Overall Community Day

A daylighting project that transformed a city

A century-old problem

For decades upon decades the City of Meriden faced repeated and significant flooding throughout its downtown area. The catastrophic floods not only caused financial issues for the city, businesses, and residents, it created a downtown that struggled to be economically viable. In the 1990s, the city decided to put forth a new revitalization effort, but they knew they needed a plan. Milone & MacBroom was retained in 1996 to work with city officials to create a flood control plan for the entire 15-square-mile Harbor Brook watershed.  Numerous flood control strategies were considered to alleviate the stress of flooding for the city as a whole and specifically for the downtown area. 

A collaboration with the city

As the plans progressed through the concept and design stages, our team began to provide creative solutions and to look for areas of opportunity for the city to alleviate flooding on Harbor Brook. The HUB, an abandoned former mall with acres of parking, built atop a brownfield in the heart of the city, fit the bill. The team worked collaboratively to work through the complexities of design and permitting of the 15 Acre project.  The result was plan that created a new city green that retains over 60 acre feet of flood water.  The project has been described as one of the most complex regulatory permits ever approved through the State of Connecticut. 

The project's impact

Once constructed, the project has become the catalyst for the revitalization of the City of Meriden.  The community is coming together to enjoy this public space, and the expansive “Silver City Bridge” now connects pedestrians in the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods to the brand new intermodal transportation center. The accessibility of the green to downtown Meriden and its proximity to the train station make it an ideal location for existing and new businesses to grow and thrive. Holding true to the original vision, the completed Meriden Green is the crown jewel of the city’s current and ongoing flood control and revitalization efforts. The finished park is a prime example of what is possible when a truly collaborative design team matches the vision and commitment of a strong local proponent.

The Meriden Green project enabled present and future economic development efforts that combined will result in an investment of over $250 million in the City’s downtown area in new housing and commercial development.
Larry Kendzior, Former City Manager