right after Beth, me, Deb Stillman and some of Larry Jesse’s team had completed a major clean up and spruce up of several of the rooms and spaces on the first floor of the house. One of our goals at the time was to make the first floor more attractive to external groups so that the space could be used as a profitable rental facility for conferences, meetings and special events.

The picture on the right was taken earlier this month – on Friday, August 4, 2017 – when Beth and I met on campus for a long overdue in-person reunion. – Russ DeVeau

Published on August 27, 2017

Russ DeVeau: Director of the Hartford College for Women Art Gallery

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I became director of the art gallery at Hartford College for Women in 1993. This is when I was working on my MFA at Parsons School of Design and shortly before I started working on a research project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I took over managing the gallery from Karen Petersen, who was HCW’s professor of art at the time. Petersen had done a phenomenal job of launching and establishing the gallery as an important center for art in the Greater Hartford area.

One of my goals when I took over the space was to position the gallery as a venue that was focused exclusively on promoting women artists. I curated and promoted many exhibitions that showcased both established and up-and-coming women artists who were working at the regional, national and international level.

The exhibits I curated during my three years of managing programs and events in the HCW gallery were very well attended. They received a great deal of media attention – including reviews in top-tier publications – and helped to dramatically increase the visibility of HCW among a wide range of new and non-traditional audiences.

It was a privilege to curate exhibitions, and to work on gallery programs, with artists such as Susan Berg, Jeanne Bonaca, Patricia Frank, Gail Fresia, Jewel Gentile, Irina Nakhova, Donna Sullivan Namnoun, Karen Petersen, Jane Wells Simpson, Elena Watras and X Woods.

Fresia was the costumer for the Hartford Ballet at the time. I invited her to curate the Costumer’s Art, an exhibition and gallery talk that showcased the work of costumers in the Greater Hartford area. The Costumer’s Art exhibition was part of the summer calendar of events I managed and included participation from the Hartford Stage Company, Company One Theater and the University of Hartford.

It was also a privilege to manage the Hartford College for Women visiting artist program that brought Irina Nakhova to HCW while she prepared to participate in the international women’s art exhibition Dialogue with the Other. This exhibition took place in Denmark and – in addition to Nakhova – included works from Louise Bourgeois, Nancy Chunn, Dorothy Cross, Paloma Navares, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith and Nancy Spero. I attended the opening of Dialogue with the Other to bring more international attention to the HCW gallery. – Russ DeVeau

Photos: a sample of some of the press and promotional coverage generated during my time managing the HCW gallery.

The exhibits I curated and promoted were regularly reviewed by well known art critics. The top left image shows a clip of a Jude Schwendenwien review of Susan Berg’s work. The review was published in the Hartford Courant.

The top right image gives a glimpse of a feature story developed based on The Costumer’s Art exhibition. The story was written by Donna Larcen, a Hartford Courant staff writer, and appeared on page one of the Courant’s Connecticut Living section. The piece included color photos and in-depth interview with Gail Fresia.

The bottom left photo shows an Art New England review of the Karen Petersen exhibit.

The bottom right photo is a snapshot of me that was taken in the Miriam B. Butterworth Art Gallery when Irina Nakhova was an artist in residence at HCW. The photo and description of Irina’s work were used extensively in publications promoting the Dialogue with the Other exhibit in markets around the world.

Published on October 15, 2016

In the gallery…Jean Roberts

russ deveau at hartford college for women in the gallery russell deveau hcw jewelJean’s one woman exhibition was well promoted, well attended and well reviewed.

The upper left image shows what visitors to the gallery saw when they entered from the main green. Jean’s guest book is located on top of the pedestal seen in the image. The invitation to the show and opening reception is attached to the pedestal. A set of double doors that led into the upper section of the auditorium was located directly to the left of the pedestal.

The upper right image is a view of Jean’s exhibition after coming into the gallery and turning right. Both plastic and wood pedestals were used throughout the gallery to display Jean’s work.

The bottom left image shows the exhibit from about three quarters of the way down the gallery after entering from the main green and turning right. The pedestal with Jean’s guest book can be seen on the right. That pedestal was located right across from the main entrance to the gallery.

The bottom right image shows a couple of the pedestals used in the exhibition and one of the main walls in the gallery. The main green is located outside, on the other side of that wall. Science Center 208 was located directly across from that wall.

This was a fun and challenging show to install and light.  – Russ DeVeau

Published on October 3, 2016

Photos by Russ DeVeau

In the gallery…

russ deveau at hartford college for women 15The front and back of the invitation to The Sedna Stories exhibition that took place in the HCW gallery during my time as curator of the space. This well attended exhibition received a great deal of media attention, including a review in Art New England. –  Russ DeVeau

Published on October 22, 2016

Deborah Norville visits the HCW art gallery

russ deveau hartford college for women russell deveau art gallery hcw

My team installed the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame (CWHF) exhibit in the HCW gallery in 1994. The exhibition ran at HCW in conjunction with the Connecticut Forum’s American Women in Focus event that took place at Bushnell Hall.

This is a great shot of Deborah Norville attending the exhibition at HCW shortly – in fact, as I recall, it was minutes – after it was installed.

Norville moderated the American Women in Focus panel that featured Sarah Brady discussing her experiences and work on the Brady Bill; Faye Wattleton, former president of Planned Parenthood; Eileen Shanley Kraus, president of Shawmut Bank; Billie Jean King, tennis champion and sports commentator; and Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist.

I worked on this program as a representative of the college and as an early supporter of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame exhibition.

The CWHF team reinstalled the CWHF exhibition in the HCW gallery for a longer-term stay in 1995, the year I left HCW to take on a research project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – Photo by E2 Photography. – Russ DeVeau

Published on March 1, 2016

In the gallery…Jewel Gentile

russ deveau at hartford college for women jewel in the gallery russell deveau

A few more shots of Jewel and the gallery right before one of her exhibit s opened to the public and right before the opening reception.

My pals at the Reader’s Feast typically catered receptions that took place in the art gallery. – Russ DeVeau

Published on October 9, 2016

In the gallery with Jewel Gentile

russ deveau at hartford college for women in the gallery russell deveau jewel 2

This is a great photo of Jewel taken right before the opening of one of her one woman exhibits at the HCW art gallery.

Jewel had a studio in Hartford’s Colt building and a very strong group of fans and followers in the Greater Hartford area at the time.

Published on October 9, 2016

In the gallery…

russ deveau at hartford college for women gallery ballet russell deveau

The photograph used to create the invitation to The Costumer’s Art exhibition. It’s an image of Tatiana Jouravel performing in GLAZUNOV VARIATIONS, with choreography  by Kirk Peterson. Photo by Jennifer Lester. – Russ DeVeau

Published on October 22, 2016

In the gallery…

russ deveau at hartford college for women gallery ballet two russell deveau

The invitation to the Costumer’s Art exhibition was developed based on a photograph of Tatiana Jouravel performing in GLAZUNOV VARIATIONS, with choreography by Kirk Peterson. Original photo by Jennifer Lester. – Russ DeVeau

Published on October 22, 2016

In the gallery…Gail Fresia

in the gallery russ deveau at hatford college for women

Gail Fresia was the costumer for the Hartford Ballet when I invited her to curate the Costumer’s Art, an exhibition and gallery talk that showcased the work of costumers in the Greater Hartford area. The Costumer’s Art exhibition was part of the summer calendar of events I managed and included participation from the Hartford Stage Company, Company One Theater and the University of Hartford. – Russ DeVeau

Hartford College for Women presents Art and Politics in Yugoslavia

russ deveau at hartford college for women russell deveau 3

This lecture was an extremely well attended event that took place in the Auerbach Auditorium – which was located adjacent to the Miriam B. Butterworth Art Gallery. I produced this program while managing the HCW visiting artist program.

Dialogue With the Other was an important international exhibition featuring many of the world’s most influential contemporary women artists. In addition to Nakhova, the show included works from Louise Bourgeois, Nancy Chunn, Dorothy Cross, Paloma Navares, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith and Nancy Spero.

I attended the opening of Dialogue With the Other in Denmark with goals of bringing more international attention to HCW, building additional relationships with artists working at the international level and to further position the Miriam B. Butterworth Art Gallery as an important venue for showcasing both established and up-and-coming women artists. – Russ DeVeau

Published on March 1, 2016

Remembering Mary Ellen Burns

russ deveau at hartford college for women MEBS russell deveau hcw

Remembering Mary Ellen Burns, my friend and one of my mentors in life. Mary Ellen, who was known as MEBs to friends and colleagues, hired me in 1990 to work on Hartford College for Women marketing programs.

I treasure the memories and fun times we had on campus and in CT, NY and NJ after we both left Hartford to take jobs in NYC.

MEBs went to work at the YWCA global offices in the Empire State Building and I went on to a research project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

Four remarkable women…

russ deveau at hartford college for women four women russell deveau hcw

Four remarkable women catching up to discuss life and HCW memories. From left to right, Dottie Church, Kathleen McGrory, Mary Ellen Burns and Virginia Bodden.

Dottie Church was HCW’s director of financial aid when I came to HCW.  Kathleen McGrory was HCW’s president when she hired me in 1990. Mary Ellen Burns was vice president of finance when I started working at the college.

My first HCW interview was with Mary Ellen. She stayed with HCW for about a year after the merger took place and then moved on to work at the global offices of the YWCA. Those offices were located in the Empire State Building in New York City.

This picture was likely taken in the mid to late 1990s because I know Mary Ellen met Virginia when she was interviewing for the executive director position at the YWCA in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Virginia lived in Elizabeth, was on the Elizabeth YWCA Board of Directors and was a member of the search committee that selected Mary Ellen for the YWCA executive director position. Both Mary Ellen and Virginia were very active in the Elizabeth community.

Mary Ellen passed away in the home and under the friendship and care of Virginia Bodden in 2002. Photo from the estate of Mary Ellen Burns. – Russ DeVeau

Published on December 15, 2015

The grandfather clock and dust on the stairs…

russ deveau at hartford college for women dust on stairs russell deveau hcw

This was an early promotional piece used to market the Hartford College for Women facilities and conference services.

It was grand and very elegant piece that took advantage of the history of the buildings and the neighborhood where Katharine Hepburn and Mark Twain had histories.

The photographer did a great job catching details including the dust on the stairs in Butterworth Hall and the face of the grandfather clock in the lobby.

We later went with much simpler promotional pieces – such as a post card of the auditorium and a one page brochure that included quotes from people and organizations that had held events on campus.

These pieces of marketing collateral were generally used to introduce HCW facilities and the campus to corporate and special event planners located in New England and beyond. – Russ DeVeau

Published on February 26, 2016

A view of the main green in 2017

russ deveau at hartford college for women main green russell deveau

This is a picture of the view of the green looking toward the Science Center and Upper Cheney.  I took this picture in the winter of 2017. A that time, both of these buildings appear to have been abandoned quite some time ago, and both were in a state of disrepair.

Johnson House, which was also empty and in need of repair, was behind me when I took this picture. Butterworth Hall was to my left. The student townhouses were to my right.

I was standing pretty much where I was standing in 1992 when the inset photo was taken by the University of Hartford public affairs team. That photo was used in the first set of brochures produced by the university to market HCW after the merger was finalized.

Prior to the merger, HCW marketing collateral was produced by the HCW public relations team. After the merger, HCW marketing materials were produced by the university’s public affairs team. The HCW public relations office closed shortly after the merger took place. – Russ DeVeau

In the gallery…HCW student art exhibit and competition

russ deveau at hartford college for women student show 1 russell deveau

I am glad to have come across these photos…

This student show – which took place in the Butterworth Art Gallery at Hartford College for Women – was both a competition and an exhibition.

As I recall, the HCW community voted on the piece of art they thought should receive an award. These photos were taken during the opening reception.

I believe this exhibition took place in 1992. This was the last show installed in the gallery before I took over as curator/director of the space.

Top photo: Karen Petersen’s art class. Karen is second in from the left. Sue Blanshan is standing next to Karen, third in from the left. My assistant, Deb Stillman, is standing in front of Sue. The woman all the way to the right, I don’t remember her name, won the competition.

Bottom left: Karen Petersen and Sue Blanshan speaking with the winner of the competition.

Bottom right: Sue Blanshan and Jean Blake Jackson in the gallery for the opening reception. – Russ DeVeau

Published on September 22, 2016

In the gallery…HCW student art exhibition and competition…

russell deveau at hartford college for women student show 2 russell deveau hcw

The last of several images from the student art show that took place in the Butterworth Art Gallery. I believe this exhibition took place in 1992. This was the last show installed in the gallery before I took over as curator/director of the space.

The top photo pretty much shows the entire gallery space. The glass doors visible on the right in this photo are the main doors leading into the gallery from the green. Michael Mills is standing next to one of the double doors – the doors are not visible in this image, they would have been to his immediate right – that led into the auditorium from this area of the building.

The bottom left photo is of Michael Mills and Jane Barstow standing in front of the painting that won the competition.

The bottom right image is of Karen Petersen standing next to the winner of the student competition. – Russ DeVeau

Published on September 23, 2016

Hartford College for Women student art exhibit and competition

russ deveau at hartford college for women studen show 3 russell deveau hcw

A few more images from the student art show that took place in the Butterworth Art Gallery. I believe this exhibition took place in 1992. This was the last show installed in the gallery before I took over as curator/director of the space.

The top image provides a nice view of what was one of the main walls in the gallery. The main green – where graduation and other special events took place – was outside, behind that wall. Science Center Room 208 – one of the most popular rooms on campus, was opposite that main wall. The glass doors visible in the background were not used as an entrance to the space. It’s possible that a big chunk of the grassy area that can be seen outside of those doors is now gone. I believe U of H may have been prepping that area for a much needed parking lot. I was standing in the center of the gallery when I took this picture.

The bottom left picture is of Jean Blake Jackson and Michael Mills attending the opening reception of this student event. Jean and Michael were standing pretty much in the center of the gallery when this picture was taken. The glass doors seen in the top image were now behind me, about 35 feet away, when I took this picture.

The bottom right image is of Terri Cain and Beth Davis. They were standing in front of another main wall in the gallery. The glass doors seen in the top image are directly across from them – perhaps 75 feet away – on the other side of the gallery. A hallway leading to faculty offices was to their left. The main door leading into the gallery from the green was to their right. Cheney Hall was located next door,  in the building behind the wall where they were standing when this picture was taken. – Russ DeVeau

Published on September 23, 2016

The landscaping was one of the reasons the Washington Post named HCW as one of the most beautiful colleges in CT

russ deveau at hartford college for women outside the gallery russell deveau hcw

This is the cover of one of the first HCW promotional materials created after the U of H/HCW merger. The year was probably 1992.

This image was taken on the main green. All of these students were attending HCW when I worked at the college. Their backs are facing the Science Center and the entrance to the Miriam B. Butterworth Art Gallery. The photographer’s back is facing Johnson House.

Faculty members teaching classes outside and students studying among colorful landscaping were common springtime occurrences. – Russ DeVeau

Published on January 16, 2016

The 1990 yearbook…

russ deveau at harford college for women

A picture of the cover of HCW’s last yearbook as an independent organization.

No yearbook was published during the merger years.

My assistant, Deb Stillman Lopez, was responsible for driving the relaunch of the HCW yearbook in 1995. – Russ DeVeau

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published on September 15, 2016

Dialogue with the Other

russ deveau at hartford college for women dialogue brochure russell deveau hcw

Dialogue With the Other was an important international exhibition featuring many of the world’s most influential contemporary women artists.

In addition to Nakhova, who came to HCW as a visiting artist, a program I managed – the exhibition included works from Louise Bourgeois, Nancy Chunn, Dorothy Cross, Paloma Navares, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith and Nancy Spero.

I attended the opening of Dialogue With the Other in Denmark with goals of bringing more international attention to HCW, building additional relationships with artists working at the international level and to further position the Miriam B. Butterworth Art Gallery as an important venue for showcasing both established and up-and-coming women artists. – Russ DeVeau

Published on March 7, 2016

Russ DeVeau – 80 Elizabeth Street, the view from Girard Avenue

russ deveau hartford college for women 80 Elizabeth Street russell deveau hcw

This is a view of the house known to the HCW community as 80 Elizabeth Street, the former home of the diCorcia family.

Kathleen McGrory lived here for a while after HCW acquired the house. I moved in about a year after Kathleen moved out and lived here for almost four of the five years I spent working at HCW. I took this photo from the driveway, which was entered from Girard Avenue.

The house had three bedrooms, two were located in the main part of the house and one was located directly behind the garage. I was told the room behind the garage was originally used as a work studio. It was entered from a door reached by following a narrow asphalt sidewalk along the left side of the garage seen in this image.

The studio space was pleasant and private, but also relatively small – perhaps no more than ten by fifteen feet in size. After entering the room, there was a small closet on the wall to the right and a very small full bathroom behind a wall straight ahead. The bathroom was maybe 3 feet by 3 feet in size and had a toilet, small sink and stand up shower. A corner fireplace made of bricks that were painted white was located diagonally across from the door leading into the room – about 10 feet across from the entrance to the bathroom.

This studio had light brown wall to wall carpeting. Three double hung windows facing the house next door – a grand brick home with a swimming pool in the backyard – a home I was told HCW owned at one time – were located to the left after entering the room. The windows were outfitted with white mini blinds. When furnished with a full-sized bed, an HCW-issued dorm dresser, and a couple chairs, there was very little extra space left in the room.

The studio was rented to a Hartford police officer when I first came to HCW. I believe he paid 100 dollars a month. After the merger and during a portion of the time when I lived in the main part of the house, a U of H development representative rented the studio as a room she stayed in to avoid her long commute home during inclement weather.

The single door seen by the windows to the right of the garage led into the main part of the house and opened into the kitchen. That door was used as the main entrance into the home during my years living in the house and throughout the time HCW owned the property. But in reality, that door was the home’s back door. The front door was located on the opposite side of the house – on Elizabeth Street – behind a completely walled-in yard.

The kitchen was about ten feet by ten feet in size and had black and white ceramic tile on the floor. The kitchen stove, sink, dishwasher and white formica counter area – with white cabinets above and below – were located on the wall on the left after entering the house. A white refrigerator, more white formica counter area and more white cabinets above and below the counter – were located on the wall to the right after entering the door seen in this image.

The appliances and cabinets were probably purchased and installed shortly before HCW bought the home. They were generally in fine shape, but were not of the highest quality.

Stairs leading down to a relatively small basement – the basement was under the kitchen, dining and living room areas of the house – were located behind a door on the right after entering the home. The basement contained a relatively new washer and dryer and several shelves installed around the concrete walls of the room.

I moved out of this home in 1995 to finish my graduate degree at Parsons School of Design and to take on a research project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The University of Hartford sold this property several years after the HCW/ U of H merger. – Russ DeVeau

Photo by Russ DeVeau

Published on February 29, 2016

A diverse group of women leaders…

russ deveau hartford college for women CWHF exhibition

This photo was taken on the main green of the HCW campus in the spring of 1995. Deb Stillman, my incredible assistant at the time, and I were standing to the photographer’s left when this picture was taken.

Me, Deb and Beth Davis had just finished installing the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame exhibition in the Miriam B. Butterworth Art Gallery when this picture was taken.

These women leaders came to campus to preview the exhibition before it opened to the public and before they participated in the Connecticut Forum’s American Women in Focus event that took place later that evening at Bushnell Hall.

From left to right, Sarah Brady, Faye Wattleton, Eileen Kraus, Ellen Goodman, Billie Jean King, and Debra Norville. Bess Lewis, HCW’s director of student of affairs, was standing just out of sight, to the right, when this picture was taken. – Russ DeVeau

Photo by E2 Photography

The fence at 80 Elizabeth Street

russ deveau at hartford college for women 80 Elizabeth Street hcw russell deveau

The view from the corner of Girard Avenue and Elizabeth Street when I lived at the former diCorcia home at 80 Elizabeth Street.

The gray fence completely surrounded what was the front of the home and property. At one time there was a door in the middle of the fence that opened into the yard where a path led to the front door of the house.

I took this picture standing on the corner of Girard Avenue and Elizabeth Street. My back was facing Girard Avenue. I’m looking down Elizabeth Street toward downtown Hartford.

The HCW Counseling Center was located three houses down on the left. The Elizabeth Street entrance to the HCW campus – the original driveway leading into the Seaverns estate garage – where Larry Jesse lived and had his workshop – was just beyond the counseling center.

The Connecticut Historical Society and the UCONN Law School campuses were located across the street, on the right.  – Russ DeVeau

Published on March 1, 2016

Photo by Russ DeVeau

80 Elizabeth Street

russ deveau at hartford college for women 80 Elizabeth Street living room russell deveau

I took this picture from the dining room area. The image shows the large fireplace and skylight in the living room. A stone floor – which was designed to be heated – was installed in the living room, dining room and foyer areas of the house. – Russ DeVeau

Picture by Russ DeVeau

Published on August 26, 2016

80 Elizabeth Street, the view from inside the fence looking toward the front of the home

russ deveau at hartford college for women 80 Elizabeth Street back yard russell deveau hcw

This picture shows what the house looked like from inside the walled-in yard. The dining area was on the extreme left side of the house. The living room was to the right of the dining room. The red front door can be seen in the center of the house. That door led into a foyer. A hallway with floor-to-ceiling windows and doors is located to the right of the front door. That hallway led to the home’s two bedrooms. The pool was in a constant state of disrepair during the years HCW owned this property.

Published on February 29, 2016

80 Elizabeth Street

russ deveau at hartford college for women 80 Elizabeth street fp russell deveau hcw

A view of 80 Elizabeth Street, the former diCorcia home, when I lived in the house.

The image was taken from the dining room and looks into the living room area. The front door – the door leading out to the walled-in yard – is just out of sight, on the right, immediately before the hallway that leads to the home’s two bedrooms. – Russ DeVeau

Published on August 26, 2016

My bedroom at 80 Elizabeth Street on the Hartford College for Women Campus

russ deveau at hartford college for women 80 Elizabeth Street interior russell deveau hcw

I took this picture of my bedroom at 80 Elizabeth Street when I lived in the former diCorcia home in the early 1990s. The artwork in this room is by Irina Nahkovah.

When I took this picture, I was standing in the hallway across from the very large accordion door that led into this room. The entrance to the bathroom from this room was located just out of sight, to the left of the artwork on the left wall. The wall of this room that was made up of glass window bricks was to my right. Sliders to the deck were behind me and a door that opened up to the foyer – a door that kept the hallway and bedrooms closed off from the living area – was to my left. The home’s second bedroom, my studio at the time, was located at the end of the hallway to the right.

My bed was located pretty much in the center of the room. The privacy window visible in this picture looked out over the garage. Another one of those windows was located on the same wall, about fifteen feet to the right. A similar window was located in the bathroom – about five feet to the left of this window – above the shower and toilet area.

This room had two skylights.  – Russ DeVeau

Photo by Russ DeVeau

Published on August 26, 2016

Russ DeVeau – 80 Elizabeth Street

russ deveau at hartford college for women 80 Elizabeth Street living room 2 russell deveau

This picture shows what the living room of the house looked like from just inside the front door, the door leading into the house from the yard.

The dining area was on the extreme left side of the house. The living room was to the right of the dining room. The red front door can be seen in the center of the house. That door led into a foyer. A hallway with floor-to-ceiling windows and doors is located to the right of the front door. That hallway led to the home’s two bedrooms. The pool was in a constant state of disrepair during the years HCW owned this property.

This is a picture I took of the living room from the foyer area of the former diCorcia home. The walled-in yard was behind me and to the left when I took this picture.

This picture shows the two-step ledge that ran from the foyer area to the end of the living room. There was a large open fireplace on the wall in the middle of the wall directly across from the couch that faces the two-step ledge. I used the ledge for seating and for displaying objects.

The cubbyhole shelves ran from the floor to the ceiling and extended along the wall located across from the fireplace. The shelves were painted white – they were actually an off white – when I moved into the home. These shelves were removed in the early 1990s and were probably made of simple pine boards.

The back wall – the wall where the canvases are hanging – was painted a bright white. The wall to the right of the canvases is the wall where the fireplace was located. That wall was made of brick from floor to ceiling and was also painted bright white.

There was a popcorn ceiling in this room and a skylight that was perhaps 3 feet by 3 feet in size – located in the ceiling over the raised two-step ledge in the corner of the room on the wall with the fireplace.

There was a small hole – a few inches in diameter – in the ceiling in the corner near the skylight and water stains – presumably from a leak around the chimney –  on the wall over the fireplace when I first saw the inside of this home.

The kitchen was behind the wall with the cubbyhole shelves. The door I used as the front door to the home is located in the kitchen and led out to the home’s driveway. The garage and studio were to the right after coming out of the house and Girard Avenue was to the left. – Russ DeVeau

Photo by Russ DeVeau

Published on February 24, 2016

Russ DeVeau – 80 Elizabeth Street

russ deveau at hartford college for women 80 Elizabeth Street hall bike russell deveau hcw

I took this picture from inside 80 Elizabeth Street during the time I lived in the home. This picture was likely taken in 1991.

I was standing in the home’s foyer when I took this picture. The front door leading into the house from the fenced/walled in front yard was to my right. The entrance to the home’s only bathroom in the main part of the house – the other bathroom was located in the studio behind the garage – was to my left.

If I turned left here, I would have entered a small hallway — perhaps 3 feet by 3 feet in size. The entrance to the bathroom was in front of me. Two good-sized closets were located before the bathroom door, one on the left and one on the right. The closet doors were vented, they looked like big shutters. A simple veneer door led into the bathroom vanity area.

The area of the bathroom that housed the vanity was about 8 feet by 5 feet in size. The vanity was on the wall in the corner diagonally to the right after entering this part of the bathroom from the foyer area. A simple pocket door leading into the master bedroom was directly to the right of the vanity. The vanity housed two sinks and was generally made of low quality products. A built-in dirty laundry bin with a pull down door – one that opened like a dishwasher – was located under part of vanity. Barring the laundry bin, there were no other built-ins under the vanity – no cabinets or drawers – just open space.

The two closet and the small hallway floors leading into the bathroom from the foyer were carpeted in dark blue wall to wall carpeting that was generally in poor shape. This carpeting extended into the sink area of the bathroom, including the somewhat large open space under the vanity – and ended before the section of the bathroom that contained the toilet and shower.

A large mirror was located on the wall over the entire vanity.  A small medicine cabinet – with a mirror door – was located on the wall to the left of the sink, on the left side of the vanity.

The toilet, which was beige – was located on the wall on the other side of the medicine cabinet.  A square walk in steam shower with a tub and a seat was located directly across from the toilet. As I recall, the wall behind the toilet was painted red.

The toilet and shower area of the bathroom was about 3 feet by 8 feet in size – including the shower area. The room had small light brown tiles on the floor and light brown 4 inch by 4 inch tiles on the walls. There was a sliding window – the type of window generally found in walls in basements – at the top of the wall in the center of the toilet and shower space that faced out over the roof of the garage.

When I took this picture I was standing on black stone flooring on the top step of a two-step-ledge that ran the length of the living room.  My back was facing the living room, dining area and the kitchen. I was facing the doorway leading into the second bedroom seen at the far end of the hallway.

The master bedroom was on the left and ran the entire length of the hallway. The large glass brick area on the left side of the far end of the hall – where my bike is leaning in this image – looked into the master bedroom. The black box-like unit on the left – right before the glass bricks – was part of the heating and cooling system. These units were located throughout the house and were very noisy – as I recall each unit had two small fans that rattled and clanked whenever they were being used to heat (and perhaps cool) the house. The main entrance into the master bedroom was on the left, right after entering this hallway and right before the black box heater.  The doorway was about the size of the glass brick area on the other side of the hall – where my bike is leaning – and housed a heavy-duty plastic/vinyl accordion-style door.

The wall on the right side of the hallway was made up of just about all glass. There were two window columns – each made up of four windows that push out from the bottom to open – across from the accordion door and a set of sliding glass doors across from the glass brick walls. The sliders led out to a somewhat rickety wood deck that was about five feet deep and ran from the front door (the door that faced Elizabeth Street) down the length of the house to the second bedroom.  – Russ DeVeau

Photo by Russ DeVeau

February 24, 2016

80 Elizabeth Street

russ deveau at hartford college for women 80 Elizabeth Street interior russell deveau

This is a picture of part of the second bedroom inside 80 Elizabeth Street taken when I lived in the home. I used this room as office, studio and guest room space.

The gray carpeting on the floor in this room was also installed in the hallway and in the master bedroom. The master bedroom was on the left – and floor to ceiling windows and sliding glass doors were on the right – side of the hallway leading into this room.

There were three fireplaces in the home. The main fireplace was in the living room. The second fireplace – a corner fireplace – can be seen in this room, to the left of the bed. There was another corner fireplace in the studio, the private room located behind the garage.

An area of the wall – not seen in this image, but located a couple feet to the right of the white shelves that are visible in this picture – was made up of glass bricks. The glass brick area started at the floor and was about 4 feet wide and 8 feet high. Those bricks faced the neighbor’s house on Elizabeth Street – a house know at the time as the Judge’s House – and looked out on to a relatively large (and somewhat rickety) deck that bordered the tall privacy wall that separated 80 Elizabeth Street from the Judge’s House.

A set of sliding glass doors and two rows of windows that pushed out from the bottom to open were located on the wall to the right of the glass bricks. The sliders led out to the deck that began at the front door and ran the length of the back of the home. The sliders and windows in this room looked out toward the walled in yard.

The door leading into this room was diagonally behind me when I took this picture. The wall to the left after entering the room was painted gray. Built-ins made of teak colored wood (the design of these units did not appear to be in keeping with the overall decor of the house) provided closet and dresser space on the wall to the left of the fireplace.  – Russ DeVeau

Photo by Russ DeVeau

Published on August 26, 2016

Russ DeVeau – 80 Elizabeth Street

russ deveau at hartford college for women 80 Elizabeth Street view russell deveau

This is the third of three black and white photos I took from inside of 80 Elizabeth Street shortly after I moved into the house.

This picture shows the view from the foyer area of the door that led out to the fenced/walled-in yard. I was standing on the top step of a two-step ledge that ran the length of the living room when I took this picture.

My back was facing the hallway and bedrooms. The entrance to the bathroom was on my right. I was looking out toward the dining room and kitchen area of the main part of the house. The cubbyhole shelves (which were removed shortly after I moved in) on the right in this image were in the living room. They ran from the floor to the ceiling and covered the entire wall located directly across from the living room fireplace. They ended where the dining area of the home began.

The built-in cabinets seen to the left of the cubbyhole shelves in this image were located at the beginning of the dining area. They were of the same quality as the cubbyhole shelves in the living room. The door to the kitchen was to the left of this built-in when facing those cabinets.

The kitchen door was about four feet wide and was closed using accordion shutter-like doors. Another cabinet and storage area with accordion shutter-like doors was located to the left of the kitchen door. This cabinet area – which was built over the stairs that led down to the basement from the kitchen – can be seen in this image in the far right corner of the dining area. – Russ DeVeau

Photo by Russ DeVeau

Published on February 24, 2016

Russ DeVeau at 80 Elizabeth Street

russ deveau at hartford college for women 80 Elizabeth Street russell deveau hcw

The glass brick wall in the hallway at 80 Elizabeth Street. I was standing in the hallway when I took this picture. My bedroom was located behind the glass bricks.  A wall of windows looking out over the yard was located to my left. The door to the back/second bedroom was right behind me. The artwork to the left of the glass wall is a painting by Karen Petersen.

The artwork is over one of many noisy black HVAC units that were located throughout the house. The accordion door that led into the bedroom is out of sight (hidden behind the open door) on the far left of this photo, but it slid shut to completely close off the bedroom from the hallway. The door seen in this image – the door that is blocking the accordion door from view – led into the foyer from the hallway.  – Russ DeVeau

Photo by Russ DeVeau

Published on September 15, 2016

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