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Waterbury, Connecticut

Waterbury (nicknamed the "Brass City") is a city in New Haven County, Connecticut, on the Naugatuck River, 33 miles (53 km) southwest of Hartford. As of 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the city had a total population of 107,902 and was the fifth-largest city in Connecticut. Throughout the first half of the 20th century Waterbury had large industrial interests, and was the leading center of the United States for the manufacture of brassware (including castings and finishings), as reflected in the nickname the "Brass City" and the city's motto Quid Aere Perennius, Latin for "What Is More Lasting Than Brass[?]". It was noted for the manufacture of watches and clocks.

The city is located along Interstate 84 and has a Metro North railroad station. It is also home to Post University and a regional campus of the University of Connecticut.

History

The original settlement of Waterbury was in 1674 as a Town Plot section. In 1675 King Philip's War caused it to be vacated but the land was returned to in 1677, this time west of the first settlement. Both sites are now marked. The Algonquin name for the area was "Matetacoke" meaning "place without trees." Thus the settlement was named as "Mattatock" in 1673. The name changed to Waterbury on May 15, 1686, when the settlement was admitted as the 28th town in the Connecticut colony. It then included all or parts of the later towns of Watertown, Plymouth, Wolcott, Prospect, Naugatuck, Thomaston, and Middlebury. The name Waterbury was chosen because of all the streams flowing into the Naugatuck River. Growth was slow during Waterbury's first century. The lack of arable land discouraged new settlers and the residents suffered through the great flood of 1691 and the great sickness of 1712. After a century, Waterbury's population numbered just 5,000. Waterbury hit its stride as an industrial power in the early 1800s when it began to make brass, using a technology taken from the British. Not content with exploiting the know-how, these Yankee entrepreneurs lured talented craftsmen from across the sea to set up shop in Waterbury. As the "Brass Capital of the World," the city gained a reputation for the quality and durability of its goods. Waterbury was incorporated as a city in 1853. Waterbury supplied brass and copper used in Boulder Dam in Colorado. Waterbury brass was used for many other things in the United States such as minting disks for nickels, but the brass also went into South American coins. While the brass business boomed, thousands of immigrants poured into the city seeking factory jobs, including the Italians, Irish, French-Canadians, Lithuanians, Jewish, and Slavs.

Another famous Waterbury product of the mid-19th century was Robert H. Ingersoll's one-dollar pocket watch, five million of which were sold. After this, the clock industry became as important as Waterbury's famed brass industry. Evidence of these two important industries can still be seen in Waterbury, as numerous clocktowers and old brass factories have become landmarks of the city. At its peak during World War II, 10,000 people worked at the Scovill Manufacturing Co, later renamed Century Brass. The city's metal manufacturing mills (Scovill Manufacturing, Anaconda American Brass, and Chase Brass & Copper were the largest) occupied more than 2 million square feet (180,000 m²) and more than 90 buildings.

Like many other cities that boomed during the manufacturing era, Waterbury began to decline in the second half of the 20th century. With the closing of the last brass mill in the 1970s Waterbury faced a grim future. Waterbury continued to decline, but has like many other cities in Connecticut been involved in many revitalization projects. Waterbury is working to revamp many of the city's unused freight yards and warehouses in order to turn them into office space. Along with this, the city has built numerous luxury hotels. Although the brass industry has since left Waterbury, metal works are still prominent to this day.

World War II

Due to its industrial prowess, Waterbury contributed greatly to the World War II cause both in production and in manpower. So much so that Waterbury was chosen as one of four American cities featured in The War, a documentary about the American experience during World War II by renowned filmmaker Ken Burns.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.9 square miles (74.9 km²), of which, 28.6 square miles (74.0 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.9 km²) of it (1.21%) is water.

Demographics

Historical population of
Waterbury
1756 1,829 1774 3,536 1782 2,240
1790 2,937 1800 3,256 1810 2,874
1820 2,282 1830 3,070 1840 3,668
1850 5,137 1860 10,004 1870 13,106
1880 20,270 1890 33,202 1900 51,139
1910 73,141 1920 91,715 1930 99,902
1940 99,314 1950 104,477 1960 107,130
1970 108,033 1980 103,266 1990 108,961
2000 107,271 2005 107,902(est)

As of the census of 2000, there were 107,271 people, 42,622 households, and 26,894 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,754.7 people per square mile (1,449.7/km²). There were 46,827 housing units at an average density of 1,639.0/sq mi (632.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 67.14% White, 16.31% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 1.51% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 10.91% from other races, and 3.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.77% of the population.

Waterbury is probably the most heavily Italian-American large city in Connecticut today. The Italian influence is especially strong in the Town Plot, Brooklyn, and North End neighborhoods. It has been said that 6 in 10 voters in Waterbury is of Italian decent and they often prove to be a decisive voting block in city elections. In addition the city is home to thriving French-Canadian, Portuguese, Lebanese, Lithuanian, and Albanian communities. Waterbury has strong Irish roots as well, especially in Washington Hill which is home to the city's annual St. Patrick Day's Parade. At the beginning of the 21st century, Waterbury had a growing Orthodox Jewish population.

There were 42,622 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.8% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,285, and the median income for a family was $42,300. Males had a median income of $35,486 versus $27,428 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,701. About 12.7% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.6% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Mayor Michael J. Jarjura (Democrat)
Town Clerk Antoinette C. Spinelli (D)
City Sheriff Stephen M. Conway (D)
City Clerk Michael J. Dalton (D)

Aldermen (15)
J. Paul Vance, Jr. (D - President)
Paul K. Pernerewski, Jr. (D – Majority Leader)
Laurie Singer Russo (D - President Pro-Tem)
Joyce Petteway (D)
Martin J. Misset (D)
Paul M. Nogueira (D)
Anthony T. Piccochi (D)
Alberto Negron (D)
Anne Phelan (D)
Cicero B. Booker, Jr. (I – Minority Leader)
Arthur J. Denze, Sr. (I)
Frank A. Burgio Sr. (I)
Michael Telesca (I)
Carlo Palladino (I)
Paul V. Ciochetti (R)

Waterbury has about 52,000 registered voters, of whom about 24,000 are Democrats. There are about 7,800 registered Republicans and the balance are largely unaffiliated, with a smattering belonging to minor parties.

John S. Monagan, who is a prolific author in addition to his political responsibilities, served as Waterbury's mayor from 1943 to 1948. He also served as its district's congressional representative from 1959 to 1973. George Harlamon, a member of the Waterbury Hall of Fame, was the city's 40th mayor. He served from 1969 to 1970 during a period of racial tension. The City is known for its hard nosed political culture compared locally to Cook County, Illinois, close elections, and a number of scandals. This reputation is so solidified that U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman once joked that upon his death, he hoped to be buried in Waterbury so he could remain politically active.

Waterbury's scandalous past dates back to 1940 when Mayor T. Frank Hayes and 22 others were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the City of Waterbury. Hayes received a 10-15 year sentence and served six years. Ironically, the massive corruption scheme was exposed with the help of then comptroller Sherwood Rowland, grandfather of Gov. John Rowland, who was convicted on corruption charges in 2004. The recently published book, Publisher vs. Politician: A Clash of Local Titans, by author William A. Monti is an account of the rise and fall of T. Frank Hayes and focuses on his election campaigns, his bitter fights with William J. Pape, publisher of two local newspapers, and his ultimate trial, conviction, and sentencing for corruption. Ironically, what appeared to have been a defeat for Hayes was not really a victory for Pape, and the stage was set for further corruption in Waterbury in the second half of the 20th century. Three recent mayors have been indicted while in office. In 1988, Mayor Edward "Mike" Bergin was arrested on a charge of taking a bribe over towing contracts. He was acquitted three years later. His successor, former Mayor Joseph Santopietro, and six others were convicted in 1992 of conspiring with bankers and developers to trade favors for bribes and kickbacks disguised as loans. Most recently Mayor Philip Giordano, was indicted while in office and later convicted on sexual abuse charges discovered by the FBI while they were investigating corruption in City Hall. Waterbury was in serious financial straits due to years of mismanagement resulting in the city's finances being take over by the State of Connecticut. The State Oversight Board oversaw city business for several years and have since left following consecutive years of balanced budgets. The successors to Giordano, former Acting Mayor Sam Caligiuri and present and 45th Mayor Michael Jarjura have managed the city without major controversy since 2001.

A number of Presidential candidates have campaigned in Waterbury due to its pivotal role in statewide elections. The most famous was the election eve visit on the Green by John F. Kennedy in 1960. Forty thousand people waited until 3 a.m. on the Green to greet Presidential Candidate John F. Kennedy, Sunday, November 6, 1960. Sen. Kennedy spoke to them from the balcony of the Roger Smith Hotel (now called the Elton). Pierre Salinger later said it was the greatest night of the campaign. In September 1984 Ronald Reagan held a huge noontime election rally at the same location. In July 2006 former President Bill Clinton made a campaign appearance at the Palace Theatre for Senator Joe Lieberman during his campaign for re-election to the U.S. Senate. Shortly after the Democratic primary, Tom Swan, campaign manager for Lieberman's opponent Ned Lamont, described Waterbury as a place where "the forces of slime meet the forces of evil" after a large majority of the town's voters backed Lieberman. Swan claimed he was referring to former Mayor Philip A. Giordano and former Governor John G. Rowland.

Governor John G. Rowland served ten months in a federal prison until February 10, 2006. He was released from federal prison with the stipulation that he serve four months house arrest with an electronic ankle bracelet monitor until June, 2006.

In January, 2008 Waterbury Mayor Michael Jarjura announced that he would hire Rowland as a economic development advisor for the city. Rowland began work in February and is receiving an annual salary of $95,000 as the city's economic development coordinator

Education

The city's schools are operated by Waterbury Public Schools under the leadership of superintendent Dr. David L. Snead and a board of education that consists of 10 elected members and the city mayor, who acts as the chairman ex-officio.

Board of Education (10)
Patrick Hayes, Jr. (D - President)
Coleen Flaherty-Merritt (D)
Karen Harvey (D)
Antonio Pinto (D)
Stephen Laccone (D)
Mary White (D)
Charles Stango (R)
Paul D'Angelo (R)
Ann Marie Sweeney (U)
John Thereault (I)

The four public high schools in Waterbury are Crosby, Kennedy, Waterbury Arts Magnet and Wilby High Schools. Private high schools include Chase Collegiate (formerly St. Margaret's-McTernan), Holy Cross High School, and Sacred Heart High School.W.F Kaynor Tech the cities only tech school is operated by the state and has gone under renavation.The Waterbury Arts Magnet School recently opened across from the University of Connecticut's Waterbury campus.

In addition, Waterbury is also home to the Yeshiva Gedolah School of Waterbury, which provides Orthodox Jewish education from kindergarten to Post-High School students. It is operated by the Yeshiva Community of Waterbury.

Waterbury is also home to Post University, a private liberal arts college, and Naugatuck Valley Community College.

Historic Happenings

See also here

  • The Mattatuck Drum Band, which was founded in 1767, is the oldest continuing active musical organization in the country.
  • Waterbury's Post Office was once known for its fancy stamp cancellations created by John W. Hill, the Waterbury postmaster from 1869 to 1886.
  • Waterbury's Fr. Michael J. McGivney founded The Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Connecticut on February 2, 1882. Though the first councils were all in Connecticut, the Order spread throughout the United States in the following years.
  • Established in 1894, St. Joseph's Church holds the distinction of being the first Lithuanian worshiping community in Connecticut.
  • The first Unico Club was founded in Waterbury in 1922. It now has 8,000 members and 150 regional groups. The membership is composed of business and professional people of Italian lineage or those who are married to an Italian-American. The clubs sponsor educational, cultural and civic programs.
  • Sacred Heart was the first Catholic High School in Connecticut, September 6, 1922.
  • One of the first full-length sound motion pictures was made in the 1920s at the studios of the Bristol Co. at Platts Mills by Professor William H. Bristol, who experimented for years with sound pictures.
  • The Ingersoll-Waterbury Watch Company produced the first Mickey Mouse watch in 1933. The watch was so popular that over 11,000 were sold the first day, and it saved the company from bankruptcy.
  • The Eastern Color Printing Company, which was owned by the Waterbury Republican-American newspaper, printed comic books and Sunday newspaper comics sections at their plant on Leavenworth Street. Famous Funnies: a carnival of comics, which they published in 1933, was the first issue of a bi-monthly publication that became the first regularly published comic book series sold on newsstands.
  • W1XBS in Waterbury was one of only four radio stations in the country that began experimental high fidelity broadcasting in 1934. The station broadcast at 1530 kc, and joined the CBS Radio Network on December 1, 1938. They moved to 1590 kc and changed the call letters to WBRY in 1941, in accordance with the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement. This facility, later known as WQQW, has been dark (off the air) for many years now.
  • Victor Zembruski started his Polish Eagles show on Waterbury radio station WATR in 1934. It is now the oldest continuously broadcast show on radio, with his wife Sophie Zembruski still playing traditional and contemporary Polish music every Sunday morning.
  • The Chase Dispensary, a medical clinic for employees of the Chase Brass & Copper Co., opened one of the first birth control clinics in the country in 1938.
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the most famous of James Thurber’s short stories, is set in Waterbury in 1939.
  • The Robert Hall discount clothing chain, which operated over 200 stores in 1955, stemmed from a single Case Clothes store opened in a factory building on Mill Street in Waterbury in 1940.
  • Massive metal sculptures by Alexander Calder were fabricated in Waterbury at the Waterbury Iron Works and Segre Iron Works in the 1950s.
  • Waterbury radio station WWCO and disk jockey Les Davis were featured in an article in the April 25, 1955 issue of Life Magazine. The station is still on the air and provides a blend of issues-oriented talk, news and information, a small amount of music programming in addition to being Waterbury's home for New York Yankees baseball. Before FM radio came into popularity in the mid-1970s, WWCO was the major top 40 radio station in Waterbury, with a heyday from the 60s into the early 70s.
  • The Today Show on NBC was broadcast from the Hotel Elton on August 18, 1955 to cover the festivities for the world premiere of Waterbury native Rosalind Russell’s movie The Girl Rush at the State Theater that evening.
  • A major flood on August 19, 1955 caused over 50 million dollars in property damage and the deaths of 29 Waterbury residents. The Today Show provided live coverage of the flood to the country.
  • In 1957, Waterbury's George Metesky, New York City's "Mad Bomber" was arrested. Metesky's reign of terror from 1940 - 1957 was provoked by the denial of his Workmen's Compensation claim by Con Edison after a gas accident in the plant caused him chronic lung problems. Fifteen people were injured by Metesky's bombs, and he spent sixteen years in jail. The bomb sites like Macy's, Radio City Music Hall, and the subway, were linked because they all used Con Edison electric power. Metesky returned to the headlines in 1995 when the FBI examined his case in an attempt to catch the Unabomber.
  • Five thousand people lined the streets on May 12, 1984, as Waterbury residents Joseph Carrah, Thomas Fava, Frank Fulco, Gary Coles, Richard Boutot, Bob Wesson and others carried the Olympic Torch through Waterbury on its way from Greece to California for the 1984 Summer Games.
  • The movie Stanley & Iris (1990), starring Jane Fonda and Robert De Niro, was filmed in Waterbury.
  • Waterbury’s economic decline in the 1970s and 1980s resulted in it being ranked as having the worst quality of life of 300 U.S. metropolitan areas by Money Magazine in 1992.
  • Waterbury was rated as one of the "10 Worst Places to Live in America" in the 1999 Places Rated Almanac
  • One of the last remaining Howard Johnson's Restaurants in the country was located in Waterbury. The long time American restaurant icon known for its fried clams, fish frys and 28 flavors of ice cream closed in early 2007 after 50 years in business. It was the last Howard Johnson's in the country to still retain the trademark orange roof. At its peak, there were over 1,000 Howard Johnson's Restaurants operated nationwide, now there are only three still in business.
  • Waterbury is the number one jurisdiction in Connecticut for juries handing out death sentences, 6 out of 7 of the prisoners on death row coming from Waterbury.
  • On April 23, 1987, L'Ambiance Plaza in Bridgeport, CT collapsed in the worst construction accident in Connecticut history. Of the 28 victims, 12 hailed from Waterbury, 10 of them being immigrants from Pontelandolfo, Italy. The tragedy was felt in both Waterbury and Italy, as stated in the book "Why Buildings Fall Down" by Matthys Levy and Mario Salvadori:
    "The small town of Pontelandoflo, Italy, had sent its sons and daughters to Waterbury, CT for one hundred years and now mourned ten of its own who died in the collapse."
  • Frank S. Moore was the first black principal in the Waterbury School system. He was appointed posthumously in 1973. Mr. Moore was a long-time educator and civil rights activist.

Landmarks

Union Station Clocktower

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 high and has 318 steps. The clock was made by Seth Thomas Co. with a dial 16-feet in diameter with 5-foot tall Roman numerals. The eight she-wolf gargoyles are a reminder of the myth of Romulus & Remus. The Tower opened July 12, 1909. Union Station is now the home of the Waterbury Republican-American newspaper, which services over 120,000 subscribers in the Greater Waterbury area, and the city's Metro-North railroad station is on a platform next to the building.

The Apothecary Building

The Apothecary Building, the focal point of Exchange Place in the center of Waterbury at the intersection of South Main & 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-high bronze Soldiers' Monument on the west end of The Green was cast in Paris and cost $25,000. It was dedicated Oct. 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 star was dedicated on May 30th, 1958 and is located on the west end of The Green.

Hotel Elton

Built in 1905, the Hotel Elton 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. President John F. Kennedy made a campaign speech from the balcony on Nov. 6, 1960. 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.

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 an office building for the Chase Companies (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 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 sold to the United States Time Corp. (Timex) in 1942. Manufacturing operations here ceased when production was moved to a new factory in Middlebury CT, and the buildings now house several small businesses.

Harrub Pilgrim Memorial

The 175 ton, 60 foot long Harrub Pilgrim Memorial was carved out of French granite by Herman Atkins MacNeil of New York. Charles Harrub, an engineer for the American Brass Company, donated the $100,000 needed for the project to honor his wife and the Pilgrims. Dedicated October 11, 1930 at its original location at the entrance to Chase Park across from the Freight Street bridge, it was moved for the construction of the Interstate Route 84 / Route 8 interchange and is now located at the corner of Highland Avenue and Chase Parkway.

Chief Two Moon Laboratory

Chief Two Moon Meridas built his laboratory building on East Main Street in 1925 and manufactured his world famous herbal medications there until his death in 1933. The Indian Heads and two moons engraved on the front exterior walls have been retained on the building.

Holy Land USA

Holy Land USA was an 18 acre park in Waterbury, CT representing a miniature Jerusalem and Bethlehem. It was one of Connecticut’s biggest tourist attractions in the 1960s and 1970s with 50,000 visitors per year. Holy Land USA was built in the 1950s by local attorney John Baptist Greco. The 50' cross was designed and built by Frank Veto Lyman. This steel cross was once lit up purple for Lent and red for the Christmas season. Holy Land USA closed in 1984 and the plaster, wire caves and structures are now in miserable shape. Some local residents wish to see the place restored while others want it razed and turned into a park.

On November 20, 2002, Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" spoofed Holy Land in a segment with correspondent Stephen Colbert satirically comparing the park to Israel.

The cross is one of Waterbury's most beloved and prominent landmarks. Illuminated at night, it was a beacon seen from many homes and thousands of motorists passing daily on highways below. Pilots even used it for orientation.

In April 2008, workmen took down the former cross, which had become unstable from years of weathering and repeated attacks by vandals. The Religious Teachers Filippini, an order of nuns that owns the property, paid $250,000 to have it replaced with a cross that is a little shorter, a bit thinner, but more durable. In addition, the cross is not illuminated like the previous ones, instead it is lit by surrounding flood lights.

On June 18, 2008 the new 50 foot cross was blessed and rededicated by Archbishop Henry J. Mansell. The new cross is actually the third giant cross to grace the site. The original was 32 feet tall and was erected in 1956. The cross was dedicated to world peace in a ceremony attended by 1,200 people in November of that year. It was the beginning of Holy Land.

That original cross was replaced in 1968, by a cross of steel girders and plastic that housed fluorescent lights that reached 56-feet into the sky. That cross was dedicated to peace and also to the slain John and Robert Kennedy.

Today, much of what was Holy Land is in ruins. Broken pavement lines the road winding through the property. Yellow tape blocks access to displays, many of which have been smashed by vandals. While the site is officially off-limits, people still skirt no-trespassing signs to visit..

Mattatuck Museum

The Mattatuck Museum Arts and History Center is the only museum in Connecticut dedicated to collecting and exhibiting Connecticut artists and sculptors. Previously housed in the historic Kendrick House on the other side of The Green, the museum moved to the former Masonic Temple in 1986. The renovation and construction was designed by noted Argentine-born architect Cesar Pelli. Exhibits in the ground floor galleries reveal the history of Waterbury and surrounding towns. New additions to the history exhibit include an interactive display about the region's slavery history. Recent additions to the art collections include a gallery display about Alexander Calder and a "Giant Critter" designed by Calder in the museum's courtyard.

TIMEXpo Museum

Another educational landmark of Waterbury is the TIMEXpo Museum The museum, which is in what were formerly factory buildings of the Scovill Manufacturing Company, opened to the public in May, 2001. There are three floors of exhibits that explore the heritage of the world-famous Timex Corporation, tracing back to its early days as the Waterbury Clock Company. Visitors can witness the birth and growth of Timex, enjoying demonstrations of the inner workings of clock and watches. Within the museum there are a variety of hands on exhibits with craft activities, and computer interactions.

Brass Mill Center

The Brass Mill Center & Commons is a shopping venue built on the site of old Scovill Manufacturing Co. factory buildings near the center of Waterbury. It houses many stores and restaurants including Old Navy, American Eagle, Hollister & Co., Brookstone, Barnes & Noble, Chili's, and TGI Friday’s, Macy’s, JCPenney, Sears,and Burlington Coat Factory.

Palace Theatre

Originally opened in 1922, the Palace Theatre was home to films and vaudeville shows. It operated for nearly seventy years before being closed in 1987. Thanks to the financial backing of the State of Connecticut and the support of then-Governor Rowland, the theatre reopened on November 12, 2004.

Warren Fox Kaynor Technical High School

W.F Kaynor Tech is a technical high school in the Waterbury , that is funded and run by the state of Connecticut. Open in 1954 and is going under a 53 million dollar renavation will be done by 2009 .

Chase Collegiate School

The Chase Collegiate School is a private day school formerly known as Saint Margaret's-McTernan established in 1865.Founded by Chase Brass and Copper company

Minicucci's Men's Clothing Store

The oldest remaining store in downtown Waterbury. Minicucci's is owned today by Arnold Minicucci who inherited the store from his father, Erasamo Minicucci. The store was founded in the early 1900s and still exists on Bank Street.

On the National Register of Historic Places

George S. Abbott Building 235-247 N. Main St.

Bank Street Historic District 207-231 Bank St.

Benedict-Miller House 32 Hillside Ave.

Beth El Synagogue 359--375 Cooke St.

Bishop School 178 Bishop St.

Downtown Waterbury Historic District - Roughly bounded by Main, Meadow, and Elm Sts.

Elton Hotel 16-30 W. Main St.

Lewis Fulton Memorial Park - Roughly bounded by Cook, Pine, Fern and Charlotte Sts.

Hamilton Park - Roughly bounded by Silver St., E. Main St., Idylwood Ave., Plank Rd., the Mad River and I-84

Enoch Hibbard House and George Grannis House 41 Church St. and 33 Church St.

Notable residents

  • Marcus "The Allen Boy" Allen, R&B producer and half of the production team the Heavy Weights. He and his partner Joe Sparkman were signed to R&B star Ne-Yo's record label Compound Entertainment.
  • Michael Bergin, first male supermodel
  • William H. Bristol, inventive genius and pioneering manufacturer, was born in Waterbury. In 1915, he invented the “Bristolphone” to simultaneously record voices and other sounds with motion in moving pictures. His Bristol Co. in Waterbury manufactured the largest and most complete line of industrial instruments in the world from the early 1900s to the 1960s.
  • Joe Cipriano, Television Announcer, he was known as Tom Collins on WWCO in Waterbury and today is the voice of the Fox and NBC TV Networks and the announcer for Deal Or No Deal and 1 vs. 100.
  • Deirdre Coleman-Imus, Waterbury-born actress with appearances on The Cosby Show, Regis and Kathie Lee, a French perfume commercial that won a Cannes Award and star of a one-woman show, Gorgeous Mistakes. Married famed radio personality Don Imus in 1995.
  • B. Jay Cooper, Waterbury born, served as deputy White House press secretary to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, as director of public affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce under Secretary Malcolm Baldrige, as director of public affairs at Yale University.
  • Roger Connor, major league baseball player in the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Bob Crane, actor, of Hogans Heroes fame was born in Waterbury and had a radio program on WATR.
  • Chris "Big Dog" Davis, producer, musician, and song writer who's worked with several R&B and jazz artists including Brian McKnight, George Clinton, Maysa Leak, and Phil Perry.
  • Andre "mrDEYO" Deyo, singer songwriter, best known for writing "Jenny From The Block" for Jennifer Lopez in 2002, graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury.
  • Allie DiMeco, actress, best known for playing Rosalina in The Naked Brothers Band on Nickelodeon.
  • Joe Diorio, jazz guitarist and recording artist
  • Joe Famiglietti, New York City news reporter. A stalwart for the City Hall beat, Famiglietti worked for the New York Daily Mirror until it folded in 1963, when he became a City Hall reporter for WABC Radio. He was a founding member and former president of the New York Press Club and famous for masquerading as a U.S. customs agent to get an exclusive interview with legendary mobster Charles "Lucky" Luciano. When Luciano was being deported from the U.S. in 1946, Famiglietti donned a customs agent's uniform and sneaked a one-on-one interview with him in his native language.
  • Entertainer Nick Apollo Forte had a major role in Woody Allen’s movie Broadway Danny Rose in 1984.
  • Stan Freeman, nationally known composer, lyricist, musical arranger, conductor, and studio musician.
  • Dr. Robert Gallo, a U.S. biomedical researcher, best known for his role in identifying the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) as the infectious agent responsible for the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
  • “Wildman Steve" Gallon grew up in Waterbury and was a disk jockey on WWCO in the 1950s. He forged a 40-year career as a DJ, media personality, comedian, recording artist and movie actor, releasing over a dozen recordings in the 1970s and 1980s, and starring in several movies. He was the first black comedian to chart on Cash Box and the first to sell a million records.
  • Mordechai Gifter, One of America's leading Torah Scholars, served as rabbi of Waterbury's Jewish community from 1941 - 1945. He then moved to Cleveland where he ultimately became the Dean of the Rabbinical College of Telshe, also known as Telz Yeshiva.
  • Philip Giordano, former mayor of Waterbury, (R) was stripped of power in 2001 after a corruption investigation revealed alleged sexual acts with a minor and other possible pedophilia charges. In 2003, he was convicted and sentenced to 37 years in federal prison.
  • Ryan Gomes, Minnesota Timberwolves forward, was born in Waterbury and attended Wilby High School.
  • Bill Gonillo, sportscaster who was Sports Director at Norwalk's News 12. He won the Associated Press "Broadcast of the Year" award twice as the voice of Yale Sports for WELI radio in New Haven and three times at News 12. He is the only announcer in Connecticut broadcast history to win the honor for work in both radio and television. He was co-host of Inside Yankee Baseball Saturday mornings on ESPN Radio 1300. Gonillo, known for his commitment and involvement in Fairfield County sports, died on September 23, 2007.
  • Porter Goss, former Director of the CIA, was born in Waterbury.
  • Shirley Grey began her acting career with Sylvester Poli's stock theater company, The Poli Players, in 1921 and performed in more than 45 films during her brief movie career from 1930 to 1935.
  • Ken Griffin (real name Joe Mulhall), an announcer on WWCO, WATR, and WBRY in Waterbury in the 1950s while in high school, was a top rated radio personality on WPOP and WDRC in Hartford in the 1960s and on KIIS in Los Angeles in the 1970s. He published his autobiography style="font-style : italic;">A Great Face For Radio in 2002.
  • Frank Hogan, former District Attorney of New York County for more than 30 years. Dubbed "Mr. Integrity" for his work with prosecuting organized crime.
  • George P. Harlamon, Mayor 1968-1970. Elected to Waterbury Hall of Fame 2003.
  • Al Heavens, Philadephia Inquirer columnist whose syndicated Real Estate news and advise column can be seen in over 200 newspapers.
  • Julius Hotchkiss (1810-1878) was a United States Representative from Connecticut and Mayor of Waterbury.
  • One of the greatest woman athletes of all time, Joan Joyce made her name as an All-American softball player but also excelled in basketball, bowling, and golf, and struck out baseball legends Ted Williams and Hank Aaron with her 110+ mph pitches in exhibition games.
  • Billiards champion Edwin Kelly was inducted into the Billiards Congress of America Hall of Fame in 2003.
  • Annie Leibovitz, celebrated portrait photographer, was born in Waterbury in 1949.
  • Michael Lombardi, actor best known for his role as Mike Silletti on the TV show Rescue Me
  • Talia Madison, Professional Wrestler
  • Timmy Maia R&B/Soul singer, song writer, and performing artist.
  • Richard A. Mastracchio, a NASA Astronaut who was a member of the Atlantis shuttle crew in 2000 and is currently a member of the Endeavour crew which launched on August 8, 2007.
  • Paul Matasavge, Superior Court Judge , Parade Football All-American, All-State Tackle , Penn State and Holy Cross Football Star
  • Dylan McDermott, actor and star of the acclaimed television series The Practice, was born and raised in Waterbury.
  • Father Michael J. McGivney, Catholic priest and founder of The Knights of Columbus
  • Chief Two Moon Meridas lived in Waterbury from 1914 to 1933 and claimed to be a full-blooded Pueblo Indian, but many doubted his assertions. He sold Chief Two Moon Tonic, laxatives, ointments, creams and herbal powders that were made in his laboratory on East Main Street throughout the United States and Europe. Meridas was one of the first inductees to the Waterbury Hall of Fame in 1997.
  • Ravenna Miceli, radio and television personality
  • Arnold Minicucci, Owner of the oldest remaining mens clothing store in Waterbury. The store still exists and is located on 31 Bank Street.
  • Rev. Joseph Moffo, Roman Catholic priest who appeared in the Godfather Part II. Fr. Moffo was pastor of St. Joseph's Church in New York City where a portion of the movie was being filmed and was asked to play the part of a priest.
  • V. James Onalfo, Deputy Commissioner & Chief Information Officer of the New York City Police Department.
  • Dan Parker, nationally known sports columnist for the New York Daily Mirror from 1924 to 1963 and a frequent crusader against corruption in boxing, wrestling, and other sports. Damon Runyon called Parker "the most constantly brilliant of all sportswriters”.
  • Mario Pavone, jazz bassist, composer, bandleader and recording artist
  • Jimmy Piersall, professional baseball player, who battled bi-polar mental illness and was portrayed by Anthony Perkins in the movie "Fear Strikes Out"
  • The Playmates, a pop music group, consisting of Donny Conn, Morey Carr, and Carl Chicchetti. The Playmates had two hit songs, "Jo Ann"; and their biggest hit, "Beep Beep" (a song about a Nash Rambler) in 1958
  • Peter M. Ferreira, Critically acclaimed concert violinist, recording artist and author.
  • Peter Polaco, aka Justin Credible, a Professional Wrestler
  • Dr. Peter Pronovost, an intensive care specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, named by TIME Magazine in 2008 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
  • Patricia Rado, president and chief operating officer of the American Stock Exchange. She is the first woman to hold the post in the exchange's nearly 100-year history.
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph, a Waterbury born Tony Award-nominated Jamaican-American actress and singer best known for her work in Broadway productions such as Dreamgirls (for which she was nominated for a Tony Award)
  • John G. Rowland, Waterbury native and former Governor of Connecticut, (R) resigned from office on July 1, 2004 after prolonged investigation for corruption. In April, 2005 he began serving a one year sentence. He has been released from prison and now resides in Middlebury.
  • Rosalind Russell, actress, grew up in Waterbury.
  • Joseph Santopietro, former mayor, (R) had been convicted for corruption in 1992.
  • Well-known in music circles, guitar historian James Shine, Jr. was born and raised in the North End of Waterbury.
  • John Sirica, Watergate judge, was born and raised in Waterbury. He was Time magazine's Man of the Year in 1973.
  • Peter Stangl, Chairman and CEO of New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) from 1991 to 1995.
  • Terry Tata, Major League Baseball umpire from 1973 to 1999. During his career, he officiated four World Series and three All-Star games.
  • Actress Gene Tierney attended St. Margaret's School for Girls in Waterbury, but grew up in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City.
  • Fay Vincent, the 8th commissioner of Major League Baseball from September 13, 1989 to September 7, 1992.
  • Dave Wallace, Major League Baseball pitching coach, and a former General Manager and player who spent the majority of his career in the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets organizations. He also worked for the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros. In October 2007 the Seattle Mariners organization hired Wallace as special assistant to the general manager.

Sister Cities

Fairfield, California, USA

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