Q House, Long Wharf Plans Proceed

Markeshia Ricks PhotoThe Board of Alders green-lights plans to transform parts of Dixwell and Long Wharf for the next generation.

In a unanimous vote, the alders Tuesday nights authorized Mayor Toni Harp to accept the $14.5 million from the state for the long-awaited rebirth of the Dixwell Q House, the beloved settlement house that opened in 1924 and closed in 2003.

The new 54,000 square foot complex will also house a new Stetson public library branch, Dixwell’s Cornell Scott Hill Health Center outpost and a senior center.

Dixwell Alder Jeanette Morrison said it’s been a five-year journey of concerned Dixwell community members, city officials and the Board of Alders working together to get to this point. “This is not just for the Dixwell community,” she said of the new Q House. “It’s for the entire city.”

Alders also approved the city’s quest for a $935,000 grant application for making some upgrades to Long Wharf that include improvements for public access to the nature preserve and veterans’ memorial and Long Wharf Park along the harbor. The idea is to bring into the 21st century a waterfront district created in the mid-20th century.

A Fond Farwell

At the meeting, alders bid bon suerte to the Harp administration’s legislative liaison, Joe Rodriguez . Rodriguez is returning to the employ of U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s office in Hartford. Prior to his stint with the Harp administration in City Hall, Rodriguez served as an outreach worker and research aide in Blumenthal’s office for almost four years. He will return to serve as the office’s deputy director.

Majority Leader and Annex Alder Alphonse Paolillo Jr. said Rodriguez, a former alder from Fair Haven, seemed “almost like he was born in City Hall,” because of his years of service, including his work as part of the city’s Youth Commission. Paolillo said that Rodriguez was talking about increasing services to youth “before it was in en vogue” to do so.

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posted by: robn on February 17, 2016  3:29pm

Q House is NOT for the entire city although they will be asked to pay for it. Q House is the adoption of a failed private charitable institution that the city has adopted in order to provide political pork barrel payback to the surrounding neighborhood in return for their votes in the last election. high taxpayers should take note.

posted by: westville man on February 18, 2016  10:49am

Robn-  You’ve been beating that same drum over and over about the Q House.  Have you ever met the folks who used it, supported it and have taken the time and $$ to get it re-opened?  Do you know if it serves a large number of “at-risk’ youths as well as other cultural and social activities?  I do know that and I have met with many of the community “elders” who felt its painful loss and worked to revive it.
I am a “high taxpayer” and I support it 100%.  Not only through my taxes but will with my only money as well. 

And as for this:  “...the long-awaited rebirth of the Dixwell Q House, the beloved settlement house that opened in 1924 and closed in 2003”    80 years is “failed” and political pork barreling??  I am happy to see it live again!

posted by: robn on February 18, 2016  12:23pm


The problem is that the people who want the formerly private Q House reopened aren’t willing to pay for it. They want to use other taxpayer dollars. NHPS construction program debt should be going down and so should taxes but the mayor is hiding new entitlements by spending money that should be returned. This is blatant adoption of cost by the public sector. It’s a high cost facility that will cost millions to run annually. It’s also a new entitlement for a very small segment of the New Haven population. You want Q House? Find donors who will pay for it.

posted by: westville man on February 18, 2016  1:24pm

Robn-  that’s what I mean -  “a new entitlement that serves a small segment”-  where do you get your information from?  Would a small segment be 1,000 youths, 2,000 youths, - give me your number.  If it serves 10,000 people in the community each year is that “big’ enough for you?

Entitlements?  Don’t get me started on those.  From Yale University to the “arts” districts right here in Westville and all of New Haven to the Tennis Center all have some form of them, but most folks think “they benefit and add to New Haven”  I read that to mean they benefit their kind of people.

You and I can revisit this once the Q is back up and running.

posted by: robn on February 18, 2016  2:50pm


Bottom line; Q House was a private organization that failed.

The city shouldn’t be adopting failed private organizations and asking taxpayers to pay for it.

posted by: westville man on February 18, 2016  4:18pm

I happily disagree with your “bottom line”.  Some institutions are just too important to let fail.  I am glad it may come back to life.