Danbury, CT- Historic hat making capital of America

I restricted my evaluation to Dwtn Danbury which a linear area center around Main street between South St and Garamella Blvd.

Danbury is nicknamed the “Hat City” as it was the center of the American hat industry during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Its name comes from English city of Danbury in Essex. Danbury was originally settled by colonists in 1685. When it incorporated in 1822 it had  4,000 residents. By 1900 it grew to a sizable city of 20,000 and 30,000 by WWII.

Center City Danbury is basically a main street with several larger public and religious buildings surrounded by some residential streets. Main Street experienced several decades of decline but fortunately its urban form remained mostly in tact. Grassroots efforts are well underway to revitalize Center City Danbury with an organized Downtown Business District, new shops, and public investment. Some new residential has also been constructed since 2000 but not enough to create a vibrant downtown. Other areas Center City could improve include better park and recreation space, bike infrastructure, and more retail and cultural amenities.
Click here to view my Danbury, CT album on Flickr

URBAN STRENTHS:

* Quality sidewalks throughout. Up to date ADA infrastructure is a mixed bag.
* Good local transit along with access to the east coast’s regional lines.
* Great racial diversity and good generational diversity with lots of family households.
* Some blight but crime is below national averages.
* Dwtn cultural amenities are a bit limited but include several diverse restaurants, handful of bars & cafes, the historic Palace Danbury, and a couple historic sites. Ives College is also down the street and brings some good performing arts.
* Retail amenities a public library and post office, good array of boutiques, several ethnic grocerias, and other general retail.
* Several public and catholic elementary schools within are near Center City Danbury. 

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Some jobs in Danbury. Commuting to larger Cities in the Stamford Metro, New Haven, or Hartford are all btwn 45- 1 hr.
* No bike infrastructure. 
* Some economic diversity but median income is on the low side.
* Rental product is pretty limited but average price. For sale product also limited but diverse price ranging from 100K-350K.
* Some park space dwtn including the Danbury City Green (nice pavilion and lawn) and Elmwood Park.
* Street grid is very curvy and easy making it easy to get disoriented in Center City Danbury

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