East Norwalk

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East Norwalk
Neighborhood
Sign on East Avenue
Sign on East Avenue
Country  United States
State  Connecticut
County Fairfield
City Norwalk
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5:00)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4:00)
Area code(s) 203

East Norwalk is a neighborhood located in Norwalk, Connecticut.

The neighborhood is a culturally diverse, mostly middle-class section of the city, inhabited by many different ethnicities such as Greeks, Italians, Hispanics, African Americans, and longtime "Connecticut Yankee" residents. Many long-time residents are beginning to move out due to gentrification and are being replaced by wealthier residents.

Boundaries[edit]

The boundaries of the neighborhood are Interstate 95 to the north, the Westport town limits to the east, the Norwalk River to the west, and Long Island Sound to the south.

Neighborhood Association[edit]

Laurel Lindstrom, the president of the Eastern Norwalk Neighborhood Association (ENNA), has been elected as a city representative for East Norwalk, has been a resident of Norwalk for 15 years and made the United States her home a quarter century ago. The ENNA has members from within traditional East Norwalk that comprises the third taxing district and also has members all the way up to the Post Road. The ENNA extended its boundaries "from the sea to the green" to allow these residents that do not have their own neighborhood association to participate in neighborhood forums and activities organized by the ENNA.[1] Norwalk's historic town green is maintained by Central Norwalk's first taxing district and is north of I-95.

History[edit]

The Founders Stone Monument in the East Norwalk Historical Cemetery
Roger Ludlow Monument

East Norwalk is the location of Norwalk's original colonial settlements. The land was purchased from the Norwalke Indians by Roger Ludlow in 1640. Historical markers in the neighborhood include the Founder's Stone Monument of 1649, and the Roger Ludlow Monument. Other local tributes to Ludlow include the Ludlow Manor street, the former Roger Ludlow school (which is now an apartment building), and the Ludlow shopping center just south of the train station.

British forces under General William Tryon arrived on July 10, 1779 at Calf Pasture Beach and almost completely destroyed Norwalk by fire; only six houses were spared. A portion of the Thomas Fitch (governor) house was left standing and in the 1950s it was moved to the Mill Hill Historic Park to make way for the construction of the Connecticut turnpike (I-95).

In 1913, East Norwalk combined with the Town of Norwalk, the City (formerly Borough) of Norwalk, and the city of South Norwalk into the present day City of Norwalk. East Norwalk became the new city's third taxing district.

Local institutions[edit]

One prominent local institution in the neighborhood is Overton's, a 60-year-old "landmark food stand" that closes down in the colder months. The owner also owns the neighboring Harbor Lights waterfront restaurant and the East Side cafe. The food stand was founded by Willis Overton in 1948 and sold to the Gavrielidis family in 2000 because the Gavrielidises were the only potential buyers who promised not to tear it down, according to Willis' son, Neil.[2]

Marvin Elementary School is located on Calf Pasture Beach Road.

Gibbs College was located on Norden Place. The Dooney & Bourke headquarters are on Regent Street just off of Strawberry Hill Avenue.

Parks[edit]

The neighborhood is the location of Calf Pasture Beach, Shady Beach, Veterans Memorial Park, Ludlow Park, Taylor Farm, Liberty Square, and the East Norwalk Historical Cemetery (burial location of Governor Thomas Fitch, IV, and Thomas Fitch, V, the original "Yankee Doodle.").

Veterans Memorial Park[edit]

Veterans Memorial Park, often called "Veterans Park" (there is no apostrophe in the name) is a large open space on a peninsula which sticks out into Norwalk Harbor south of Fort Point Street and Seaview Avenue just to the east of South Norwalk. It contains baseball fields (last refurbished in the 1980s), a boat launch and a large open field. The Norwalk Oyster Festival is held on the site each year.

The park sits on a former dump but has never been environmentally tested, and no one knows what chemicals or substances have been leaching or oozing out of the park. Dumping continued until the 1960s. In nearby Stamford, Connecticut a similar dump, which operated until the 1970s, was also closed and turned into a park (Koskiuszko Park), but when contaminated soil was discovered in 2002, the park was closed and not opened again until the spring of 2007 after more than $1 million was spent on remediation work. Unlike the Stamford dump, Veterans Park was created before the state Department of Environmental Protection had a permitting process for old dumps, so DEP jurisdiction is unclear.[3]

Culture and fairs[edit]

East Norwalk is home to the annual Norwalk Oyster Festival, located in Veterans Memorial Park, the annual 4th of July fireworks display at Calf Pasture Beach, and the Memorial Day parade, which begins in Veterans Park.

Transportation[edit]

East Norwalk is located immediately south of Exit 16 of the Connecticut Turnpike. The neighborhood is served by the East Norwalk Metro North station and the Norwalk Wheels Bus Line #8.

Emergency services[edit]

The city of Norwalk Fire Department currently operates 1 Fire Station in East Norwalk: Fire Station # 3 is located at 56 Van Zant St. Fire Station # 3 is formerly the home of the Mayflower Volunteer Hook & Ladder Co. 1, one of the city's original volunteer fire companies.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "ENNA Home". Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  2. ^ Nickerson, John and Lucas, Jonathan, "Spring is on the menu: Overton's regulars flock to landmark food stand", news article in The Advocate of Stamford, Norwalk edition, page 1, March 15, 2007
  3. ^ Stelloh, Tim, "Field study: Opinions divided on effect of former dump on parks project", news article in The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, Norwalk edition, May 6, 2007, pp 1, A4

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°06′11″N 73°24′14″W / 41.103°N 73.404°W / 41.103; -73.404 (East Norwalk)