Wednesday, October 03, 2007

238 Main Street, reborn!

Main Street - Danbury Gas & Electric 2.0I noticed this for the first time a couple of weeks ago, but it wasn't until today that I had a chance to stop and take a closer look. The Danbury Gas & Electric Co. building is getting a makeover! Scaffolding is up—something you don't often see on Main Street— and those are all new windows. Does anyone know what the plans are for it—will it be offices, residential, or both? If there are going to be apartments, I'd like to know. And if there will be, I hope they don't get rented exclusively to WestConn students. I have nothing against students—I'm a student myself—but as a taxpayer and former potential future resident, I'm still a bit vexed at the way the Crosby Street project was handled. I want to see a more permanent residential presence downtown, not more transient student housing.

Here's what 238 Main Street looked like a year ago. I wonder if the art deco "Gas & Electric" signage will be retained.

256 Main Street - The new parking garageI wonder if the restoration was prompted by the nearby presence of the new parking garage, which looks like it's almost finished. I won't say it enhances the neighborhood, but it's not bad looking as parking garages go. And at least it's not right on Main Street. I still question the value of imposing a minimum number of parking spaces per residential unit anywhere, but especially in the downtown historical district. I think that people who live near decent bus and train service can manage very well with just one car, or even no cars. But maybe that's just me—I grew up in a city where I could get anywhere by bus, and went to college in a city where I could get anywhere by subway. I didn't have to learn to drive until I moved to Danbury. And I look forward to the day when I have my degree, so I can get a full time job in a library, so I can move where I'm close enough to walk to work, or at least take a bus.


Beverly Writer said...

I was in Danbury on Saturday for a concert and admired this building while I was walking along Main Street. The Art Deco Signage is what captured my heart. I'm so glad its getting prettified. I couldn't find it listed here but the economic development office might be able to let you know its fate.

Sharon said...

Hi, Beverly! Good to hear from you. I haven't been down that way lately... I'm so happy to hear that the signage is still there!

Thank you for the link to the property listing... very cool. I'll keep an eye on it.