The City of Waterbury, CT has origins dating back to 1653 when a group of settlers from Stratford founded the settlement. The land and surrounding geography was originally purchased by John Pynchon in 1639 and soon became a thriving community on the banks of the Naugatuck River with an industrial base that quickly grew into manufacturing jobs for residents.
In 1809 the first brass manufacturing company was founded in what is now known as Brass City. The city quickly became a hub for metal industries and those that were involved with machinery production for both military use during World War II and civilian purposes thereafter. Eventually, water turbines from this industry led to an expansion of what is now known as the United States Naval Shipbuilding and Drydock Company.
The city of Waterbury was also home to General Electric's Schenectady Plant, which produced equipment for World War II and became a key employer in town, with over 12,000 employees at its peak. GE eventually closed this plant in 1992 resulting in much economic hardship for the city and greater New England region.
The City of Waterbury Today
Today, the City of Waterbury is a resilient and resurgent community. It has seen many changes in its long history but remains committed to being an important center for both commerce and culture with a vital downtown area that includes historic buildings such as Old Town Hall, which was built in 1833; The Brass Monkey Arts Center, founded by sculptor David Smith in 1983; TheaterWorks USA: A Tony Award Winning Professional Theatre Company which produces cultural events such as theater productions and concerts year-round;
Waterbury Green (formerly known as Court Square), which has been beautifully restored over the last three decades by students from local high schools who have learned field restoration ecology through a partnership with Yale University's School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
The city also has a reputation for being the "Home of Champions" as it is home to two major league baseball teams, the Connecticut Tigers and Bridgeport Bluefish;
Population Growth and Development
The City of Waterbury has experienced significant population growth over the last decade. As of 2010, Waterbury had an estimated population of 110,366 with a density rate that was ranked as the fifth-highest in Connecticut. It is currently one of the fastest-growing cities in New England and among those metropolitan areas outside Boston, Massachusetts which have been experiencing the most rapid increases since 1990 according to recent U.S. Census data.
Waterbury's economic development strategy focuses on attracting commerce and industry through targeted initiatives such as its Downtown Revitalization Program (DRP) which offers tax credits for building owners who renovate or redevelop vacant buildings into office space; Tax Increment Financing Districts (TIF), through which local officials can work with developers involved in major projects to create a customized financing package which supports public infrastructure such as roads, sidewalks, sewers, and storm drains.
Waterbury also features an attractive tax structure for both individuals and businesses, with no local income taxes or estate/inheritance taxes on property holdings;
The City of Waterbury is committed to improving the quality of life in the community by encouraging educational opportunities through partnerships between public schools and colleges, including Manchester Community College's Stamford Campus, which offers transfer courses for Middlesex County students who are interested in continuing their education at a four-year institution while still living locally.
What Makes the City of Waterbury Unique
Waterbury's history is the perfect example of America's industrial revolution, where manufacturing was king and nearly every neighborhood had a factory. The city has since transitioned to become the home for many professionals who work in finance or at one of its hospitals, but it still retains some of that old "Tooltown" charm with historic architecture lining Main Street.
What makes Waterbury unique is how there are so many reminders from its past scattered throughout towns like Brass City, Union Station Lighthouse Museum, Putnam Memorial State Park, and more. It also remains as Connecticut's second-largest city by population, with over 100 years' worth of stories waiting to be told.
The early industry story traces back to 1809 when the brass manufacturing company was founded in what is now known as Brass City. The city quickly became a hub for metal industries and those that were involved with machinery production for both military use during World War II and civilian purposes thereafter. Eventually, water turbines from this industry led to an expansion of what is now known as the United States Naval Shipbuilding and Drydock Company.
GE eventually closed its plant in 1992 resulting in much economic hardship for the city, region, New England area… but it still retains some old "Tooltown" charm with historic architecture lining Main Street.