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Traffic Control Tower - Meriden, CT
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member neoc1
N 41° 32.258 W 072° 48.165
18T E 683287 N 4600773
Quick Description: The old, restored traffic control tower is on display at Hanover and Perkins Streets in central Meriden, CT.
Location: Connecticut, United States
Date Posted: 5/31/2013 5:09:58 PM
Waymark Code: WMH6QA
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 2

Long Description:
Meriden, Connecticut

The Meriden Traffic Tower of was built in 1925 and was used to controlled traffic at a downtown intersection for nearly 42 years. The tower has an array of red, amber, and green lights on all four sides that were operated by a person who reached the tower via a ladder. The tower became a Meriden landmark and used on the masthead of the U.S.O. newsletter sent to troops from Meriden during World War II. It was restored and put on display in its present location in 1993.

A bronze plaque near the tower gives a detailed history of the tower. It is inscribed:

MERIDEN’S TRAFFIC TOWER

ERECTED ON SEPTEMBER 21, 1925, MERIDEN’S TRAFFIC TOWER WAS AN INNOVATIVE TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE DESIGNED TO PROVIDE SAFE TRAVEL FOR THE VEHICLES AND PEDESTRIANS OF THE GROWING CITY. THE UNIQUE CHARACTER OF THE TOWER QUICKLY MADE IT A LOCAL LANDMARK AND A SYMBOL OF THE CITY.

THE TRAFFIC TOWER’S ORIGINAL LOCATION, A SHORT DISTANCE NORTH OF THIS SITE WAS IN AN AREA RICH IN HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE FOR BOTH MERIDEN AND CONNECTICUT. ONE OF THE EARLIEST COLONIAL ROADS RAN THROUGH THE AREA THAT IS NOW DOWNTOWN MERIDEN AND IN 1784 CONNECTICUT’S FIRST STAGE COACH RAN FROM HARTFORD TO NEW HAVEN PASSING THROUGH MERIDEN FROM COOK AVENUE TO WEST MAIN STREET AND ALONG COLONY STREET.

IN THE 1930’S THE MERIDEN DAILY JOURNAL RAN A DAILY NEWS COLUMN ENTITLED “THE TRAFFIC TOWER” INDICATING THE TOWER’S POPULARITY AS A CITY LANDMARK. DURING WORLD WAR II MERIDEN SERVICEMEN RECEIVED A MONTHLY “NEWS FROM HOME” BULLETIN WHICH CARRIED A PICTURE OF THE TRAFFIC TOWER AS A REMINDER OF HOME.

ON MAY 22, 1967, AFTER 42 YEARS OF SUCCESSFUL OPERATION, THE TRAFFIC TOWER WAS RETIRED FROM SERVICE TO MAKE WAY FOR MODERN TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES. HOWEVER, THE MEMORIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE TOWER AND THE SYMBOLIC VALUE IT HAD GAINED REMAINED IN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF MANY. ACCORDINGLY, IN 1974 THE TOWER WAS PURCHASED BY KOGUT ENTERPRISES AND RENOVATED THROUGH THE EFFORTS OF THE UNION - PARKER CO. AND THE AMERICAN NATIONAL BANK. IN 1981, THROUGH THE EFFORTS OF THE PRIDE IN MERIDEN COMMITTEE, THE TRAFFIC TOWER WAS REPLACED NEAR ITS ORIGINAL LOCATION AT THE INTERSECTION OF COLONY AND WEST MAIN STREETS.

AS PART OF MERIDEN’S DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION THE CITY HAS CHOSEN TO RESTORE THE TRAFFIC TOWER AND PROVIDE IT A PLACE OF DIGNITY AND PROMINENCE IN THE CITY’S NEW DOWNTOWN. FROM THIS PLACE THE TRAFFIC TOWER CAN CONTINUE TO SERVE AS AN IMPORTANT SYMBOL OF THE INDUSTRY, INNOVATION, VALUES AND COMMUNITY SPIRIT OF A CITY WITH A GREAT PAST AND A PROMISING FUTURE.

OCTOBER 1993

Price of Admission: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Roadside Attractions Website: [Web Link]

Weekday Hours: Not listed

Weekend Hours: Not listed

Location Website: Not listed

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