New Britain to Sell Commemorative Bricks

New Britain to Sell Commemorative Bricks

There are 14 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Mar 24, 2009, titled New Britain to Sell Commemorative Bricks. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

The city's Pinnacle Heights public housing complex is gone but memories of it may live on, with help from bricks saved by the city after the buildings were demolished.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

Mack Smith

San Jose, CA

#1 Mar 24, 2009
I would love to get one of those bricks, but first some corrections need to be made to this story:
1. Pinnacle Heights was built after the Korean war.
2. Families living in the old Osgood heights (where E.C. Goodman is located) were transited to P. Heights as well as east side families from the Rockland projects.
3.The facilty was fully self contained. All power and heat came from control locations, families could borrow lawn mowers to cut the yards .
4.This was a true melting pot ie. Portagee, Spanish, West Indian, Polish, Jewish, Italians,Phillapino and the list goes on. Forgive my spelling errors, but you get the drift.
5.This was not a transitional housing units. Some of the families who can from Pinnacle include the mayor who I never met, Grady Stewart, Grant Smith (my dad), Tom Glasper (My uncle), the Allisons, Lou Mazza, Att.Jeffery Crowne, Att. Ralph Pignatara(spelling), Walter Anderson, John Bolowa, Harriet Brown(Charlie, Carl and Diane). I can go on for ever but you get my drift.
Thanks for the opportunity to let me express my opinon.
NBConservative

Plainville, CT

#2 Mar 25, 2009
Another correction. Pinnacle Heights was demolished this year, not last. In fact, last I saw (Sunday) there was still at least one building standing and foundations still in the ground. I for one can't wait until new buildings start going up and bringing new jobs and tax revenue to our city. I hope we've learned as a nation about our experiments with housing projects. Never again!
Toxic Avenger

New Britain, CT

#3 Mar 25, 2009
I saved a brick from the Willow St. apartments when the mayor played demolitiom man a few years ago. I had to turn it in at the last hazardous waste collections after all the reports of contamination on the former Willow St. apartment site. Just being safe!
New Britain Voter

Plainville, CT

#4 Mar 25, 2009
NBConservative wrote:
Another correction. Pinnacle Heights was demolished this year, not last. In fact, last I saw (Sunday) there was still at least one building standing and foundations still in the ground. I for one can't wait until new buildings start going up and bringing new jobs and tax revenue to our city. I hope we've learned as a nation about our experiments with housing projects. Never again!
The first day of demolition was October 3, 2007...I attended that day,and took photos of Mayor Stewart on the equipment knocking down the first building.
Like others in the area, we look forward to businesses being built there, hopefully a corporate park type environment.
New Britain Voter

Plainville, CT

#5 Mar 25, 2009
Correction: First Demolation date was October 30, 2007.
New Britain Resident

Plainville, CT

#6 Mar 25, 2009
Would it be possible to gather enough of the bricks to form a memorial of sorts to all the residents there who were given a head start by living there?
New Britain Resident

Wallingford, CT

#7 Mar 27, 2009
NBConservative wrote:
Another correction. Pinnacle Heights was demolished this year, not last. In fact, last I saw (Sunday) there was still at least one building standing and foundations still in the ground. I for one can't wait until new buildings start going up and bringing new jobs and tax revenue to our city. I hope we've learned as a nation about our experiments with housing projects. Never again!
All the buildings are now demolished. The foundations are being broken up, to prepare to be shipped off; the property is beginning to look "cleaned up". The demolition crew deserves a large hand of applause for all their hard work during all the freezing, snowy weather this winter...
High School Parent

West Hartford, CT

#8 Mar 27, 2009
Who the heck would want a brick from that pit hole? Way back when it used to be a great place....but it hasnt been for many years.
NBConservative

Plainville, CT

#9 Mar 27, 2009
High School Parent wrote:
Who the heck would want a brick from that pit hole? Way back when it used to be a great place....but it hasnt been for many years.
If you lived there 30 or more years ago, when it was a nice place, you may have memories that the bricks represent. If you lived there within the last 30 years, you probably don't want one...
New Britain Resident

Plainville, CT

#10 Mar 28, 2009
NBConservative wrote:
<quoted text>
If you lived there 30 or more years ago, when it was a nice place, you may have memories that the bricks represent. If you lived there within the last 30 years, you probably don't want one...
There are many former residents of Pinnacle Heights who lived there as children in the '60's who have fond memories of living there. These same people, now adults, have successful careers, good marriages, and nice homes. These are the ones most likely to want a brick to commemorate those days.
Reaganomics

New Britain, CT

#11 Mar 28, 2009
Great place for booty poppin' back in 1989. At least we still have Malikowski Circle, Yo!
New Britain Resident

United States

#12 Apr 4, 2009
Reaganomics wrote:
Great place for booty poppin' back in 1989. At least we still have Malikowski Circle, Yo!
It's people like you who give the projects the lousy reputation they have today..get rid of the drugs and druggies, they could still be a good place to live for people they were intended to help.
Gregory G

San Jose, CA

#13 Dec 19, 2009
My brother John and I grew up there in the 60's at 190 Merimac Road. We went to school at Frank J. Diloretto and Catechism classes at Holy Cross (The Catholic school kids used to swear worse than the public school kids). No drugs at the time, just building forts out of hay in the summer and snow forts in the winter. We were there before the highway went in. Also, we and our friends would hike up Rattlesnake mountain back when there was an abandoned stone house at the top that rumor had once belonged to a Connecticut governor. None of us will forget the day six of us went down to the highway construction site to explore and saw three tiny guys that looked like aliens about 100 yards into the woods. They had what appeared to be tophats on with large playing cards stuck in the hats. We didn't say a word and instinctively all ran off in different directions. Once at night a few of us saw what looked like a saucer. In the morning, there was a burned circle in the grass. Pretty strange stuff for kids to experience, but I'm not exaggerating. The Glaspers were the tough kids in the neighborhood back then. The units had basements and I recall the pipes being insulated with 1" thick asbestos. If you whacked the insulation it would create snow-like clouds of that stuff!(Probably wasn't a great idea, but who knew?). My brother's best friend was Johnny Micielienski. My best friend was Steven Harris. We both liked art (Miss Cunningham was our young pretty teacher at Frank J. Diloretto Elementary School) and karate. We would practice moves we learned from Bruce Lee (Green Hornet). Steven tried to build a helicopter in his basement using a lawn mower engine and a 2"X4" about 8' long for a propeller. That wasn't one of our better ideas! Kids could get away with being kids back then - we would ride with our families to the beach and shoot realistic looking Mattel handguns and rifles at passing cars (nobody called the SWAT team - there was none back then). The best toys were the Mattel Vac-u-maker, Agent Zero radio that turned into a rifle, Agent Zero camera that turned into a pistol. Sonic Boom blaster. G.I. Joe toys were much bigger and heavier back then - if your brother cracked you on the head with one, it was really bad news (maybe that explains the alien's). I went on Google Earth today and see that they whole place was fenced off, but couldn't read the signs on the fences. It was a great place for kids, with plenty of space to run around, and the apartments were nice. Really liked going to the Strand theatre to see monster movies. They used to give pencil boxes to kids just before school started. The Palace Theatre was also good, but they were moving more from family movies into Hells Angels type movies and then X-rated stuff. The Strand showed good movies until they closed. Downtown New Britain was beautiful at Christmas. My Uncle Charlie owned the Red Cap bar and grill adjacent to the New Britain Boy's Club. I took some friends there for free hot dogs once in a while. I used to play Chiniese checkers with John Karbonic. He'd let you come very close to winning and then beat you. At least he gave you the idea you "could" beat him. It was a great club! Basketball, a swimming pool (they made you swim nude - kind of odd, but I guess some of the kids had poop in their shorts). Also, they had great shop classes sponsored by the factories: Printing, woodshop, etc. Had a lot of fun playing in abandoned factories back then. All of my relatives were able to buy nice Polish palaces with the money they earned at Stanley Works, Fafnir ball bearings, Universal. I also remember those places closing down as American consumers began buying cheaper electric toothbrushes from Japan. Anyway - thanks for the memories!
Bob

United States

#14 May 4, 2012
New Britain Resident wrote:
Would it be possible to gather enough of the bricks to form a memorial of sorts to all the residents there who were given a head start by living there?
Why? Are they dead? What would happen, anyway, is that you'd have to put the names of families who lived there in the 80s/90s/2000s who lived off society for generations. It would be a slap in the face to the people that lived there in the 50s/60s and truly got a head start on home ownership.

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