Date of Completion


Embargo Period



William Berentsen, Carol Atkinson-Palombo

Field of Study



Master of Arts

Open Access

Open Access


In late 2014, the Coltsville Historic District in Hartford, Connecticut, became a unit of the National Park Service. The new Coltsville National Historical Park encompasses the former Colt firearms factory and the adjoining remnants of the company-built township, informally known as Coltsville. Although best-known for producing some of the first practical multiple-shot firearms, the factory’s possibly greater significance lies in the various mass-production techniques using interchangeable parts that were pioneered there in the 19th century.

Hartford, like many older American cities, has had to contend with both deindustrialization and suburbanization in recent decades. The push for national park status for Coltsville seems to be informed by a desire to increase the number of visitors to the city of Hartford. In this, Hartford is part of a recent trend by cities to promote themselves as centers of cultural and leisure-related activities and the service sector instead of the traditional approach of attempting to attract or retain industry.

The goal of my analysis is to forecast the new national park’s impact of the city of Hartford in terms of jobs attributable to increased visitor numbers brought about by the new park. The expected number of jobs was estimated based on the experience of similar parks and allocated throughout the study area by means of a singly-constrained gravity model. Among Hartford’s neighborhoods, South Meadows, Sheldon-Charter Oak, and Downtown were found to stand to benefit the most from visitor traffic to the new national park.

Major Advisor

Dean Hanink