Did someone say “higher education”? How about Yale University, Quinnipiac University, Albertus Magnus College, the University of New Haven, Southern Connecticut State University and Gateway Community College? Did someone mention high tech, health care, financial and professional services? Museums, theaters and music venues? You must mean Greater New Haven.
New Haven was founded by Puritans in 1638 and was the first planned city in America. Yes, way back then. Eight streets laid out in a four-by-four grid to create the “Nine Square Plan”, with the 16-acre central block, the New Haven Green, being the center of downtown New Haven. Very forward thinking, those Puritans. Needless to say, the “Green” is a National Historic Landmark.
Eli Whitney, a Yale graduate, made New Haven his home and proceeded to fuel the fortunes of the city with his inventions of the cotton gin and establishment of a gun manufacturing factory, which is now the Eli Whitney Museum. That factory morphed the city into an arms manufacturing powerhouse, earning it the moniker “The Arsenal of America”.
Following World War II, the city began a slow decline like many of the cities in New England, despite best efforts at renewal. Fortunately, and again like many New England cities, the appeal of city living has brought the city back to life with a walkable and bike-friendly downtown, new restaurants, retail shops and a hopping nightlife.
The Yale University museums, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library (really, gaze in awe), East Rock Park with amazing views of the city, and Lighthouse Point Park with its iconic carousel are just a few favorite spots in the city. Trails throughout the surrounding towns support running, hiking and biking. The shoreline offers plenty of opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, boating and fishing.
So get on down soon to this happening city!