Saturday, January 20, 2007

Learning from New Haven

The New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum was demolished this morning. According to Jennifer Medina, writing in yesterday’s Times, “The decision to destroy the Coliseum reflects a shift in philosophy on urban planning, with Mayor John DeStefano Jr. choosing to focus on arts, education and small retail buildings rather than on large-scale public spaces. “I think we are taking an approach that is smarter about what works in building a city,” Mr. DeStefano said. Some people still like the idea of big projects, he said, “but successful urban life gets woven from lots of small things, not one grand gesture.” Talking about the Coliseum, he added, “This was a particularly grand gesture for its time.”

And in a review of the track record for other arenas, Medina notes: “Bridgeport built its 10,000-seat stadium in 2001. While performers like James Taylor and Andrea Bocelli have drawn large crowds, there is little evidence that the stadium has boosted other downtown business.”

Perhaps it just wasn’t grand enough.


Anonymous ethan said...

omg! they killed that place? saw phish there. all those dead shows back in the day... damn.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well it was about time that thing was was a costly rust nightmare and had netting strung up underneath to catch falling debris since the 80's as I remember! I won't miss it. That whole area was "blighted" by that building/parking garage. It had a wretched street-level relationship with the surrounding area and made the walk to and from the train station miserable. Felt like a set for "1984" or "Brazil"... I just hope the demolition didn't coat the area and New Havenites' lungs with silica and asbestos.

11:10 AM  

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