Heublein Tower Timeline

December 28, 1849 - Gilbert F. Heublein is born in Suhl in the German state of Bavaria to Andrew and Elena Heublein

1856 - Heublein family immigrates to the United States, settles in Connecticut

1862 - Andrew Heublein opens a restaurant in New Haven

Andrew Heublein

1875 - Gilbert Heublein and his fiancé, Louise M. Gundlach, are hiking on Talcott Mountain when Gilbert promises to one day build her a castle on the mountain.

Gilbert and Louise Heublein

December 2, 1876 - Gilbert and Louise are married and move into a house on Prospect Avenue in West Hartford

October 20, 1877 - A daughter, Alice, is born. She later moves to England and marries Percy Martin.

September 18, 1879 - A son, Arthur, is born. Arthur later becomes a doctor and works at Hartford Hospital, where he pioneers the use of X-rays and radium treatments for cancer patients. He is also the patron of a nursing school attached to Hartford Hospital.

Hartford Hospital, early 1900s

1891 - Heublein Hotel opens in Hartford, Connecticut


Heublein Hotel

1895 - Heublein family begins manufacturing A-1 Steak Sauce in the United States

1906- John G. Martin is born. 

1911 - Construction begins on Phase I of Heublein Tower

1914 - Phase I of the Tower’s construction is complete. It was designed by the Smith & Bassette architectural firm and  built by T.R. Fox & Son


Heublein Tower construction

1915 - Gilbert expands the family business to ready-made cocktails and liquor distribution

1919 - Phase II of the Tower’s construction begins, adding the dining room, kitchen, servants’ bedrooms, and Gilbert’s  sleeping porch. Phase II was designed by the architect Carl Malmfeldt.

1927 - John G. Martin, son of Alice Heublein Martin, graduates  from Cambridge in England

1928 - John G. Martin emigrates to the United States, giving up his dual (British/American) citizenship for only American citizenship, and becomes an A-1 Steak Sauce salesman in his grandfather’s company.

John G. Martin

1929 -  Phase III of the Tower’s construction is complete, adding the servants’ dining room/modern day boardroom and  more servants’ bedrooms. Like Phase II, Phase III was  designed by Carl Malmfeldt. With the completion ofPhase III, construction ends at the Tower.

1932 - John G. Martin becomes a vice president in G.F. Heublein & Bro.

G.F. Heublein & Bro.

1920-1933 - Prohibition is in effect, and G.F. Heublein & Bro. is reduced to selling only A-1 Steak Sauce

July 13, 1935 - Louise Gundlach Heublein dies and is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford

March 21, 1937 - Gilbert F. Heublein dies and is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford. His grandson, John G. Martin, takes over the family business.

1941 - John G. Martin serves on the War Production Board

1942-1946 - John G. Martin serves in the U.S. Army, receiving the Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, and France’s Croix de Guerre. He rises to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before resigning his commission.

1943 - Heublein Tower is sold to the Hartford Times newspaper after John G. Martin discovers that $70,000 in back taxes is owed on the Tower. The Times intends to use the Tower as a broadcasting location and as a place to entertain important guests.

Social Gatherings at the Tower when owned by The Hartford Times

1950 - Dwight D. Eisenhower, famous WWII general and then- president of Columbia University, visits the Tower to celebrate the naming of a terminal at Bradley Airport after Francis Murphy, editor of the Hartford Times. During his visit, Eisenhower is asked to run in the next presidential election by Murphy and a group of prominent local Republicans, including businessman Prescott Bush, the father and grandfather of the Presidents Bush.

Social gathering at the Tower with Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower/Former President Ronald Reagan visits the Tower in 1952

1962 - The Hartford Times sells the Tower to a group of three real estate developers. The ‘Save Talcott Mountain’ Association is formed to fight the development plans and convince the State of Connecticut to make the Tower part of a state park

August 16, 1966 - The State of Connecticut purchases the Tower and 557 acres for $500,000

1973 - The State begins restoring the Tower, which has suffered extensive vandalism while it was standing empty.

Vandalism done to the Tower during its vacancy

1974 - The Tower opens to the public

1983 - The Tower is placed on the National Register of Historic  Places

1985 - The ‘Friends of Heublein Tower’ group is formed.

Friends of Heublein Tower

1986 - John G. Martin dies

2006 - The original 70-foot tall flagpole is discovered on the grounds

2007 - Friends of Heublein Tower replace the rotted non-original porch window with original building correct doors, side-lites and round-top configuration

2008 - Removal of the non-original vinyl asbestos floor and installation of oak parquet floor to match the original

2009 - Friends of Heublein Tower fabricate and install 4 copper capped light fixtures on the stone piers

2010 - Restoration of Gilbert's bedroom leaded windows

2011 - Restoration of the sunroom and Gilbert's bedroom to their original colors

2013 - Relocation of the Corporate Room to the third floor

2014- First annual Hike to the Mic music & arts happening

2014- 100-year Heublein Tower Centennial gala

2015 - Local Boy Scout Troops fabricate and install two trail kiosks


2016 - Friends of Heublein Tower renovate and purchase and install three large round topped storm windows to protect Louise's bedroom.