Monday, August 23, 2010

Bauer Urges Historic Commemoration In Street Naming

Common Council member David Bauer feels that Middletown's historic and cultural heritage is so rich as to be a ready source for new street names in Middletown.

Both the Public Works Commission and the Common Council (along with Public Safety) must approve the naming of Middletown public roads.  We have often acceded to the wishes of developers to name streets generic, almost meaningless names, such as Windy Hill Road, and Newberry Lane, and Autumn Lane.

Middletown has over 350 years of history that we should remember.  I believe that in the naming of public roads and buildings we should celebrate our rich cultural heritage.  If the public understood our local process of naming roads, perhaps we would become more active in promoting Middletown history.  The Public can petition the Public Works Commission to add names to the official list of proposed street names.  I believe that more public attention to this process will insure that we can convince developers to adopt street names that are specific, appropriate, and unique to Middletown.

The following are the Public Works guidelines for street naming:

The following list of suggested street names is not exhausting but it is meant to provide a developer with some example of names the Public Works Commission may find acceptable.  Developers should feel free to respond with their own proposals celebrating events or persons or the heritage of Middletown or otherwise provide unique identification feature of our City.
Suggested Street Name     Background
General Rose Drive   WWII General born in Middletown
Thomas Harding Drive   Medal of Honor Recipient-Capt. U.S. Navy, Civil War
Benjamin Douglas Drive   Mayor of Middletown, manufacturer, abolitionist, Lt. Gov. Ct.
Abigail Lucas Drive   Ran home for orphans in Middletown
Kate Campbell Hard Mead  Early female physician-incorporator MX Hospital
Civil War Soldiers   Soldiers who gave lives (100+) Contact Historical Society
Alice Wrubel Drive   Composer from Middletown
Henry Clay Work    Composer from Middletown
Tony Pastor Drive   Musician from Middletown
Seb Garafalo Drive   Four-term Mayor
Gionfriddo Drive    Mayor
Holzberg Drive    Mayor
Jack English Drive   Director of Parks  
Jessie Salafia Drive   Councilman
Larry McHugh Lane   Chamber of Commerce President
Captain Sebastian Pagano, Jr.  Captain Middletown Fire Dept. – died on duty


martel said...

what about historic names like "Red Yellow" - probably the most absurd set of road names in town.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a great idea. We might wait until some of the living have died, and hopefully that is a long way off.

I also appreciate that David names women to be honored. So often the historical and present day contributions of women be it in sport, politics or good work, are overlook, or recognition pales in comparison to accolades given men for their contributions.

Anonymous said...

Great idea! I, too, think we should keep things historic - and name people who have died and indeed provided something worth memorializing to Middletown.

Anonymous said...

"Yellow Yellow" is my favorite.

Anonymous said...

How about names of our cultural heritage that doesn't regurgitate the Memory of States but rather finds meaning in names associated outside the "establishment"? Do you have to be a cop or mayor to get a street name? We might want to dig a little deeper that this, no? I suggest the names of working people; presumed anonymous people; place names; vocation names; etc. Take history back- give it some thought...

Anonymous said...

I don't see the point of Larry McHugh being among these people at all.
maybe some how the public could approve the names, and then they can be picked from a hat should new streets be created, or a list such as how hurricanes are named.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to make it those who did something heroic or charitable only... no politicians

Anonymous said...

I like it! Maybe someday we should name a street David Bauer Drive. Dave gets my vote for being thoughtful and independent-thinking, if not a little kooky sometimes. But that's just another reason to appreciate him.

Joyce Kirkpatrick said...

Just for the record, Ali Wrubel was a man who was born and raised in Middletown. He composed much popular music, the most famous being "Zip a Dee Doo Dah" which was featured in a Disney film in the 1940's. I suspect Ali's mother may have given him a more formal first name, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't Alice.

I thank Councilman Bauer for adding musicians to his list, and for making us all think a bit beyond our habitual views of the world.

Anonymous said...

Gionfrido Lane??? Get out of town!

James Streeto said...

Actually Martel (and Anonymous 1:28 pm), "Red Yellow" and "Yellow Yellow" and the other streets in the Wesleyan Hills Development are sortta historical. That area is one of the very first planned residential communities in the country.

Wesleyan's people did a lot of the planning, I believe (1968)--it was sort of an experiment in planning that really took off. Its been nationally recognized. If you go to the Wesleyan Hills Association Website, you'll see an article on this (which notes many of the homes are being offered "in the low 30s" which tells you just how far back this development goes).

Public Works doesn't try to limit the list. We've been maintaining it (and adding to it) for years--credit should probably be given to former Councilman Gionfriddo, who I believe came up with the idea in the first place. We want to expand it. The developers pick the names--we can't really tell them what to call streets in their own property, but can encourage them to do so. And often they are receptive.

Anonymous said...

how about letting a developer name his own street and get out of the street naming business, while many great people are on the list..who the hell wants to live on Joe Serra Drive or Larry McHugh Lane...STUPID

martel said...

Thanks, Mr. Streeto. I guess since Wesleyan Hills was developed during my lifetime (and on land formerly owned by my great-grandparents for the most part) I have a hard time considering it to be truly "historic".

So who named the streets? Roy G. Biv?

Anonymous said...

Ed McKeon Avenue

Middletown Eye (Ed McKeon) said...

I'd prefer to be a Boulevard or an unimproved road.