M.D. Fox School

The program objectives for this project were dual: to save and preserve an important historic structure and to provide a new combined elementary and middle school in the Barry Square neighborhood. The original building, completed in 1924 by the Hartford architect Edward T. Wiley, was originally designed and built as Bulkeley High School in the collegiate gothic style. Various additions were made to the building over the years, the most recent being a one-story block added in 1943. For its time, this school and Weaver High School were two of the City’s most notable academic buildings.
In 2009 Smith Edwards McCoy Architects completed the replacement of the badly deteriorated original windows. New insulated glass windows with muntin patterns and profiles to match the original were installed throughout the building. This proved particularly challenging in the auditorium, where the windows were integrated into existing intricate gothic tracery.

In 2012-2013, the second phase of the project was undertaken. It included the full restoration/renovation of the existing building to meet today’s design standards and to achieve LEED Silver equivalent certification. The renovation work included the demolition of the later additions to the historic building, complete interior renovations, and the comprehensive restoration and repair of the exterior building envelope. The interior renovation work included upgrading all the circulation, classroom and specialty areas, such as unified arts, science labs, art, music, etc. Of particular interest is the restoration of the school’s main lobby, which included terrazzo restoration, stone and polychrome plaster restoration, and the reconfiguration of existing gothic wood and leaded glass partitions. Even the school’s original clock, safe, and marble drinking fountains were restored and brought back into use.

On the exterior a complete masonry restoration program was undertaken, including the many limestone gothic elements and details. The charming gothic arch at the main entrance was cleaned and restored, and the full-relief figures of Aesop’s Fables characters were made legible once again.

The restoration of 470 Maple Avenue returns a jewel of Hartford’s historic architecture to contemporary use and represents a City that has enormous pride in its history and its civic buildings. Smith Edwards McCoy Architects is proud to have had a hand in preserving the building for the use of future generations of Hartford students.


City of Hartford




Completed 2013

JD Fox Entrance

  • JD Fox Auditorium
  • JD Fox Classroom
  • JD Fox Classroom
  • JD Fox Gymnasium
  • Back of School