75 Charter Oak Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
700 Canal Street
Stamford, CT 06902
In the summer of 2021, the Green Bank moved into its new Hartford headquarters in the Non-Profit Center at 75 Charter Oak Avenue, out of a desire to be closer to the community we serve. The building itself is a former brownfield that once held the Atlantic Screw Works, where screw-making machines were built in the late 1800s. As we branded the space to match our story, we honored Connecticut’s rich history of innovation and climate activism along with our heroes in our meeting spaces.
One meeting room is named after Albert Pope, a Civil War hero, manufacturer, distributor, and entrepreneur, who lived in Hartford (1843-1909). Pope was initially focused on making America’s first bicycles (Columbia Bicycle Company), but then turned his attention to making the first electric vehicles. Using assembly line mass production techniques, Pope employed thousands of people in what was the center of the automobile industry in the late 1800s. In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican and environmental conservationist, rode in a Columbia Electric Victoria Phaeton, made by Pope, in the first Presidential motorcade in an electric vehicle.
One meeting room is named after Dr. Bernard S. Baker, a pioneer in the fuel cell industry. He was a Connecticut resident and was a founder and served as president, chief executive officer and chairman of Energy Research Corporation (now called FuelCell Energy, Inc., in Danbury, developer and manufacturer of direct fuel cells used to generate electric power. Connecticut continues to be a leader in fuel cells, thanks in part to Baker’s work. We refer to this as our green hydrogen room.
The third meeting room is named after Mary & Eliza Freeman, whose historic Bridgeport homes are the last ones surviving from the “Little Liberia” settlement of free African Americans started in 1831. Now part of the Freeman Center, the preserved homes sit in the shadow of a coalfired power plant and serve as a reminder of the need for environmental justice. The room has two striking walls: one features Maya Angelou’s poem “On the Pulse of Morning,” and the other has an image of solar homes based on Prince Street in Bridgeport, where Melvin, who went solar in 2015, convinced three neighbors to follow suit after seeing his savings. There is also a glass mural commissioned by Aisha Alford of Bridgeport.
Other smaller meeting spaces are named for Gina McCarthy, former Green Bank Board member, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the first White House National Climate Advisor, and…
Greta Thunberg, the environmental activist from Sweden, using her well-known “How dare you?!” quote.