The Hotel Bond opened its doors in September 1921. In the grand tradition of spectacular downtown hotels, the 12-story Hotel Bond included a penthouse ballroom, gilt chandeliers, rose and gray damask Louis XIV drapes and 17 towering, arched windows that presented unobstructed views of surrounding Hartford. Word of the hotel was widespread, with newspapers detailing everything from the use of 350 tons of structural steel for construction to the color of fabric, peacock and green, used to cover the imported chairs in the tearoom. The exterior of the hotel became famous with its dozens of ivy plants, which began at the west wing and spread within a few years up the entire wall to the eighth floor. The baggage porters were responsible for watering the plants twice a day.
During the 1920’s, the Bond was where Hartford’s elite socialized. Men in white ties and tails and women in lavish gowns danced on the oak floors at the many galas and parties held at the hotel. Although the eras and dance styles changed from waltzing, to the Charleston and then the tango, the Bond continued to be “the place” in Hartford. Businessmen and politicians used the character of the ballroom to entertain and close deals.
During the war years, the Bond became the hub for servicemen traveling through Hartford. A room with a bath cost $3 per night. The ballroom was used for fund raising banquets and war bond rallies.
The 1950’s brought the decline of the Bond as a new hotel, the Statler, challenged its dominance. The estate of Harry S. Bond, the hotel’s creator, proprietor and first managing director, spiraled into bankruptcy and the celebrated era of the Bond was over.
In 1965, the hotel was sold to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, which used the building as the home of the Saint Francis Hospital School of Nursing. Most recently, a portion of the hotel has been used for a sports science academy.