"The city of Hartford was originally settled in 1623. In the early 19th century, Albany Avenue, also known as U.S. Route 44, a federal highway, was established as a turnpike. The Upper Albany neighborhood developed in the mid- to late 1800s as small industries grew, facilitated by a railroad line. Hartford's population nearly tripled in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most of the homes that were constructed on Upper Albany between 1890 and 1920 are still the dominant residential architecture of the area. Other buildings are a combination of Victorian and commercial vernacular.
During the early 20th century, middle-income Italian, Eastern European, and Jewish families inhabited the Upper Albany neighborhood, creating a "streetcar suburb" that connected the industrial and financial sectors to downtown Hartford. Post-World War II urban sprawl and the development of wealthy suburbs dramatically altered the ethnic composition of the area. Today, the neighborhood is populated primarily by lower and middle-income African Americans, Latin Americans, and families of West Indian descent.
The Upper Albany neighborhood is a National Register Historic District. This exhibition is a celebration of the rich diversity that has characterized the state of Connecticut, the city of Hartford, and especially Albany Avenue-one local microcosm of our nation."
- Now and Then: Albany Avenue Project Literature
For this project, volunteer professionals were given two historic photographs taken of businesses located on Albany Avenue in the early nineteen hundreds. They were assigned to research and photograph the current business of their specific location. If, however, our location no longer existed, they were instructed to find another business that was similar to the original photographs.
Of the businesses Nicole was assigned, one of the two was in its original location. Evay Day Spa was in the same building location as Tager Barber Shop. Platt's Delicatessens business location no longer existed so she chose Albany Grocery to represent it. In both businesses Nicole composed the current image very similarly to the historic photograph she was given.