Why Wooster Square almost wasn’t

New Haven’s Wooster Square neighborhood came close to being demolished in the 1950s, when urban renewal plans called for its total clearance, and the routing of Interstate 91 through Wooster Square Park.  Instead, due to what has been described as “a fortunate series of circumstances,” it became New Haven’s first local historic district, laying the foundation for historic preservation throughout the city.

Alan Plattus, professor of architecture and urbanism at Yale School of Architecture, will be among those discussing the neighborhood’s brush with demolition in the “Saving Wooster Square Symposium” on Saturday, May 4. Plattus will join the first of two panels, “Wooster Square Then,” exploring Wooster Square’s role in New Haven history — especially during urban renewal in the 1960s.

The second panel discussion, titled “Wooster Square Now,” will address how to discover tax credits for rehabilitating historic structures, and how to learn of potential opportunities for future preservation projects.

The symposium — presented by the New Haven Museum, the New Haven Preservation Trust, and the Historic Wooster Square Association — will take place at the New Haven Museum, 114 Whitney Ave. 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

Admission is free, but registration is required. For more information, contact Michelle Cheng at 203-562-4183 x11, or education@newhavenmuseum.org.