South Wing and porte cochère
The South Wing of the capitol incorporates a projecting covered driveway (porte cochère) and was the principal point of entry for legislators and dignitaries arriving by carriage or, later, automobile. Because of the projection, there was an allowance for niches for sculpture on three sides of the projecting South Wing. However, in the end, the sculptural program of the South wing for tympana and medallions was not executed and most of the niches were left empty with the exception of three statues celebrating Connecticut men who had distinguished themselves in the Civil War era. All three were carved by Hermon MacNeil in about 1934. They are from left to right: empty niche; 2. Gideon Welles (1802- 1887), newspaper editor of “The Hartford Times”and Secretary of the Navy under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson; 3. General John Sedgwick (1813- 1864), career army officer, he led troops at Antietam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg and was killed in May 1864 by a sharpshooter at Spotsylvania; and 4. Alfred Howe Terry (1827- 1890), a Hartford native, he volunteered in the Civil War and rose to the rank of Major General serving until 1888. 5 & 6. Other niches empty.
A fourth statue, the most recent addition to the Capitol in 1987, was placed on the western side of the South wing, around the corner from the main elevation. That statue celebrates Connecticut’s first woman governor, Ella Grasso (1919- 1981), and was carved by Frank Gaylord in 1987. Ella Grasso was the eighty-third governor of Connecticut (1975-1980) and the first Connecticut and United States woman to be elected a governor in her own right.
South Wing above the covered car port:
Connecticut men who had distinguished themselves in the Civil War era.
Left to right: All by Hermon MacNeil in 1934.
1. empty niche
2. Gideon Welles (1802-1887)
3. General John Sedgwick (1813-1864)
4. Alfred Howe Terry (1827-1890)
5 & 6. niches empty.
South wing, left around the corner from the main elevation facing west.
Ella Grasso (1919-1981), by Frank Gaylord in 1987.
Connecticut Capitol Sculpture, South Wing