Moscow on the Connecticut River: How a Russian Iconic Design Continues to Define an American City


Besides developing the first revolver, 19th century arms-maker Samuel Colt was a brilliant PR man and traveling businessman, personally visiting with prime ministers and other heads of state whose armies might become potential buyers of his gun. One of his travels took him to Russia, where he was impressed by the iconic onion-shaped domes adorning the tops of Russian churches and cathedrals. He would crown his new gun factory with such an icon, an eye-catching blue,onion-shaped dome reminiscent of what he saw in Russia. By the early 21st century, Colt's 19th century plant ceased manufacturing. Still, the building with its iconic dome continues to define Hartford, capital of Connecticut. In a landscape traditionally dominated by unadorned, white, Congregationalist churches with tall curtain-less windows, an Eastern Orthodox icon continues to mark a Puritan settled American city. This study considers its importance. Does the dome's continual definition signify cultural tolerance? To what degree can a culture successfully adopt the icon of another culture? The United States of America and Russia have often had a rocky relationship. Nevertheless, a little piece of Moscow sits comfortably before the Connecticut River outside of Hartford.

Author Information
Kenneth DiMaggio, Capital Community College, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2019
Stream: Aesthetics

This paper is part of the ACAH2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon