Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In case you wondered about 'Ann Uccello Street'

On Interstate 84 eastbound through the city, the Exit 49 sign used to read "Ann Street." Last fall, it was changed to "Ann Uccello Street," to reflect the renaming of the street after Uccello, who in 1967 became not only the first female mayor in the city's history but also the first woman to become mayor of a major U.S. city. She's also the last Republican to serve as mayor of Hartford.

WFSB-TV still has video of the renaming ceremony, including some of Uccello's remarks, on its website. At 86, Uccello is still going strong. For more on her, visit her bio page on the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame website.

And who was the original "Ann" of Ann Street? According to the very authoritative "History of Hartford Streets" by F. Perry Close (1969, Connecticut Historical Society), it was "(n)amed after Ann Sheldon Goodwin by her sons, James and Nathanial Goodwin, who opened the street through their land in 1814." Originally, the street ran from Main Street to Church Street. Eventually, it was extended southward to Jewell Street.