Did you know that as late as the 1950s, families in the Wooster Square neighborhood shared bathrooms?  My father’s family of 10 shared with three other families. I assume there were just as many in the other families. Imagine! I guess it was a step up from outhouses.

One of the major aims of the New Haven Redevelopment Agency was to modernize the homes not taken by I-91.  Making sure that each family had their own bathroom was one of their plans. They shared these plans in one of two public hearings.

The material for this video is from the minutes of the June 30, 1958 public hearing titled: “Wooster Square Redevelopment and Removal Plan,” at City Hall in downtown New Haven, Connecticut. At this event they presented their plans for redeveloping the area: unscramble the zoning mess; clear the blight; rehabilitate existing buildings and renew the are. Get the details in the video above. I also post copies of these videos on YouTube.

Although many people commented both for and against the plans, it was pretty clear upon reading the minutes, that most of what they planned had already been decided. After all, redevelopment was in the works since the early 1950s.

Enjoy the video! If you are interested in Italian American history and culture, subscribe to my newsletter. This week I will focus on the spaghetti western. Check it out:  the Good, the Not so Bad, and Not so Ugly!



Follow Us


Subscribe to Newsletter

Enter your email address to register to our newsletter subscription!