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Waterbury, Connecticut

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Waterbury in Connecticut.

 

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Waterbury (nicknamed the "Brass City") is a city in New Haven County, Connecticut, on the Naugatuck River, 33 miles (53 km) southwest of Hartford and 77 miles (124 km) northeast of New York City. As of 2010 Census Bureau estimates, the city had a total population of 110,366 and is the ninth largest city in New England, the fifth-largest city in Connecticut and the second largest city in New Haven County.

Landmarks

Constructed by the world famous architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White of N.Y. for the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company, the Union Station on Meadow Street was modeled after the Torre del Mangia at the Palazzo Publico in Siena, Italy. It cost $332,000 to build in 1909. The clocktower is 240 feet (73 m) high and has 318 steps. The clock was made by Seth Thomas Co. with a dial 16 feet (4.9 m) in diameter with 5-foot (1.5 m) tall Roman numerals. The eight she-wolf gargoyles are a reminder of the myth of Romulus and Remus. The tower opened July 12, 1909. Union Station is now the home of the Waterbury Republican-American newspaper, and the city's Metro-North railroad station is on a platform next to the building.

Municipal Stadium

The stadium was built in 1930 originally as a dog track which attributes to its unique, if not odd, layout. It holds 6,000 people. It is somewhat unique that it only has permanent stands along the first-base line, while bleachers lie along the third-base side.

It was home to minor league baseball for the majority of its existence, beginning in 1947 with the Colonial League and from 1966 to 1986 with the AA Eastern League as an affiliate of the Dodgers, Reds, Giants, Indians, Pirates, A's, and Angels.

In 1997 the Stadium became home to the Waterbury Spirit which spent four seasons in the Independent League.

Several future major leaguers played at the stadium, including Bobby Bonds, Paul O'Neill, Wally Joyner, Cory Snyder, and Danny Tartabull.

It is now primarily used for sporting events, primarily football and baseball, for most of the city's high schools and Little Leagues.

The stadium has been home to a few historic events also, woman's softball pitcher Joan Joyce struck out Ted Williams, Dom Dimaggio, and Johnny Pesky, in order in the stadium, and in 1947 several members of the New York Yankees including Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, and Spec Shea, played an exhibition game against the Waterbury Timers in the stadium.
Exchange Place, the transportation and business center of Waterbury, in the early 1950s.

The Apothecary Building

The Apothecary Building, the focal point of Exchange Place in the center of Waterbury at the intersection of South Main and Bank Streets, was built in 1893 and housed the Apothecaries Hall Pharmacy for over 70 years.
Carrie Welton Fountain

The 2,500 pound statue on the Carrie Welton Fountain on the east end of The Green is in memory of Caroline Josephine Welton's black stallion, Knight, and her love of animals. The fountain was dedicated November 10, 1888.
Soldiers' Monument

Sculpted by former Waterbury resident George C. Bissell as a tribute to the whole Civil War experience, the 48-foot (15 m)-high bronze Soldiers' Monument on the west end of The Green was cast in Paris and cost $25,000. It was dedicated October 23, 1884. Other Bissell works include: Memorial to Scottish American soldiers of the Civil War located in Edinburgh, Scotland, and many statues in Riverside Cemetery, including one of Waterbury Civil War hero, Col. John L. Chatfield. The poem on the Soldiers Monument, by Dr. Joseph Anderson of Waterbury history fame, was included in the Library of American Literature:

Brave men, who rallying at your country's call Went forth to fight - if Heaven willed, to fall: Returned, ye walk with us through sunnier years And hear your nation say, God bless you all! Brave men, who yet a heavier burden bore And came not home to hearts by grief made sore! They call you dead and lo ye grandly live. Shrined in the nation's love forevermore!

Veterans' Monument

Designed by Luis Fucito for the City of Waterbury for about $55,000, it was intended in honor of all those who have served in the wars of our country. The 15-foot (4.6 m) star was dedicated on May 30, 1958 and is located on the west end of The Green.

Hotel Elton

Built in 1905, the Elton Hotel on the Waterbury Green was a grand hotel which served as the starting point for the "Ideal Tour". Created by the Elton's first manager, Almon Judd, this tour created a convoy of early automobiles which journeyed to New England resorts. The Elton was considered one of New England's most elegant hotels until the 1960s, when it became the Roger Smith Hotel. It is now an assisted living facility. President John F. Kennedy made a campaign speech from the balcony of the hotel on Sunday, November 6, 1960. Forty thousand people waited until 3 a.m. on the Green to greet then Senator John F. Kennedy who spoke to them from the balcony of the hotel. A plaque was later added to the building to commemorate the occasion. Also on the building is a plaque commemorating the establishment of Unico National in the city in 1922.

Cass Gilbert Historic District

Nationally renowned architect Cass Gilbert won a competition to design Waterbury's City Hall building on Grand Street, which was completed in 1915. Gilbert was then hired to design the Chase Headquarters Building (facing City Hall and now a municipal building housing the mayor's office); a bank building next to City Hall; the Lincoln House and the Chase Dispensary buildings on Field Street; the Waterbury Club on West Main Street (demolished in the 1960s); and coordinated the landscaping of Library Park with the Olmsted Brothers in the 1920s.
Christopher Columbus statue

The statue was completed by sculptor Frank C. Gaylord of Barre, VT for the Christopher Columbus Committee and the Waterbury Unico National Club at a total cost of $45,000, $25,000 for the statue and $20,000 for the base. The 12-foot (3.7 m) Christopher Columbus statue is made of granite and weighs 12,000 pounds. Standing in front of City Hall, this statue was dedicated Oct. 12, 1984. The Christopher Columbus Time Capsule, closed Oct. 12, 1992 to be opened October 12, 2092, is behind the monument.

The base of the sculpture reads:

Cristoforo Columbo 1451-1506 Discover of America October 12, 1492

Ben Franklin statue

The Ben Franklin statue seated in front of the Silas Bronson Library on Grand Street was designed by renowned sculptor Paul Wayland Bartlett, a one-time Waterbury resident. The 1700 pound statue was made possible by a $15,000 donation from Elisha Leavenworth. After completion, it made a 22-city tour, with celebrations in each city, from Baltimore to Boston and then to Waterbury where it was dedicated June 3, 1921.
Waterbury Courthouse

The Waterbury Courthouse on the corner of Grand and Meadow Streets, with its graceful curved facade and brass-bedecked entranceway, was the headquarters of the Anaconda American Brass Company for over 50 years. A large addition was put on the building in 1998.

Waterbury Clock Company

The Waterbury Clock Company buildings on Cherry Ave. were constructed in 1857. By the end of the 19th century, the company employed 3,000 workers and turned out 20,000 clocks and watches a day. The Great Depression sent the Waterbury Clock Co. into receivership, and the company was eventually purchased by Thomas Olsen (owner and operator of Fred. Olsen Shipping Co.) and Joakim Lehmkuhl of Norway during WWII to aid in the war effort becoming the largest producer of fuse timers for precision defense products in the United States.[12] The company was renamed the United States Time Corporation in 1944 following its wartime success.[13] Manufacturing operations here ceased when production was moved to a new factory in Middlebury, CT in 1942, and the buildings now house several small businesses. The company still operates today as Timex Group USA maintaining its headquarters in Middlebury.

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