Trinity College is a small Liberal Arts College, located in Hartford, Connecticut. The College was founded in May of 1823 as Washington College in downtown Hartford, on the present site of the Connecticut State House, (the name was changed to Trinity College 5 years later). At the time, it was only the second college in Connecticut. Its founding marked the end of a 35 year struggle between the state's Episcopalians against the educational monopoly of Congregationalist-controlled Yale. Congregationalism had been abolished as the official state church five years earlier.
In 1872, Trinity sold its land so Connecicut could construct its State House there. The College relocated to the "Gallows Hill" site in the South End of Hartford. William Burges, the distinguished English architect, was appropriated by the Trustees to design the new campus. Influenced by the Collegiate Gothic architecture of the Oxford and Cambridge colleges, Burges proposed an elaborate scheme of four enclosed quadrangles extending north and south from a massive Gothic chapel. Though the plan was never completed, the historic "long walk" and chapel still stand as a pinnacle of collegiate architecture.
Trinity participates in the twelve college exchange program and competes in sports with other liberal arts schools in the area, such as Amherst College and Williams College. Trinity's academics remain excellent, despite the fact that it does not enjoy as outstanding a rating in the US News & World Report rankings as do these other fine institutions. The degradation of many parts of Hartford into poverty and crime, especially the area immediately surrounding Trinity, are partially to blame for this.