Waterbury (Connecticut)

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Nickname : Brass City
View of the center of Waterbury.
View of the center of Waterbury.
Location in Connecticut
Waterbury (Connecticut)
Basic data
Foundation : 1686
State : United States
State : Connecticut
County : New Haven County
Coordinates : 41 ° 33 ′  N , 73 ° 2 ′  W Coordinates: 41 ° 33 ′  N , 73 ° 2 ′  W
Time zone : Eastern ( UTC − 5 / −4 )
Residents : 108,272 (as of 2016)
Population density : 1,463.1 inhabitants per km 2
Area : 74.9 km 2  (approx. 29 mi 2 ) of
which 74.0 km 2  (approx. 29 mi 2 ) are land
Height : 82 m
Postcodes : 06700-06709, 06710-06719
Area code : +1 203
FIPS : 09-80000
GNIS ID : 0211851
Website : www.waterburyct.org
Mayor : Michael Jarjura

Waterbury is a city in New Haven County in the state of Connecticut in the United States of America . It is the fifth largest city in Connecticut with just under 110,000 inhabitants (2016 estimate).

Due to its past as a major center of brass production and processing, the city is nicknamed Brass City (German: Brass city ). This past is also echoed in her motto Quid Aere Perennius (German: What is more durable than brass? ). Waterbury is one of the easternmost cities in the ruined Rust Belt industrial area and faces significant economic and social problems. The magazine Forbes included the city in 2008 to the places in the US that the worst conditions for business and career would offer.

The city is also known nationwide for the fact that four of its mayors have been charged with criminal offenses in office since 1940 . Three of them were sentenced to long prison terms, the last being Philip Giordano in 2003.


Geographical location

Waterbury is located in the hilly and wooded north of New Haven County and is part of central, western Connecticut. The city is located 33 miles southwest of Hartford , Connecticut's capital.

Waterbury was built on a rocky plain on the middle reaches of the Naugatuck River . This area of ​​the river is also known as the Central Naugatuck Valley . The city is surrounded by granite elevations to the east and west . The eastern part of the city is traversed by the Mad River , which then turns west and flows into the Naugatuck in the urban area . The mean height of the city is 82 m; its lowest point at 65 m and its highest at 294 m above sea ​​level .

Expansion of the urban area

The urban area extends over 74.9 km 2 , of which 74.0 km 2 are land and 0.9 km 2 are water.


Waterbury is in the temperate climate zone and has a humid continental climate (Zone Dfa according to Köppen and Geiger ). Spring and autumn in Waterbury are marked by fresh winds. Summers are warm and humid; the winters cold and dry. The mean January temperatures are -5 ° C and the mean July temperatures are 22 ° C.

July is the warmest month and January is the coldest. The highest measured temperature was 38 ° C (July 1995) and the lowest -30 ° C (January 1961). The most abundant rainfall falls in September.

Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Waterbury
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 1 3 8th 14th 21st 26th 28 27 23 17th 10 3 O 15.1
Min. Temperature (° C) -11 -10 -5 1 6th 12 14th 13 9 2 -2 -7 O 1.9
Temperature (° C) -5 -4 2 7th 14th 18th 22nd 20th 16 9 4th -2 O 8.5
Precipitation ( mm ) 102.4 80.5 116.1 109.0 114.3 106.7 106.7 112.8 117.6 112.8 111.5 105.9 Σ 1,296.3
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: The Weather Channel - Waterbury, CT. Retrieved September 28, 2009.


Founding statute of Mattatuck (1674; first page).

Foundation and first years

The history of the city of Waterbury begins with the southwest expansion of the Connecticut colony founded in 1639 . At that time, today's urban area was claimed by two Algonquian-speaking Indian tribes : on the one hand by the Tunxis, who settled west of Hartford, and on the other hand by the Paugussett , who settled east of the Housatonic River . The area was called Matetacoke , Matitacoock or Mattatuckokë (German: place without trees ) by its natives . The Indian name is mentioned for the first time in 1654 in a land title of the two Farmington settlers John Standley and John Andrews . and probably refers to the grazing grounds of the Naugatuck floodplain .

On October 9, 1673, 26 Farmingtoner settlers submitted a petition to the Parliament of the Connecticut Colony ( General Court ) asking for permission to plant a plantation at Matitacoock . The General Court upheld this on the same day. The actual start of the European conquest of present-day Waterbury falls in 1674. The land was gradually transferred to the settlers in three treaties from 1674 to 1685 by the Tunxis and one by the Paugussett for single-digit pounds .

In abbreviation of the Indian name variants, the name of the plantation was registered on May 18, 1674 as Mattatuck . The settlers had to leave Mattatuck as early as 1675 during King Philips' war , but returned in 1677. In the course of the granting of city rights ( town ship ) as the 28th city of the Connecticut colony on May 15, 1686, the name was changed to Waterbury . In 1691 the colonial administration of the city allowed the establishment of an independent parish.

From the War of Independence to the end of the First World War

Advert for Waterbury clocks (before 1890).

During the American Revolutionary War , the majority of the population committed to the cause of the young republic. Almost 700 inhabitants of Waterburys are said to have fought in republican military units, while around 70 to 80 inhabitants fought for the England-loyal, loyalist side. Most of their property was confiscated. The loyalist Moses Dunbar from Waterbury was exemplarily hanged in Hartford in 1777 for alleged high treason .

The industrialization Waterbury began in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Before that there were already grain mills and sawmills that used the existing hydropower. The oldest company still in existence today is the zinc processing company Platt Bros. & Co. (founded in 1797). In 1802 the Abel Porter & Co. company began producing brass, which was new for the USA. The company later became part of the Scovill company . The Waterbury Buttons ( button manufacturing ) and Waterbury Companies ( conglomerate ), both founded in 1812, also date from this time.

From the middle of the 19th century, however, brass processing companies and watch manufacturers that had disappeared or had merged with other companies were dominant, for example Chase Brass & Copper (founded in 1837; now based in Ohio ), American Brass Co. , Benedict & Burnham , Waterbury Clock Co . (now part of Timex ) or Waterbury Watch Co. . Waterbury and the region along the middle reaches of Naugatuck were at this time as the brass capital of the world ( Brass capital of the world ) and the American Switzerland . In the 19th century, the city's population grew rapidly from a good 3,000 in 1800 to over 50,000 in 1900. The prosperity of that time is still evident today in the impressive architectural legacy from the late 19th century. In 1894 the city received an electric tram , the route of which later extended well beyond the actual city area (abandoned in 1937).

At the beginning of the First World War , Waterbury already had almost 80,000 inhabitants. The importance of the city's industrial products for warfare generated a surge in demand. After the USA entered the First World War in 1917, around 6,100 residents of the city were drafted into military service.

Between the wars and the Second World War

Letter of thanks from the US Navy to American Brass (1942).

The successful development of the city and economy continued until around 1930. In the 1920s, important urban facilities such as the Palace Theater or the Lewis Fulton Memorial Park were built . The global economic crisis from 1929 onwards, however, represented the first major turning point in Waterbury's long economic decline: The high unemployment led to a stagnation in population growth that continues to this day.

1938 one of the country's first advisory centers was birth control in a public institution, which for Waterbury Hospital belonging Chase Dispenary opened. In 1994, the historian Garrow pointed out the importance of this event for the later fundamental legal decision in the Roe v. Calf down.

In 1939/40 research by the daily Waterbury Republican led to the conviction of the corrupt mayor T. Frank Hayes ( Democratic Party ) and 22 other defendants to long imprisonment. The newspaper received the Pulitzer Prize in the Public Service category for this in 1940 .

The Second World War brought a revival in Waterbury as part of the switch to war production. The importance of the industrial location led to the fear of becoming a possible target of German air strikes . A newly built time fuse factory of the Waterbury Clock Co. was built into the mountains near Middlebury , camouflaged against air attacks and structurally prepared for flooding in the event of an invasion.

During World War II, 12,000 Waterbury men and 500 women served in the US armed forces. 282 of them died in the war. The effects of the war on the city were described in Ken Burns ' documentary series " The War " (2006).


Population development

Development of the population of Waterburys from 1756 to 2000.

In the first almost 200 years of the city's existence, population growth stagnated . Since the second half of the 19th century, there has been a sharp rise in the number of inhabitants in the course of industrialization. This development broke off with the Great Depression in the early 1930s. Since then, the city has seen minimal population growth, with a temporary decline in population in the 1970s.


According to the American Community Survey over the years 2005-2007, the 108,554 residents of Waterbury live in 41,939 households , of which 33.2% are single-person households. Children under the age of 18 live in a good 35% of households . The average household size is 2.54 people. English is the dominant household language with a share of 73.3%, followed by Spanish with 16.5%. 13.4% of the population were born outside of the United States. 27.1% of the population attribute their origins to Latin American roots, 20.7% to Italian and 12.2% to Irish .

52.7% of the population are female and 47.3% are male . The median age is 34.2 years. 23.9% of the population are younger than 18 years and 13.3% are older than 65 years.

63.6% of the population over the age of 16 count themselves as part of the working population . 10.0% of them are unemployed . The education, health care and social services sector has the highest share of employment at 24.8% . The median household income is $ 39,115 versus $ 50,007 for the country. 18.8% of the population live below the poverty line (13.3% US total), including 29.7% of those under 18 and 10.8% of those over 65. 30.2% of all households received social transfers . Only 14.5% of the population had an advanced level of education compared to 27.0% nationwide.

politics and society

City council

The city council ( Board of Aldermen ) consists of 15 councilors ( aldermen ) and every two years is chosen. He rules the city together with the mayor. There are currently nine members of the Democratic Party and two of the Republican Party . Four councilors are independent.


The current mayor Michael Jarjura (Democratic Party) has been in office since 2002. He was elected for the first time in 2001 and has been confirmed in office three times since then. In his second re-election, Jarjura ran as an independent candidate as he was not nominated in his own party's primaries .

Jarjura succeeded Republican Sam Caligiuri , who served as administrator for Philip Giordano, who resigned in 2001. Giordano was arrested for sexual offenses in mid-2001 as part of a corruption investigation and sentenced to 37 years in prison in 2003. Giordano was the fourth mayor of Waterbury to be indicted in office:

  • In 1940 Mayor T. Frank Hayes was sentenced to several years imprisonment for stealing public funds.
  • In 1988, Mayor Edward Bergin was arrested on charges of bribery , but later acquitted due to lack of evidence.
  • In 1992 Bergin's successor, Joseph Santopietro, was sentenced to nine years' imprisonment for corruption.

Supraregional political representation

Waterbury is sending five MPs to the Connecticut House of Representatives and two Senators to the State Senate . There are currently three Democrats and two Republicans. Democrats and Republicans each provide one of the two senators.

In the US House of Representatives elections , Waterbury is part of two constituencies . Its residents are therefore involved in the election of two MPs. Currently the city and the surrounding area are represented by Rosa DeLauro and Chris Murphy ; both are democrats. In the last US Senate election , Joe Lieberman received 52.2% of the vote from Waterbury.

In the 2008 presidential election , turnout was 58.5% (63.0% nationwide). The Democratic candidate couple Obama / Biden won 62.7% of the vote and the Republican candidate couple McCain / Palin 35.7%.

Economic situation of the municipality

From 2001 to 2007 stood household of the city Waterbury under forced administration of the State of Connecticut ( Waterbury Financial Planning and Assistance Board ). Previously, the city's bonds had been classified as speculative (grade BB) by the rating agency Fitch in December 2000 due to a high structural deficit . Since 2008 the city has taken responsibility for its own budget again.

Culture and sights


The largest stage in Waterbury is the Palace Theater , a guest theater opened in early 1922 without its own ensemble . It was closed in 1987 and only reopened at the end of 2004 after extensive renovations. The Palace Theater has 2,565 seats and is the largest performing arts house in Connecticut (see also "Buildings" ).

The Seven Angels Theater is a smaller house for drama , musicals and children's theater with its own ensemble.


  • Mattatuck Museum
  • TIMEXpo Museum


Chase Building (1917-1919).

Waterbury has an extensive architectural heritage from its industrial heyday from the mid-19th century through World War II. Numerous architects or architectural firms of national or international standing have worked for the city, its companies or its residents, among others. a. Cass Gilbert (1859–1934), the architect of the New York Woolworth Building , Henry Bacon (1866–1924), who was best known for the Lincoln Memorial , the theater architect Thomas Lamb (1871–1942) or the New York architecture firm McKim, Mead, and White . Twenty structures and five building complexes in Waterbury are listed on the National Register of Historic Places , including:

  • The Cass Gilbert District or Waterbury Municipal Center Complex is a complex of buildings that was constructed from 1914 to 1922 by the American architect Cass Gilbert . In addition to the dominant town hall , which was built in the Colonial Revival style in 1914–1915 , the Chase Building (1917–1919; formerly the seat of the Chase Brass Company ; today used by the city administration) and the Lincoln House (1916–1917; today Law offices), the Chase Memorial Dispensary (1923–1924; now offices of a municipal foundation), and Waterbury National Bank (1919–1922; now a mortgage lender) to this building complex. Gilbert is said to have counted the town hall among his best works.
  • The campanile-like clock tower of the Waterbury Republican American Building is the landmark of Waterbury . The building can be attributed to the neo-renaissance and was built at the beginning of the 20th century by the New York architects McKim, Mead, and White as a train station ( Union Station ). The station opened in 1909 and was an important transfer stop for rail routes to New York , New Haven and Hartford . Some of the interiors are lined with Guastavino bricks. The 73 m high clock tower is said to be added to the architects' design later on at the initiative of a railroad representative. The model is said to have been the Torre del Mangia of the Siena town hall . Today the building is home to the Republican American newspaper . A Metro-North platform is to the south, outside the building.
  • The Palace Theater was opened in early 1922 as Poli Palace by the impresario Sylvester Poli . Construction began in 1920. The architect Thomas Lamb created an eclectic building, predominantly in the neo-renaissance style but also with Greek , Roman , Arabic and originally American elements. The central Webster Hall is an impressive theater hall with a richly decorated dome. The Palace Theater was a cinema and vaudeville theater in its early years . It was closed in 1987 and reopened at the end of 2004 after extensive renovations. The Palace Theater is the largest home for the Performing Arts in Connecticut .
  • There are further entries in the National Register for:
    • the Downtown Waterbury Historic District and Bank Street Historic District complexes ; and the Hillside Historic District and Overlook Historic District residential areas
    • the Washington Avenue Bridge and Sheffield Street Bridge
    • the office and residential buildings George S. Abbott Building , Benedict Miller House , Enoch Hibbard House , George Grannis House , John Kendrick House and Stapleton Building
    • the factory buildings of the Matthews and Willard Factory , Waterbury Brass Mill and the Waterbury Clock Company
    • the Elton Hotel
    • the parks and cemeteries Lewis Fulton Memorial Park , Hamilton Park and Riverside Cemetery
    • the schools Bishop School , Webster School , and Wilby High School
    • the Beth El synagogue

Other notable structures in Waterbury include:

The Carrie Welton fountain with Waterbury's old town hall (before 1897).
  • The Carrie Welton Fountain ( Carrie Welton Fountain and Horse on the Green ) was built in 1888 and was originally intended as a drinking fountain for horses. A horse sculpture by Karl Gerhardt (1853–1940) stands on the base . The fountain is in the eastern section of the Green , a central square in Waterbury . The fountain and sculpture were built on the basis of a bequest from the animal rights activist Caroline Josephine Welton (1842–1884) and are among the city's landmarks. The horse sculpture depicts Welton's black stallion Knight .
  • The soldiers monument ( Soldiers Monument ) at the western end of the Green was built in 1884 and commemorates the soldiers and sailors who in the American Civil War fought. It was financed exclusively by donations and executed in granite and bronze based on designs by George Edwin Bissell (1839–1920) . The bronze work comes from the Parisian foundries Gruet Jeune and Ferdinand Baroperne . In addition to honoring the soldiers, the monument also addresses the issue of emancipation and education for the Afro-American population. It is crowned by an allegorical Victoria figure a good three meters high .
  • the Uhrsäule Clock on the Green , the Episcopal Church of St. John's , the Church of the Immaculate Conception ( Church of Immaculate Conception ) , the main post office ( Waterbury Post Office ) , the monument to Father Michael McGivney ( Statue of Father McGivney ) , the administrative building of the company Anaconda ( Anaconda American Brass Building ) , the Benjamin Franklin Memorial ( Benjamin Franklin Statue ) and Drescher's Restaurant


  • Library Park

Economy and Infrastructure

economic sectors

Nine of the ten largest employers in Waterbury are in the tertiary sector (services); the public sector has the largest share.

Rank employer sector Number of employees
1 City of Waterbury Public service 3.811
2 Waterbury Hospital health care 1.541
3 St. Mary's Hospital health care 1.279
4th Connecticut State Public service 1.225
5 AT&T telecommunications 400
6th Naugatuck Valley Community College education 384
7th United States Postal Service Public service 270
8th Webster Bank (Headquarters) Finance 256
9 Republican-American media 252
10 MacDermid (Headquarters) Chemical industry 217

The largest taxpayer is the GGP-Brass Mill shopping center . Companies of national importance and headquartered in Waterbury are the commercial bank Webster Bank (founded in 1935) and the specialty chemicals company MacDermid (founded in 1922). None of the big companies that shaped the city's industrial past are based here: Scovill moved to Georgia and Timex to neighboring Middlebury.


Waterbury is one of the terminus of the New York Metro-North , a regional train that connects areas north of New York with Manhattan . Hartford , Boston and New York to Waterbury via the highway Interstate 84 are achieved, the main road in Waterbury Route 8 crosses.

The commercial airport Waterbury-Oxford ( IATA code: OXC) is located about 10 km southwest of downtown Waterbury and are designed mainly for private business and charter flights used. However, it is not used in scheduled services. The next significant airport with scheduled flights is Hartford (IATA code: BDL). In addition, New Haven Airport (IATA code: HVN) has a few domestic scheduled connections.


Waterbury has a daily newspaper , the Republican-American . The conservative newspaper has a circulation of around 60,000 and is one of the oldest daily newspapers in the USA that is still published today. It emerged in the early 1990s from the merger of the Waterbury Republican (founded in 1881) and the Waterbury American (founded in 1844) (see also "Buildings" ).

There are also some local radio stations, such as WATR 1320 AM (founded in 1934).

Public facilities


Waterbury has two major hospitals: Waterbury Hospital (founded 1890) and St. Mary's Hospital (founded 1907). Both houses are academic teaching hospitals of Yale University . The main building of Waterbury Hospital was built by the well-known architect Henry Bacon (1866-1924).


Higher educational institutions

In Waterbury is the Post University , which developed from a college to a specialized university in 1990 by drawing on the Teikyō University in Tokyo . The University of Connecticut also has a campus in Waterbury.


The majority of the schools is the school district Waterbury Public Schools summarized. In the 2006/07 school year , 18,218 students attended schools in the school district. Around 65% of students come from low-income families. The school district belongs to the so-called minority-majority districts , as the majority of the students come from population groups that are classified as ethnic or religious minorities nationwide . Waterbury Public Schools was the first school district in Connecticut , a mandatory dress code introduced for his students and this court interspersed.

There are still private schools, e.g. B. Chase Collegiate , the Holy Cross High School , the Sacred Heart High School or the Yeshiva Gedolah School .


sons and daughters of the town

Personalities who have worked on site

  • Malcolm Baldrige (1922–1987), Chairman of the Board of Scovill Inc. and later Secretary of Commerce of the United States from 1981 to 1987

Web links

Commons : Waterbury  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. US Census Bureau
  2. David K. Randall: Oh, the Brass! In: Forbes Magazine. April 7, 2008. Retrieved August 25, 2009.
  3. a b c d Joseph Anderson u. a .: The town and city of Waterbury, Connecticut. Vol. 1. Price & Lee, New Haven 1896 ( digitized ).
  4. ^ David J. Garrow: Liberty and Sexuality. The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Calf. Macmillan, New York 1994, ISBN 0-02-542755-5 ( online ).
  5. ^ The Pulitzer Prizes: 1940 Winners. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
  6. ^ American Community Survey: 2005-2007 3-Year Estimates. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
  7. Alison Leigh Cowan: Ex-Mayor Gets 37 Years In Prison for Abusing 2 Girls. New York Times (June 14, 2003). Retrieved September 5, 2009.
  8. Paul von Zielbauer: Ex-Mayor's Trial Continues a Waterbury tradition. New York Times (March 4, 2003). Retrieved September 5, 2009.
  9. ^ Business Wire (October 5, 2007). Fitch Upgrades $ 80.6MM of Waterbury, Connecticut GO Bonds to 'BBB +'; Stable Outlook. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
  10. ^ Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation: Waterbury: Saving City Hall. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
  11. ^ Greater Waterbury.com: Waterbury Republican American. ( Memento of July 12, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Retrieved August 25, 2009.
  12. ^ Greater Waterbury.com: Palace Theater Waterbury. ( Memento of September 3, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Retrieved August 25, 2009.
  13. Joseph Anderson: History of the soldiers' monument in Waterbury, Conn. Lockwood & Brainard, Hartford 1886 ( digitized version ).
  14. City of Waterbury: Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 2010 (PDF; 1.0 MB) Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  15. Michael Collins: Time Line For Connecticut Broadcasting. Connecticut Broadcaster's Association 2005. Retrieved August 25, 2009.