Industrial Heritage and the Future City

Discover, learn, and share ideas about the built heritage of New Haven’s industrial neighborhoods. New Haven is in large part a product of its industrial past, stretching back to the late nineteenth- and early twentieth centuries. The Fair Haven, Long Wharf, and Wooster Square neighborhoods are comprised of a collection of residences, factories, and streetscapes that hold rich stories about past migrations, industry-building, urban renewal, and decline. Currently, some buildings have been adapted and reused, some are in planning or in-between states, while others languish. Together, we hope to reflect on the presence of these buildings and discuss their possible futures. In this interactive tour, we visit three to four sites largely contained within the Mill River District area to workshop a range of themes: the cost and politics of reuse; the marketing of heritage; the aesthetics and social impacts of abandonment/capital flight; the ways in which social history can be meaningfully expressed in the daily life of the built environment; and the design and planning of the future city.

Led by: Elihu Rubin, Yale School of Architecture and Saima Akhtar, Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH) at Yale.

Elihu Rubin

Elihu Rubin is Associate Professor of Urbanism at the Yale School of Architecture.  Trained as an architectural historian and city planner, Rubin is also co-founder of the documentary film group American Beat and has produced a number of films about the social history, built heritage, and cultural landscapes of New Haven, including “Next Question:  The May Day 1970 Oral History Project,” the result of a collaboration with the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in 2002.  As a professor at Yale, Rubin has initiated a range of community-based research and representation projects, including “Interactive Crown Street,” the “New Haven Building Archive,” and “Excavating the Armory,” which cultivates public reflection on the preservation and adaptive reuse of the Goffe Street Armory.

Saima Akhtar

Saima Akhtar is a postdoctoral associate between The Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage and computer science at Yale University. She is an urban historian and architect with an interest in the relationship between immigration, planning, and the rise of industry in early twentieth century American cities, with a focus on Detroit. She is also committed to developing arts and cultural programming for higher education and public outreach, most recently including In Front of the Factory, Imaging a Middle East, and Multitudes: An art exhibit in the age of the #muslimban

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