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Complaint
of the
Decade

A Central Avenue resident notified our local neighborhood officer that a man had been driving around soliciting her.
She described the man as driving a purple pick- up truck with a green Martian in the passenger seat!
Calling all cars ...
>
Guess what ...
She was right!

The truck was purple and there was indeed a large stuffed toy Martian riding shotgun!
Welcome to Hillside :)


Humor
of the
Hood

There is a new alcoholic beverage on the market.  It is called Bourbon Renewal.
Drink enough of it and the old neighborhood starts to look good.


Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Ice Cream Truck could play more than one tune?


Neighbors keep complaining about the prostitutes hanging around and using the outdoor pay phones a lot ... is that why they are called
"Call Girls" ?


 


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HILLSIDE HISTORIAN
FREE GUEST EDITION
April, 2014 Edition
Hillside's famous newspaper now online
Things we hear - Things we see - Things we talk about


Cyberhood News Headlines
 NEWS UPDATED  04/21/14 11:23:12 AM
CLICK ON HEADLINE OR LINK FOR STORY
(if there is one you will get it)

GAFFNEY PLACE REINCARNATION
CONTINUES AT BREAKNECK SPEED!

Sunday, April 20, 2014 - HILLSIDE HISTORIAN
The reincarnation of Gaffney Place, the vision-child of Tom Cruess and his NWNH group is a project on steriods.  Groundbreaking, to great city fanfare, was last July. No, they will never compete with Ty Pennington, but once the buildings had been striped of lead, asbestos and what seems to be most of the interiors, the external work commenced early this Spring and has been charging ahead ever since.  One Victorian era dwelling, structurally unsound, has been demolished and the foundation being removed now.  The other two houses have been relieved of their Asphalt Shingled coverings, revealing the original squared and fish scale shingling.  A third floor has been added to the "middle building" (shown above) and a flat dormer added to one building on Central Avenue, also part of this project.  So far, the great curved entry staircase in the "middle building" has been conserved and looks like it may be retained.  The first building, closest to Park Place has, to date, retained its original exterior integrity with no new constructions. A new home will be built on the site of the demolished home.
This is a project of owner occupied two family homes in the urban center of the city.
Neighborhood residents and the Historic District Neighborhood Association have embraced the project, though not all agree with the plan to create a street with no raised sidewalks. Walks are planned to be flat with the street yet a different color and a "bump out" to add aesthetics and slow traffic both of which are a concern to some as related to snow plowing and snow removal.  The street now boasts recently installed concrete walkways.  Utility poles are in the process of being moved to accommodate the new streetscape plan.
Park Place and Gaffney Place handle a lot of traffic from the Museum, Girls Club and YMCA.
For a short time, until they build the new home, you can get a good look at the old barn of saloon keeper James Hodson which actually sits behind 38 Central Avenue, originally Hodson's home.  It is one of the barns included in the Hillside Historic District Barn Tour of a dozen barns of the neighborhood, most still standing,  though hidden in plain site.
 

MAGNIFICENT MANSION 4 SALE
54 HILLSIDE AVENUE


Sunday, April 20, 2014 - HILLSIDE HISTORIAN
One of Hillside's many hidden treasures is up for grabs for some lucky buyer who loves history and grandeur.
Built for Mary Mitchell just before 1880, the landed estate originally consisted of the mansion dwelling and a large carriage house at the North end of the property tickling the street side of Buckingham Street. (article immediately below on carriage house)
The carriage house was demolished some 60+ years ago and the North lot divided off.
This elaborate and comfortable home features a private drive, huge kitchen area with the original fireplace and wainscoting, delicious views to the South overlooking Waterbury and goes relatively unnoticed by the average passerby as it is shrouded in expansive landscaping and mature trees. The above picture was taken in winter when Mother Nature was intentionally a bit naked.
This has always been a private home with very few owners.
You can live like a King ... or Queen ... or both in this one of a kind family home with its historical ambience for an asking price of $200M.
 

HISTORIC CARRIAGE HOUSE
RECREATED & REVISITED.

SHEP WILD AND THOMPSON CURTIS CHECK OUT THE JUST UNVEILED PRINT OF THE MARY MITCHELL CARRIAGE HOUSE AT THE HILLSIDE NEIGHBORHOOD PICNIC SUNDAY.

Sunday, Sept 15, 2013 - HILLSIDE HISTORIAN
The unveiling of the 12th in a series of illustrations, by Joseph Reynolds, of Carriage Houses within the Hillside Historic District was a surprise event at the neighborhood picnic last Sunday which was held at the ancestral home of Shep Wild.
In the midst of an idyllic day of fine wine, great food and old friends in the beautiful Rose Garden Patio of 70 Hillside Avenue, came a surprise revelation of a the print of an elaborate carriage house which was once situated on the property immediately next door at 54 Hillside Avenue, also owned by Shep Wild.
The Carriage House was originally built in 1879 by Mary Mitchell, whose father, Charles Benedict, lived right next door in the Benedict-Miller Mansion at 32 Hillside. The building was demolished in the late 1930’s and replaced by a Brick Colonial Revival, built on the original foundation of the Carriage House and currently occupied by Thompson and Heidi Curtis.
The entire realm of illustrations in the Carriage House portfolio by Reynolds covers an area from West Main Street up to Columbia Blvd, and consists of 18 prints to date, several recreated from the ashes, so to speak, being Carriage Houses no longer existing for one reason or another but re-developed from old photographs of former family owner members. Six of the newest works were on display Sunday.
The print was revealed at the picnic due to its immediate relevance to the picnic site and both Shep Wild and Thompson Curtis were in attendance to receive the print. Both gentlemen are whimsically included in the artwork.
Another exhibit at the picnic was a series of photographs from “Fortune’s” funeral last Thursday, an undertaking in recognition of Hillside member Maxine Watts. She was commended at the event for her work on the “Fortune” project.
With the beautiful Rose Gardens in full bloom, the party continued with Dogs and Burgers from the grill and a huge selection of sides and deserts supplied by participating neighbors. Heidi Thompson and Brenda Cipriano were tied for the best dishes, so it seemed - one desert one salad.

GROUND BREAKING...
THERE'S A NEW STREET A'COMIN'
Artists sketch of Gaffney Place ... revisited by restoration.
Ground breaking for this event, which has been in the works by NeighborWorks of New Haven for over a year is Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 11:30am on site.
Tom Cruess, whose family is from Hillside, has been our contact for this project over the past year and we wish him well.

MATTATUCK ... LOUD & PROUD
AS THEY GIVE OUTDOOR
PERFORMANCE OUTSIDE THE
CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

Tuesday, July 9, 2013
At 6pm, the vibrations of those oversized ancient drums could be heard in the distance, north of the church, as the members of the Mattatuck Band assembled, marched down Holmes Avenue and turned onto West Main before entering the church yard of the Congregational Church on West Main Street in Downtown Waterbury.
After a short marching and assembly routine in the driveway area, they achieved final formation, fifes up front and center - drums lined up behind - and the base drum orphaned to the rear. The entry march and music ended in thunderous unison. The hour and a half that followed was filled with rousing patriotism, life long memories and those ever tapping feet.  Rev Maynard Tyson, sponsor of the concert and cookout overlooked the assembled flock with pride and joy ... and a little foot tappin' too.


                           
LITTLE SHOW FULL OF BIG
SURPRISES!
Shakespearience is indeed an Experience ...
For those who attended the Middle School (PAL) performance of the histories of Hillside and Brooklyn sections of Waterbury, it was great fun and full of surprises.

YOUNG MAN PLAYING HIRAM HAYDEN, HILLSIDE INVENTOR ... AND YOUNG LADY PLAYING HIS DAUGHTER FLORENTINE HAYDEN IN THE LATE 1800'S. (LIBRARY PARK PERFORMANCE)
Saturday, June 30, 2013
As a new project for Shakespearience, the telling of the  neighborhoods stories is a new venture with PAL and the kids from Reid School (for the most part).  The project is as much a lesson in community for the kids and a history lesson for them as well.  A little appreciation for the City and its neighborhoods never hurts!
There were three performances of the first years play featuring the first two neighborhoods Hillside and Brooklyn.  Each year, the play will be rewritten to add two new neighborhoods each year.
We have to say, the Driggs school presentation for Hillside residents lacked a tad with bad acoustics, but the spirit and dedication of the kids made it all worth while.
One area resident, Thompson Curtis, received a standing ovation (well almost) for his unrehearsed reading and rendition of a strike leader from Brooklyn.  The irony of Thompson's performance is that his ancestors were factory owners, not laborers.  They were at that time on the other side of the strikes.
The performance suffered everywhere from absenteeism of kids who had done all the rehearsals then were no-shows for the weekend performances.  30+ kids rehearsed ... 7 showed up for Driggs and only 4 for the performance in Library Park on June 30th.
What this writer was most impressed with was the show adjustments made with the kids who did show up before every show.  Rebecca (from Shakespearience) had intense rehearsals with the kids before each show, rearranging parts and covering for the missing cast members.  We give Kudos to Rebecca, but give super kudos to these kiddos who handled the extensive changes with such ease and success.  That is real theatre folks!
The Library Park performance at noon was a masterpiece.  Neighbors, you need to get off your butts and support these endeavors.
The Hillside portion of the play centered on the Kingsburys who built a grand home halfway up Prospect street in the middle of the 1800's and were thought to be a little eccentric for building so far out of town.  Imagine that!  Right across the street Rose Hill was built by their daughter and son-in-law Mr. Scovill.
The other featured historical person of the play was Hiram Hayden and the park which is  located today on the site of his former homestead.
Mr. Hayden was an inventor and entrepreneur who invented process of spinning brass and making seamless pails, breech loaded rifles, and amongst other things was a leader in photographic development, creating direct paper prints in the late 1800's.
One of the scenes in the play (shown above) is between Hiram Hayden and his daughter Florentine (an artist) regarding those paper prints.
The kids did their own backgrounds, costumes and program booklet.
On stage are also seen brass pots and teapot which are Hayden originals from 1851 and loaned by a Hillside member for the production.

                               COMMENT HERE


        GO TO RESIDENTS NEWS PAGE
                          CLICK HERE


VILLAGE DISTRICT
NOT FOR ALL HILLSIDE
Jim Sequin, City Planner for Waterbury, discussed at length the pro's and con's of establishing a Village District as a zoning overlay within the City of Waterbury limits.  Neighborhood said Thanks, but No Thanks for most of the Hillside Historic District.
Complete story below.

                CLICK HERE FOR VD STORY BELOW


RENOVATIONS IN HILLSIDE
BRINGING HISTORY
BACK TO LIFE


145 Buckingham Street in the midst of renovations by ProMaster Painters.


Hillside artist's rendering of a restored 15-17 Hillside Avenue duplex listen on the National register of Historic Places. Property recently purchased in foreclosure for $25,000 by Tasha & Justin Brown of Bridgeport. 


53 Hillside Avenue (left) and 49 Hillside Avenue (right) in completed states. Paul Devino's crews of Wolcott painted 53 and a company from Milford restored 49.


 

 

IMPRESSIVE PALATE
OF VICTORIAN ERA ELEGANCE
173 HILLSIDE RESTORATION AN INSPIRATION TO ALL


Conrad Tarte has slowly been bringing two of Hillside's beautiful Victorian Ladies back to life, and this summer his residence at 173 Hillside Avenue.  Five or Six colours are not uncommon for Victorian Era homes, and certainly highlight the intricate detail of this construct.
On a neutral canvas, Conrad has elected the strength of these dusty, earthy colours as architectural highlights.
Be sure to drive by and check progress of this masterpiece throughout the summer.

CLICK HERE
PHOTO PAGE OF RESTORATION PROGRESS


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VILLAGE DISTRICT
NOT FOR ALL HILLSIDE

Jim Sequin spent the better part of the Hillside meeting explaining the processes, procedures and philosophies of creating a Village District overlay for some or all of the geography in the Hillside Historic District.  Hillside is a National Register Historic District.
Hillside is a very divided district with pristine Victorian architecture in the southernmost segment, a less stimulating, frequently seedy,  eclectic collection of multi-family Victorians in the center and the choice collection of mini-mansions in the Northern terrain.
The mid-section is probably beyond successful restoration as it sits today, but the areas below Grove Street and on the northern borders remain intact and are deserving of the protections of preservation.
After lengthy explanations of processes of implementing a Village District, residents quickly deduced that economic and ethnic concerns and conditions in the neighborhood would prevent a successful implementation of such a district throughout Hillside.  Execution of property restrictions and enforcement of historic correctness in repairs and renovations of exteriors could be so prohibitively expensive that the process would be self defeating.
The lower district of the Central Avenue and Holmes Avenue areas is still a highly intact architectural treasure and should be considered for the development its own Village District.
Sequin was enthusiastic about the prospect and offered to help Hillside develop such a plan.


INSTITUTION AND
REHAB FACILITIES
INVADING THE
"HOOD"

Drug Rehab Centers, Halfway Houses, DOC Transitional Centers, Alternate Incarceration Centers and a variety of other correctional facility and rehabilitation agencies are inhabiting more and more of the large historic dwellings within the Hillside Historic District.
The Hillside NRZ details a moratorium on any additional such facilities and has been working for the past many years to achieve that end.
The City approved this neighborhood's NRZ and went so far as to vote a mandate that it be incorporated into the current City Plan, yet continue to disregard their own legal actions and approve more and more of these facilities located within Hillside and the Downtown Historic District.
One problem seems to be that the city has no real vision and ignores its own current plan.
Hillside is definitely not opposed to rehabilitation or alternative living facilities, as several of both current and former Board Members have been in Social Services, but they are opposed to the massing of these operations within a tight geographical area already prone to drugs and prostitution and stressed property values.
Facilities for adult male offenders are now planned to literally back right up to a juvenile female facility and a shelter for women with children. In the commercial venue, facilities are abutting the city museum and YMCA which includes plans to resume residential facilities, both of which have reported experiencing problems from the existing institutions.
A City Plan meeting at 6:30 in the Chase Municipal Building  Wednesday, Feb 18th is taking up the issue of a 22 bed work-release facility destined for the old Alderson Building at 70 Central Avenue.
A cease and desist order is currently in place on any future habitation and future development of this proposed center.
Hillside members and residents are encouraged to attend.
Additional stories related to existing Corrections related facilities will be following in coming weeks.



 

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HILLSIDE NEW YEAR
VISION FOR 2010:

Community Policing needs to re-engage in proactive Policing within the Hillside Historic District and commit the resource of the Neighborhood Officer to a significant visual presence in the area (which has not been the case) and engage that officer in immediate confrontation and removal of prostitutes, "Johns" and other undesirables from the streets of Hillside, secure and check on vacant and abandoned properties, and regain the knowledge of the everyday pulse of the neighborhood.
C
ommunity Officer needs to prepare a detailed report to the Association monthly to keep area residents appraised of police activities within the area, specific activities undertaken by the Neighborhood Officer within the Hillside Historic District,  as well as listening to neighbor issues.
Police
, prosecutors, courts and other legal officials need to combine initiatives and take on with great determination the issue of Johns in Hillside and employ creative and diversified activities to rid Hillside (the areas from Willow Street through Cooke Street) of Prostitution and the continuous cycling of "Johns" once and for all.
Public Works should address the issue of deteriorating walkways, such as upper prospect street from Grove North, for complete replacement.  These pavements are beyond deplorable.
Hayden Park was better maintained last year than most, but broken benches need repair, lights need repairs and masonry on staircase and exterior walls needs immediate attention.  The central rose garden is an overgrown pile of unmaintained crap.
(forgive the slang of the hood)
Yankee Gas needs to thoroughly review the conditions of their infrastructure in Hillside, especially in the Hillside Avenue areas from Prospect to Willow where it has seemingly been an architectural dig for the past handful of years.  Serious problems obviously exist and need to be addressed as neighbors are getting concerned.
Yeshiva Gadolah has much work to do to bring themselves into compliance with the contract they have signed to secure the former UConn campus on Hillside Avenue.
Hillside does wish the success of this entity and is prepared to work with the City to this end.
City Officials must abide by their sworn oaths and enforce the Yeshiva agreement and stop their delays, procrastinations and avoidance of the issues confronting this problem.  Resolution of this contract and success of the school is of ultimate benefit to all.
Seven-Eleven corporation needs to continue to address the issue of "Prostitution Central" which invades their parking lot on the corner of Willow and West Main Streets through monitoring activities and loitering, panhandling and waiting "Johns".
Significant improvements have been made, including the repair of the lighting, but the continuation maintenance and police presence needs to be retained.
It might also be advised to redirect the Community Relation officer of the area to take his coffee-magazine breaks and write his reposts at that 7-11 instead of the one on Cooke Street which needs little, if any, patrol presence.

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END CURRENT NEWS ITEMS

 
Bureau of Refuse Pick-up Guidelines

RESIDENTIAL TRASH:  
to be placed on curbside evening before collection day. (No more than 24 hours prior to collection; no later than 5 a.m. day of collection.)

RECYCLABLES:
to be placed in orange bin and placed on curb evening before collection. Collectable items include paper (newsprint, magazines), cardboard (corrogated only, flattened, cut and tied, 2 ft. x 2 ft., glass bottles (clear, green and brown; rinsed out and labels and caps removed); plastics (#1 and #2 only; must have labels); aseptic cartons (milk and juice paperboard cartons; must be rinsed out; no straws);
Effective October 2005 “junk mail” can be included with recycling the following items are added to the list of acceptable recyclables; Catalogs, magazines, coupons, stationary, bills and paper envelopes; yard waste (click here for a copy of the Yard Waste schedule; grass clippings and leaves, must be in bio-degradable paper bags only; brush must be cut and tied--no more than 4 inches in diameter, no longer than 4 feet long).

SPECIAL PICK-UPS:
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Phone (203) 574-6857

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Al Brennan, Webmaster
Copyright 2010

 



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