The Bushnell's Mission
Since 1930, The Bushnell has been "a center for the benefit of the public in educational and cultural activities ... to encourage public appreciation of music, art, science and all benevolent, religious and other public activities." (Act of Incorporation, 1919)
The Horace Bushnell Memorial Hall opened January 13, 1930. It was built by Dotha Bushnell Hillyer as a "living memorial" to her father, the Reverend Dr. Horace Bushnell (1802-1876), esteemed Hartford minister, theologian, philosopher and civic leader.Designed by the renowned architectural firm of Corbett, Harrison and MacMurray, designers of New York's Radio City Music Hall, The Bushnell vividly contrasts a traditional Georgian Revival exterior with a rich Art Deco interior. Drama, the largest hand-painted ceiling mural of its type in the United States, is suspended from the Hall's roof by numerous metal supports. The work of Barry Faulkner, this timeless painting cost $50,000 to create in 1929. A 90,000 square-foot facility, built adjacent to the current Mortensen Hall, opened in November 2001 and includes the 907-seat Maxwell M. and Ruth R. Belding Theater and such amenities as a cafe, a gift shop, classroom space and more rest rooms. In addition, there are private dining and entertainment suites and reception spaces.