The Heights

Send Up The Drones?

by Allan Appel | Feb 6, 2019 1:18 pm | Comments (18)

Allan Appel PhotoWill police-controlled drones be the city’s answer to solving the chronic and sometimes terrifying dirt bike problem?

And why is the city not incorporating into the budget-in-progress a Financial Review and Audit Commission (FRAC) recommendation for a $25,00- to-$50,000 study for an “operational audit” of the police and fire departments?

Wouldn’t that shed needed light on just how the police and fire departments can function well even in lean times, with maybe reduced manpower and maybe not sending fire engines to heart attacks?

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New Grand Avenue Bridge: Paint It Black?

by Allan Appel | Jan 30, 2019 7:50 am | Comments (8)

Sketch drawing by Chris OzyckThe Grand Avenue Bridge, a swing span with Erector Set-like trusses and one of the glories of Fair Haven and of the city, was painted black back in 1898 when it was built and has always been so.

A needed full rehabilitation will get under way this fall, complete with vehicle closures that will last all of 2020 and perhaps through the middle of 2021.

When the rebuilt bridge emerges — with new electrical and mechanical systems and new, smoother roadways to endure for future generations — will it be painted the old coal black or Statue of Liberty Green or some shade thereof?

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Demolition By Neglect Stopped, For Now

by Allan Appel | Jan 15, 2019 4:10 pm | Comments (10)

Allan Appel PhotoAs its roof continues to threaten to fall in and the foundation crumbles, the quaint 19th-Century carriage house at 515 Quinnipiac Ave. has sprouted an access-limiting orange fabric fence.

That may be a sign, however slight, that the owner, the city, and the New Haven Preservation Trust are getting together to try to put a halt to a wave of “demolitions by neglect” that have caused melancholy along the banks of the river, along with calls for stricter rules to reign in negligent owners of venerable property in the Quinnipiac River Historic District.

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Oyster Farm Neighbors Plead For Changes

by Allan Appel | Jan 4, 2019 7:29 am | Comments (1)

Patriquin Architects PhotoFollowing on a meeting at the Historic District Commission (HDC) about a major expansion of the historic Copps Island/Norm Bloom & Sons oyster farm on Quinnipiac Avenue, architects invited all abutting neighbors to contribute alternative ideas. Two proposed new massive, view-altering, riverine buildings proved controversial.

The meeting, held in the third floor conference space at Patriquin Architects, on Grand Avenue and Front Street, drew only a handful of neighbors. They made up for their numbers by proposing a massive rethinking and reconfiguration of the plan

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Oyster Farm Expansion Proposed

by Allan Appel | Dec 17, 2018 7:42 am | Comments (3)

Patriquin Architects PhotoPeople in the Heights generally love the oyster farm that for decades has been harvesting, shucking, and shipping the bivalves from the banks of the Quinnipiac River just below the Grand Avenue Bridge.

Norm Bloom & Sons keeps alive the local oystering industry and the working waterfront that are part of the area’s history and appeal.

Now the company proposes to build two large new structures that potentially are out of scale with the surrounding residential buildings —and to relocate two historic ones—in order to expand the business. Will the positive relationship continue, or will it become only love on the half shell?

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Another Historic Demolition By Neglect Looms

by Allan Appel | Dec 14, 2018 7:40 am | Comments (10)

Allan Appel PhotoAs one historic east side building faced faced imminent demolition, the owner of another historic structure, a charming 19th century carriage house on nearby Quinnipiac Avenue, said he can no longer afford to keep it standing and asked for permission to tear it down.

Historic District Commissioners heard his plea, then denied it.

Yet, echoing the fate of the Brewery Square gatehouse, the commissioners expressed the fear that their very denial — and the public attention their deliberation brings to the structure—might ironically result in the carriage house’s loss.

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