History of the Heublein Tower

Gilbert F. Heublein was a celebrated German-born hotelier and restaurateur in Hartford, Connecticut as well as an innovator in the American gourmet food and liquor industry. Heublein built the Tower in 1914 as a summer retreat for his family and for the entertainment of weekend guests.

Builder T. P. Fox and Son was contracted by Heublein to carry out Hartford architects Hilliard Smith and Roy D. Bassette’s Tower plans, the specifications of which called for a tower that would never blow over, having been designed to resist wind pressures of 100 mph. It is a six-storied structure, with a 165- foot solid square shaft of steel beam and concrete construction that rises from a massive, asymmetrical fieldstone base. The property on which it rests totals approximately 350 contiguous acres along the mountain ridge, with the Tower being at the midpoint of the plot.

Many famous people have been guests at the tower, where the Republican Party asked General Dwight Eisenhower to run for president. This same party was also attended by Prescott Bush, father of George H. W. Bush. Ronald Reagan also visited the tower in the 1950s while he was president of the Screen Actors Guild.

From 1948 to 1950, WTHT, an FM station operated by The Hartford Times, used the tower as its antenna site.