Tag Archives: New Haven

Personally Conducted History Tour of New Haven

The tour begins at the corner of College Street and Chapel Street, in New Haven, Conn, where the Yale undergraduates (all male, until 1969) long spun tops in so-called displays of dominance… “The old Yale Fence stood here. 1837 – 1888.” Later, Osborn Hall, 1888 – 1926. Now, Bingham Hall, the building on which this memorial is found (1926 – the present.)

A tour guide, with special glasses allowing the wearer to see backwards in time, stands at the now-invisible entrance of the old Hyperion theater, welcoming you.

The side door at the Union League Cafe is a feature the architect Henry Austin designed for newly wealthy iron magnate Gaius Fenn Warner’s Italianate-style mansion, built in 1860, the first year of the Civil War, on the plot of land previously home to the now-demolished Roger Sherman residence. And so it happens that this side door predates the hippies by about 100 years.
“Upon the Site of this Building Stood the Home of Roger Sherman And Near Here in 1793 he Died, Jurist – Patriot – Statesman, Signer of the Bill of Rights, Articles of Confederation, Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States, First Mayor of New Haven, Treasurer of Yale College And for Twenty Years a Member of Congress, Washington Claimed his Friendship and Counsel And was Here His Guest in 1789. To Record His Great Service In The Founding and Early Government Of Our Country This Tablet is Placed by The Connecticut Society Sons of The American Revolution 1904.” -Courtesy of the Historical Marker Database.
“When Vanderbilt Hall was chosen to house the first class of freshwomen [in 1969], long debates were held as to what changes needed to be made. The landscape on Chapel Street was redesigned to shield the women from view and a glass office was built into the archway to house a 24 hour security guard—you can still see the tracks where the walls were fitted.” -Courtesy of the Yale Visitor Center.
The Yale British Art Center Museum is the newest building on the historic stretch of Chapel Street opposite the Old Campus in New Haven, Connecticut. “The building was designed by Louis I. Kahn and constructed at the corner of York and Chapel Streets in New Haven, across the street from one of Kahn’s earliest buildings, the Yale University Art Gallery, built in 1953. The Yale Center for British Art was completed after Kahn’s death in 1974, and opened to the public on April 15, 1977. The exterior is made of matte steel and reflective glass; the interior is made of travertine marble, white oak, and Belgian linen. Kahn succeeded in creating intimate galleries where one can view objects in diffused natural light. He wanted to allow in as much daylight as possible, with artificial illumination used only on dark days or in the evening. The building’s design, materials, and sky-lit rooms combine to provide an environment for the works of art that is simple and dignified.” -Courtesy of Wikipedia.
“In architecture, a long gallery is a long, narrow room, often with a high ceiling. In Britain, long galleries were popular in Elizabethan and Jacobean houses. They were often located on the upper floor of the great houses of the time, and they stretched across the entire frontage of the building. They served several purposes: they were used for entertaining guests, for taking exercise in the form of walking when the weather was inclement, and for displaying art collections.” -Courtesy of Wikipedia.
First and Summerfield United Methodist Church.
Old burly beech tree stands guard at Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven, Conn.

“It is often cited anecdotally that in response to the epigram, Yale Presidents have said, ‘The dead shall be raised… If Yale needs the property.’ Comprised of a wrought-iron fence and a central Brownstone arch, the gate is designed in the Egyptian Revival style, which was popular at the time of its construction and thought to be inoffensive to the various denominations who used the cemetery to bury their dead. Lotus bud detailing on the columns; papyrus leaf ornamentation; and the inclusion of a relief carving of the ancient solar deity, Feroher, above the famed epigram all give the structure the feel of an entrance to an Egyptian temple.” -Courtesy of Art Sites of New Haven.
History tour continued, courtesy of Art Sites of New Haven: “Henry Austin, the gate’s architect, was Hamden-born and renowned in the New Haven area for both the quality and beauty of his structures, and his fluency in a multitude of architectural styles. In New Haven alone, Austin worked in the Italianate, Moorish, and Gothic and Egyptian revival styles, often fusing disparate stylistic elements into the same project. Austin designed many prominent structures in New Haven, including Yale’s Dwight Hall, New Haven City Hall, and a multitude of eminent private residences. Henry Austin is buried in the Grove Street Cemetery.” Roger Sherman, having been first buried on the New Haven Green was exhumed and re-buried at Grove Street Cemetery. Henry Austin was the architect for the structure that replaced Roger Sherman’s residence at 1032 Chapel Street, New Haven, Conn. Commissioned by wealthy iron magnate Gaius Fenn Warner, in 1860 Henry Austin designed the Italianate-style mansion that continues to the present day to comprise the rear two thirds of the present Union League Cafe building.
Food Truck Paradise, Long Wharf, New Haven, Conn.
The Quinnipiac River meets New Haven Harbor.
Lighthouse Point Park.
Morris Cove, New Haven, Conn.
Autumnal equinox 2019, Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven, Conn.

Thank you to Kate and Peter for being the guinea pigs on my first attempt at a personally conducted history tour of New Haven, Conn. There were some who compared it to the Gilligan’s Island theme song… “a 3 hour tour, a 3 hour tour…” Love you guys!

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La Patrona Taco Truck, Long Wharf, New Haven, Conn.

Coming from Chicago, where Mexican / Latin American cuisine is thankfully abundant and delicious, to Connecticut, yes even the mighty city of New Haven, where the options are fewer and farther between, made me appreciate the amazing flavors of home-style cooking coming from the family-owned food truck La Patrona even more.


For ten dollars or less, a dinner that balances fresh ingredients like avocado, radish, cilantro, and deeply flavorful, slow-cooked meats like barbacoa, finished with crema, cheese, hot sauce (or if you are like Raven, mild sauce,) is hard to top. Thank you La Patrona for satisfying my craving for Mexican, and an affordable and delicious dinner with views of New Haven Harbor.


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Old Duncan Hotel, New Haven, Conn.




This review is for how The Graduate has restored the Hotel Duncan. My path to work has me pass the hotel almost every day, and I have watched the progress. Bravo to the team for meticulously restoring the beauty and grandeur of the old Hotel Duncan, and with a sense of urgency. It’s amazing (to somebody such as myself from Chicago) how the project has progressed, and I am excited to have the full experience in the updated historic hotel soon. Thank you and bravo The Graduate!


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Temple Street Garage

I think the Temple Street Garage does not deserve the bad rep. Mayhaps people are scapegoating Temple Street Garage for New Haven’s parking problems. New Haven is an awesome city because of its rich history stretching back hundreds of years. Just as in other historic East Coast cities, like Boston, driving and parking is challenging, with narrow streets (mostly one ways), limited options, and high costs. None of which is the fault of Temple Street Garage. I find the garage to be an architectural gem. Its sweeping concrete curves are a memorable feature in the fabric of New Haven. Furthermore, the Temple Street Garage partners with local venues like Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas and the Union League Cafe to offer validated (reduced price) parking. Ditto for reduced monthly parking rates. This parking garage is convenient to downtown New Haven and the interstate highway, and has memorable architecture. I recommend it!

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Family New Havening

Family New Havening

Family time at the around the haunts of New Haven such as the Chetstone gothic Victorian mansion, Georgie’s Diner, Sandy Point Bird Sanctuary, Pepe’s Pizza, East Rock, Lenny and Joe’s, Fairhaven Heights (Dragon), Lighthouse Point, Ragged Mountain in Meridan, and more fun along the CT shoreline. October 2018. Big thanks and love to Kate, Peter, Raven, Aunty, Roxie, Ruby, Cobra, Pink Lady and all who were in on it!

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Lighthouse Point Sunset

Lighthouse Point Sunset

Visited for the first time in October 2018 and was blown away. Lighthouse Point Park was an unbelievable Connecticut shoreline sunset spot. There are large rock formations that make the ideal perch to watch the sun dip down into the Sound. I would love to return for the full experience: the carousel was closed for the season and the beach was almost barren in the hauntingly beautiful autumnal glow, with only a local fisherman as our neighbor.

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Sandy Point Bird Sanctuary

Sandy Point Bird Sanctuary

Over 60 acres of barrier beach, tidal creek and marsh, the Sandy Point Beach & Bird Sanctuary, one of the sites featured on the Connecticut Coastal Birding Trail, has been designated an “important bird area”. I would also designate these two long sandy peninsulas arcing into New Haven harbor to be a “astonishingly beautiful bird area.” Sandy Point is a natural nesting & migratory ground for many species of birds on the Connecticut shoreline…  You will find protected wetland & beach habitat teeming with birdlife, with footpath access & ample parking.  Recommend taking a hike in this sanctuary of nature for birds and humans alike!

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West Haven Beaches

West Haven Beaches

West Haven has a scenic drive all along the coast and it’s worth the drive AND worth stopping along the way to take in the fresh salty air, and the beauty of Connecticut’s historic homes and rocky shoreline. For somebody who has lived in Guilford, West Haven beaches opened my eyes to some unseen CT beauty with lots of public access!

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