Utile leads plan of New Haven’s historic Wooster Square

Photo courtesy of Aliyya Swaby, New Haven Independent

Utile, along with transportation consultant Nelson\Nygaard, recently kicked off a new transit-oriented development planning study for the Wooster Square neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut. The study aims to guide the City in planning for an anticipated future development of approximately 1,500 new housing units, and will make recommendations for the redesign of streets for better connectivity, ways to best promote walking and cycling, and redevelopment options for underutilized properties. A well-attended working session in mid-July encouraged community and steering committee members to pitch ideas for area improvements and upgrades. Aliyya Swaby of the New Haven Independent covered the first community meeting in her article, Neighbors Envision Wooster Square 2.0. Swaby noted the wide-range of suggestions from attendees, including a cobblestone-lined pedestrian walkway, and diversifying commercial businesses in the neighborhood’s predominantly-Italian Wooster Street.

Wooster Square was transformed by Ed Logue, development administrator of New Haven from 1954 to 1960. He served the same role at the Boston Redevelopment Authority from 1961 until 1967. Logue’s work in both cities combined selective demolition with the insertion of new housing and civic buildings. Notable mid-century works of architecture in Wooster Square include the New Haven Fire Headquarters (Earl Carlin, 1961-62) and the Conte School (Gordon Bunshaft and Natalie de Blois of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, 1962). The Utile¬†team will explore strategies that encourage the better integration of these and other mid-century modern buildings into the fabric of the neighborhood.