History of Swift

The Swift Factory began it's life as a Gold Leafing manufacturing company, and started in a small farm house (The White House) that remains on site today, dating back to 1887, and eventually growing into the roughly 70,000 square foot campus we see today. At it's height, Swift & Sons was the largest gold leafing manufacturer in the country, and experienced the industrial decline that much of New England's factories experienced in the 2nd half of the 20th century, eventually closing it's doors in 2005.

How it Started

Donated in 2010 to national non-profit Community Solutions, the Swift Factory is an adaptive reuse project in one of Hartford’s poorest neighborhoods. The historic factory and surrounding campus will be transformed from a vacant and blighted structure into an economic engine for job creation.

With a strong community-engagement process, the project’s goals include job growth, economic development, community health, and community revitalization. This project will preserve a neighborhood anchor, while opening opportunities for a vibrant local economy, increase community resiliency and spark a turnaround.

Community Engagement

As a part of our larger neighborhood improvement effort, Community Solutions worked alongside the NERA/NRZ, residents, partners, and civic leaders to develop the Northeast Neighborhood Sustainability Plan (NNSP) using a Health Impact Assessment framework. The NNSP outlines the best opportunities for improving the health, infrastructure and environmental sustainability of the Northeast neighborhood. Using this recommendations of the NNSP Community Solutions has been hosting a variety of community engagement efforts through public art, bike safety, healthy food education, and pop up markets


As the developer of the Swift Factory, Community Solutions is committed to creating jobs and engaging the community in all phases of development, including construction. We extremely proud that our team has exceeded the goals stated below, with thousands of hours worked by residents of the neighborhood.

  • Goal of 30% of the labor force (measured by total man hours) for the project to be performed by City of Hartford Residents

  • Goal of 20% of the labor force (measured by total man hours) for the project to be performed by Minority workers. 

  • Goal of 6.9% of the labor force (measured by total man hours) for the project to be performed by Female Workers.