In the late 1950s, early 1960s, urban renewal plans spread throughout the United States sparked by several federal acts that earmarked millions of dollars for this purpose.

One of the leading proponents of urban renewal was New Haven mayor, Richard Lee.  Now, there is a lot of talk among original Wooster Square residents that Lee was motivated by prejudices against Italians. That may be so, but the evidence I found points to motivations far grander than such pettiness. I will talk about his role in redevelopment and why he targeted Wooster Square in a later post.

Rumors concerning Wooster Square redevelopment circulated in the late 1950s, fueled in part by the New Haven Redevelopment Association’s public hearings. Unsurprisingly,  Wooster Square denizens had different views regarding the promise of redevelopment. 

So, instead of creating a dull post where I describe the views, I created a scene in my novel where my protagonist Sally Petrillo discusses it with his best friend and former neighbor, Lenny Gentile.  I hope that this dialogue enables you to see how reasonable people can differ on a government project that will transform their lives.

Yeah, the argument devolves into gratuitous name calling at the end, but it is all good!  Read the book to find out how the argument is resolved. Just send good thoughts my way about my publication submission!



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