Famous Waterbury Landmarks
Ben Franklin Statue - Seated in front of the Silas Bronson Library, it was designed by renowned sculptor Paul Wayland Bartlett, a one-time Waterbury resident. The 1700 pound statue was made possible by a $15,000 donation from Elisha Leavenworth. After completion, it made a 22-city tour, with celebrations in each city, from Baltimore to Boston and then to Waterbury where it was dedicated June 3, 1921. The route closely duplicated Franklin's stops when he ran away from home in 1723. A replica was made in 1982 by the US State Department to celebrate its 200th anniversary and Franklin as its first diplomat. Other Bartlett works include: Lafayette (Louvre Courtyard), Columbus and Michelangelo (Library of Congress), statues for the NY Public Library, the US Capitol and the NY Stock Exchange. His works are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and many major museums.
Soldiers Monument - Sculpted by former Waterbury resident George C. Bissell as a tribute to the whole Civil War experience, the 48-foot-high bronze monument was cast in Paris and cost $25,000. It was dedicated Oct. 23, 1884. Other Bissell works include: Memorial to Scottish American soldiers of the Civil War located in Edinburgh, Scotland, and many statues in Riverside Cemetery, including one of Waterbury Civil War hero, Col. John L. Chatfield. The poem on the Soldiers Monument, by Dr. Joseph Anderson of Waterbury history fame, was included in the Library of American Literature:
Brave men, who rallying at your country's call Went forth to fight - if Heaven willed, to fall: Returned, ye walk with us through sunnier years And hear your nation say, God bless you all! Brave men, who yet a heavier burden bore And came not home to hearts by grief made sore! They call you dead and lo ye grandly live. Shrined in the nation's love forevermore!
Carrie Welton Fountain - It was designed by Karl Gerhardt of Hartford. He was a favorite of Mark Twain who owned many of his pieces and financed his studies in Paris. The 2,500 pound statue is in memory of Caroline Josephine Welton's black stallion, Knight, and her love of animals. Weltons will left $7,000 for the monument and $100,000 to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; a cause to which she had already given $250,000 in 1874. Relatives thought she was insane and contested the will, resulting in a long trial that was covered by the New York Times. Carrie's side prevailed, and the fountain was dedicated November 10, 1888. In 1874, Knight had killed Carrie's father with a kick. Carrie was born in 1842 and died in 1884 while mountain climbing in Colorado.
Harrub Pilgrim Memorial - The 175 ton, 60-foot-long, 24-foot-high monument with 10-foot-high figures was carved out of French granite by Herman Atkins MacNeil of N. Y. Charles Harrub, a former engineer for American Brass, donated the $100,000 needed for the project to honor his wife and the Pilgrims. Dedicated October 11, 1930, it was originally located at Chase Parkway. Other McNeil works include: The Liberty Quarter with flying eagle on reverse side, McKinley Memorial in Ohio, Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Washington DC, many American Indian appreciations and statues of famous men in many American museums.
Father McGivney Statue - It was cast by Joseph Coletti of Boston to honor the Waterburian who founded the Knights of Columbus. The 8-foot bronze figure stands atop a 10-foot granite block. Messages were read from Pope Pius XII and President Eisenhower to the 8,000 people attending the dedication on March 31, 1957. Cardinal Spellman's appearance meant that he was the first Cardinal to visit Waterbury since Cardinal Gibbons in 1903.
Clock Tower - Constructed by the world famous architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White of N.Y., this structure resembles the Torre Del Mangia at the Palazzo Publico in Siena, Italy. This architectural firm also did the original Penn Station, wings of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the J.P. Morgan library. It cost $332,000, is 240-feet high, has 318 steps and the clock was made by Seth Thomas Co. with a dial 16-feet in diameter with 5-foot tall Roman numerals. The eight she-wolf gargoyles are a reminder of the myth of Romulus & Remus. The Tower opened July 12, 1909 and is now the home of the Waterbury Republican-American.
Clock-On-The-Green - The base and the 15 foot granite tower were designed by Paul Lux of the Lux Clock Co. It has been called "Colley's Clock" at times for the president of the Chamber of Commerce, Charles Colley, who fought for it. A major debate at the time (beautification or ruination of the Green) had one newspaper on each side. The clock was dedicated November 25,1915.
Christopher Columbus Statue - Done by Frank C. Gaylord of Barre, Vermont for the Christopher Columbus Committee that raised the $25,000, this 12-foot statue is made of granite and weighs 12,000 pounds. This statue was dedicated Oct. 12, 1984. The Christopher Columbus Time Capsule, closed Oct. 12, 1992 to be opened October 12, 2092, is behind the monument.
M.A. Green Clock - The historic two-dial clock was moved from its original 1920 site on Grand Street to Bank Street in 1935. The 17 foot tall timepiece, made by Seth Thomas Co., was given to the City in 1993.
Veterans Monument - Designed by Luis Fucito for the City of Waterbury for about $55,000, it was intended in honor of all those who have served in the wars of our country. The 15-foot star was dedicated on May 30,1958 and is located on the west end of the Green.
Whale Sculpture at the Grand Street entrance to Silas Bronson Library - Designed by Jerome Stein, this mobile of the state animal, the sperm whale, is constructed with 150 pieces of metal. Dedication took place on Oct. 25, 1983.
Drescher's Restaurant - Built in 1903, this 300-ton building was physically moved 200 feet from Harrison Avenue to its present location on Leavenworth Street at a cost of $130,000 in 1982.
Hobart Welton Carriage Shed - The stone structure on Wolcott Street at the top of Manor Avenue has two Latin words inscribed at the top. They are a pun on Welton's name - PUTEUS - meaning WELL and DOLIUM meaning TON. Most people know it as "the place where they used to water the horses" and in later years "where people waited for the bus" or "the cave."
Howland-Hughes - Waterbury's worst fire occurred on Feb. 2-3, 1902 at the Bank and Grand Street area. 32 buildings and 100 businesses including the Reid & Hughes Dry Goods Co. were destroyed. (Property damage was valued at $2,000,000) This business started in 1890, was later rebuilt and became Howland-Hughes department store. Three generations of the Paine family, Ralph, Morris and Hank, have made the store one of Waterbury's enduring landmarks. In 1996, the store was downsized and now sells only products made in Connecticut.
Holy Land Cross - The present 52-foot-high cross replaced the first 32-foot-high cross in 1968. The 17-acre "Land of the Lord" with scenes from Bethlehem and Jerusalem consisted of 200 miniature buildings and figures of varying sizes. The catacomb area contained exhibits from the dismantled Vatican pavilion of the 1964 World's Fair. Holy Land took 30 years to complete, and it attracted 40,000 visitors a year from all over the country in the 1960's. Holy Land was conceived and built by John Greco and friends, and dedicated December 14, 1958.
Mattatuck Museum - The only museum in Connecticut solely dedicated to collecting and exhibiting Connecticut artists and sculptors and reflecting the industrial history of the state. The renovation and construction was done in 1986, designed by noted Argentine-born architect Cesar Pelli. The original museum, built by Griggs and Hunt in 1912, is located on the opposite side of the Green.
John S. Monagan Federal Building (Waterbury Post Office) - Designed by George Oakley Totten in 1931, the facade includes eleven panels facing Grand Street that illustrate the history of communication and transportation.
"That building that goes around the corner of Grand and Meadow Streets" was the former headquarters of the American Brass Company (Anaconda). It was built in 1913 using a design by Trowbridge & Livingston of N.Y. It is now the office of the Superior Court.
Library Park - Site of a former burying ground from 1686 - 1890. When it became a park in the early 1900's, some of the bodies were removed and 47 of the headstones were put in the wall along Meadow Street.
First Union Bank - This building located at 60 North Main Street was designed in 1927 as the Dime Savings Bank by York and Sawyer.
Silas Bronson Plaque - It is located in the lobby of the main library. The tablet reads: "Silas Bronson was born in Waterbury, West Farms, Feb. XV, MDCCLXXXVIII; died in the city of New York, Nov. XXV, MDCCCLXVII. An enterprising merchant in busy centers of trade, he was not forgetful of his native town, but bequeathed to it the fruit of his industry for the establishment of a free public library, seeking thereby 'to encourage and sustain good order and sound morals.' Let all who read these books and find help or comfort in them cherish his memory." The West Wing of the present building was built Oct. 20, 1963. The East Wing was completed Sept. 22, 1968. The original Bronson bequest was $200,000. The present day equivalent would be about $14,000,000, conservatively invested over that time span. The first Bronson Library was located on West Main Street in 1868.
City Hall Building
235 Grand St.
Waterbury, CT 06702