In 1887, five railroads served Hartford with routes connecting the city to Boston, Providence, Saybrook, New Haven, Banbury, Poughkeepsie, and Springfield. The significant increase in railway traffic during in the late nineteenth rendered Hartford's first two passenger stations inadequate, both regarding handling human traffic and modern trains, which forced the city to design a new station capable of handling modern-day transportation needs. By 1887, the city began work on the new station, which included better platforms, comforts, enhanced grade-level crossings and architectural designs that included ornamented details.
The railway's presence in Hartford spoke to the city's place as the home to numerous financial institutions and overall urban growth. The new station served the city functionally, to be sure, but also stood as a symbol of its vitality. The building enjoys classic Romanesque design, a concept developed by H. H. Richardson, a famed architect that designed buildings in Hartford as well as several other U.S. cities. Though he died in 1886, his influence remained for decades to come. Besides its size, the building's Romanesque design included features such as large stones, and arcaded facade, steep gabled roofs, stone arches, small dormers, deep window reveals, towers, and medieval moldings. Passengers passing through Hartford would see the station as a sign of Hartford's growth and importance (or so it was intended).
The most serious alterations to the building transpired in 1914 when a fire destroyed the roof and severely damaged the interior. Renovations to the interior occurred in the 1980s, mostly to modernize it. Today, the station serves as an Amtrak station.