The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation is currently running a survey designed to locate and inventory all industrial sites in Connecticut. The primary goal of the survey is to identify industrial sites for reuse. I doubt that there is anyone in Connecticut who is not familiar with the classic Ct town: acre, upon acre, of gorgeous red brick mill buildings (often with 14 or 16 foot ceilings and oak or chestnut flooring) standing vacant in the center of nearly every major town. These buildings are elegant monuments; if the financial, regulatory, and environmental hurdles can be overcome they are also incredible spaces for housing, offices, and light industry.
Ironically, the 1936 and 1955 Floods are often seen as having done New Hartford a favor. Most of our brick factory building were demolished following either fire or the Floods; we haven’t been burdened with these great vacant spaces. On the other hand we don’t have the business opportunities they could represent either.
In any event, two late 1800 factory remnants still survive in town, both much shrunken from their height. The old Greenwoods factory, the remaining third of which is now occupied by Hurley Manufacturing, Ovation Guitars, and several small businesses; and the small remnant of the old Chapin factory in Pine Meadow, now occupied by several small businesses, including the Collinsville bakery.
Early 1800’s industry is almost as well represented: the Blacksmith shop and the Gristmill, both in Bakerville date from this period.
Modern industry can be found at the Industrial park (as well as Greenwoods and Chapin) and is generally of the small, high value, specialty type.