“All humans, regardless of where they may live and reside, experience a similar linkage between their own identity and the places they have lived.”
–Orum and Chen, The World of Cities: Places in Comparative and Historical Perspective, 12
Built in 2007, the HSC is owned by Catholic Charities a group that serves elderly Latinos living in Hartford. The 2-story building is classified as condominium with 2 separate units. The combined units make up 22,804 square feet. With a concrete foundation the building was constructed with brick and stucco. The building still has a brand new aura, especially in contrast to the surrounding area with houses and buildings that are close to falling apart. The Center, located at 45 Wadsworth on a property valued at $355,000 at its construction, has a brick and Asphalt roof cover and large windows. The windows provide a welcoming feeling to the space, as you can see people interacting without even being inside. Additionally, the windows allow for natural light to brighten up many of the elderly people’s days, a comfort for those who might not have the ability to enjoy the weather outside. There are numerous doors around the building, all with signs directing visitors to go to the front entrance. In front of the building there are three dead looking trees held up by rope.
In close proximity to the Hispanic Senior Center is the Hartford Adult Education Center. Directly beside is the Catholic Charities building attached to a preschool which had a playground outside. Close by is the Kingdom Hall where different groups congregate such as the West Spanish and Vietnamese group. There are many homes within walking distance to the Senior Center. Directly next to the building is a very old empty brick building, and next to that is a Money Lenders building, and across the street there are new looking condos. The surrounding area is quiet so that the birds chirping are the loudest noises around.
I had been dropped off at the site by a friend who was going to pick me up after an errand. The building was locked on the weekends so I walked around the building a few times and approached people passing by. A man who lives next door to the HSC commented that the construction took about a year to build. He said he mostly sees mothers bringing children to the daycare. Another man I interviewed knew that the building offered programs to help people with drug and anger problems. Like the other people interviewed, he was very aware of the building being new. Only a couple people walked by on the sidewalk, thus it seemed like people who would seek the services offered in the building would go out of there way to be there.
The HSC is connected to the Institute for the Hispanic Family which offers services for the Hartford Latino Community including daycare, substance abuse counseling, family support services, and English as a second language.