Downtown New Haven

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Coordinates: 41°18′25″N 72°55′37″W / 41.307°N 72.927°W / 41.307; -72.927

Office buildings visible from the New Haven Green

Downtown New Haven is the neighborhood located in the heart of the city of New Haven, Connecticut. It is made up of the original nine squares laid out in 1638 to form New Haven, including the New Haven Green, and the immediate surrounding central business district, as well as a significant portion of the Yale University campus. The area includes many restaurants, cafes, theaters and stores. Downtown is bordered by Wooster Square to the east, Long Wharf to the southeast, the Hill neighborhood to the south, the Dwight neighborhood to the west, the Dixwell neighborhood to the northwest, the Prospect Hill area to the north, and East Rock to the northeast.

Downtown New Haven is one of the most residential downtown areas in the United States, with nearly 7,000 inhabitants.[1] The expansion of housing options in recent years has helped support downtown businesses and has brought about a surge in economic activity.[2] Secondary streets and areas at the periphery of the neighborhood that once contained vacant storefronts are now almost entirely leased to restaurants and retailers, and the office vacancy rate has seen a drastic improvement as well.

Commercial centers[edit]

  • Chapel Street area - a popular strip of restaurants, boutiques and bars located across from the Old Campus of Yale University. Includes such historic establishments as Union League Cafe and the c. 1934 Owl Shop cigar lounge. The Anchor Bar, notable for its Art Moderne style and popularity with playwright Thornton Wilder, operated on College Street from the 1940s until 2015. Notable buildings include the Hotel Taft and the Chapel Square Mall. The Yale University Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art are both located here.
  • Broadway area - commercial center that has since the 1990s been bought piece-by-piece by Yale University and redeveloped into The Shops at Yale shopping district. Was previously notable as home of the Yankee Doodle Coffee Shop and Cutlers Records
  • Ninth Square district - the blocks southeast of the New Haven Green, which have experienced a resurgence as a nightlife and arts district since the first decade of the 21st century.
  • Whitney Avenue corridor - area north of the New Haven Green with shops and eateries that are primarily owned by Yale University and cater to its student population. This area serves as a center for New Haven's East Asian community, with several restaurants and grocery stores catering to this population and an annual Chinese New Year festival parading up Whitney Avenue.

Notable sites[edit]

Notable sites of the past[edit]

The historic New Haven Green is the central square of the city's plan, created in 1638. The Green remains preserved today as the heart of the first planned city in America, and the downtown gracefully wraps around it.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ New Haven Comprehensive Plan
  2. ^ Living In: Downtown New Haven; An Infusion of Energy in Yale's Backyard, Eleanor Charles, The New York Times, April 3, 2005