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The second building built in the Wadsworth Atheneum complex was the 1910 Colt Memorial Building completed more than a half century after Ithiel Town’s 1842 Gothic revival main entrance. Designed in the Tudor revival style with medieval inspiration it is a fine example of Benjamin W. Morris’ early personal style after he became an independent architect after 1900. The Colt Memorial was funded by the 1905 bequeath of Elizabeth Hart Jarvis Colt, the widow of Samuel Colt the American Arms Manufacturer, who left the Atheneum $50,000 to build a new wing to house her collection of over 1000 items. Morris designed the Colt Memorial to be a link between the original Wadsworth Building and the Morgan Memorial which Morris was also commissioned to design. The link was both physical and visual, using windows with a diamond glazing like the Wadsworth Building’s on a façade of grey granite similar to that of the Wadsworth Building’s. When he designed the Morgan Memorial he used marble moldings that created a continuity with the Colt building. These techniques work to link the Gothic Revival and Renaissance Revival styles of the Wadsworth and Morgan Memorial Buildings through the Tudor Revival style of the Colt Memorial. This wing of the Atheneum was created during a busy period of expansion with the Morgan Memorial Building being built at the same time and partially opening in the same year.


  • Andrews, Gregory E. Structures and Styles : Guided Tours of Hartford Architecture. Hartford, Conn. : Connecticut Historical Society and Connecticut Architecture Foundation, 1988. :
  • Gaddis, Eugene R. The Spirit of Genius : Art at the Wadsworth Atheneum. New York ; Hudson Hills Press in association with the Wadsworth Atheneum, 1992. :