Tuesday, September 17, 2013


After many years of complaints from the WOW neighborhood, the abandoned, blighted building at the corner of Wood and Walnut Streets has finally been torn down!

Before (2009)

After (earlier today)

The first time I wrote about this building was in 2009. I was appalled that this was a school bus stop. What clearer symbol of an uncaring city government could there be than requiring elementary school children to wait for the bus next to a building that looked like it was about to collapse on them? 

I wrote about it again in 2011. Then-Mayor Jarjura had attended a WOW community meeting and had promised to tear down both of the buildings at the corner of Wood and Walnut Streets. Only one of the two buildings was torn down. The one at the bus stop, the one blocking drivers' view of traffic, was left standing.

Now, finally, the problem building is gone. Thank you to whoever authorized its demolition!

Of course, the question remains: what comes next? Will the lot remain empty and abandoned? If a new building is constructed at the site, will it be set back from the road, or will the builders use the same footprint? I certainly hope not. In a residential neighborhood, even in a small city like Waterbury, buildings that are constructed right up against the street, leaving barely enough room for a sidewalk, are a bad idea.

There are two pre-fab duplex houses being built by WDC at the same intersection, diagonally across from the blighted building that was just torn down. They're set back from the road, surrounded by enough yard to make them feel comfortable, not packed in tight like sardines. Even buildings need elbow room.

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