The Wadsworth Atheneum is comprised of five connected buildings. The first was the Gothic Revival Wadsworth building of 1844, designed by the eminent architects Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis. It originally housed the art gallery, the Connecticut Historical Society, the Young Men’s Institute (which became the Hartford Public Library), and the Natural History Society. The Watkinson Library of Reference was added to the original building in the 1860s.
The Tudor Revival Colt Memorial of 1910 and the Renaissance Revival Morgan Memorial of 1910-15, designed by Benjamin Wistar Morris, provided additional space for the growing fine arts collection.
The Avery Memorial opened in 1934 and was the first American museum building with a modern International Style interior. By 1964, the institutions not affiliated with the art museum had moved to other Hartford locations.
When the Goodwin building, designed in a late modernist style, opened to the public in 1969, the entire facility was devoted to the fine arts for the first time, Daniel Wadsworth’s original intention.