Document 74764

We are happy to introduce this spring 2005 issue of
Manchester Magazine. Our volunteers, writers and
editors were joined by Susan Barlow of the Manchester
Historical Society who contributed articles about the
history of Center Park and about the restoration of the
Soldiers Monument.
Tana Parseliti is back with a restaurant review, this
time of Cheney’s on Main Street. Tana also wrote an
article about Cruisin on Main Street, which will take
place this summer on August 7. Don’t miss it. It has
become one of the biggest events of its kind in the
Thanks to Mark Pellegrini, Doug McDonough,
Scott Sprague, Dede Moore, Barbara Quigley, Chris
Silver, Doreen Petrozza and our Editor/Writer/Publisher
Darcy Arcand for putting this issue together.
We have a busy spring and summer ahead of us here
in Manchester and we’ve taken the opportunity to mention
a few of the things you’ll want to know about listed below.
Access Manchester – The Board of Directors has
approved a move to issue Access Manchester photo ID
cards effective September 1. Cards will be issued at
multiple town locations and will be free for residents
age 20 or younger. The new card is a passport to a
variety of Town services and facilities from the public
library, to indoor and outdoor recreation facilities,
swimming pools and more.
Aquatics Programming – Recreation Department
program enhancements will soon provide increased
water exercise opportunities for adults and seniors.
The number of swimming lessons and the number of
times lessons are given in both the morning and
afternoon will also increase. Look for exciting details
about the Town’s new summer aquatics program offerings in the June 14 edition of the Reminder. For more
information, log on to the Recreation website at or give them a
call at 647-3084.
Table of
Manchester Perspectives
Making a Difference
Broad Street Streetscape Plan
Lutz Children’s Museum
Homework Help
Restoration of Soldiers Monument
One Hundred Years of Center Park
Neighborhood Meetings
Cheney’s Restaurant
Adventure in Australia
Fall Prevention
Manchester Senior Center Team
Manchester New Cruisin’ History
The Marlow Building
Manchester Municipal Telephone Numbers
Assessor, Motor vehicle and
Personal Property
Assessor, Real Estate
Heritage Day – The idea for Heritage Day was taken
from a day set aside by the Cheney Brothers to celebrate
“Homeland Day”, a gala affair recognizing the diverse
ethnic backgrounds of workers who had found their way
into Manchester for more than 50 years to work in the
silk mills. The goal of Heritage Day 2005 is to celebrate
the vitality of our town’s diverse population.
Join us on June 11, from 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM.
Heritage Day will be held at Cheney Hall located at
177 Hartford Road. There will be crafts, ethnic food,
local entertainment, Cheney Homestead, Fire Museum,
Cultural and Historical Exhibits, Keeney Street
Schoolhouse, Historical Museum, bus tours of historical
sites, horse drawn carriage rides, popcorn, moon
bounce, reasonably priced artwork for sale, voter registration, and lots of family fun and community pride!
Building Inspector
Customer Service and Information
Dog Warden
Fire, Non-emergency
General Manager
Heath Department
Human Resources
Library, Mary Cheney
Library, Whiton Branch
Parks and Recreation
Planning and Zoning
Police, Non-Emergency
Registrars of Voters
General Manager Steve Werbner
and Mayor Steve Cassano
Senior Center
Tax Collection
Town Clerk
Water and Sewer Department
Youth Service Bureau
School Bond Referendum – Tuesday,
June 7 from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
We’ve included the upcoming referendum
questions on Page 11. While it is a lot
to read, it is important for all of us to
understand what is being proposed.
Please make every effort to vote on these
Manchester Magazine © 2005, Town of Manchester, CT.
All rights reserved.
Manchester Perspectives:
A Conversation with Earl Yost,
Manchester’s First Sports Historian
by Darcy Arcand
Earl Yost is a recognized expert in
Manchester sports and a retired sports
editor for the Manchester Herald. In
2004, he was appointed as Manchester’s
first official Sports Historian. He writes a
sports column for the Hartford Courant,
which appears the first and third Fridays
of every month.
The following interview was
conducted with Earl Yost at his East
Hartford, Connecticut home during a
major snowstorm.
Mr. Yost, where were you born and
I was born in Manchester on August 14, 1921, the
son of Albert and Ida Lepp Yost. I graduated from
Manchester Trade School with a concentration in
Drafting in 1940. My wife Adelle and I have been
married for 62 years. We have lived in the city of
East Hartford for more than 50 of those 62 years. I
have two sons, Reed, who lives in Maine and
another son, Dean who lives nearby in Ellington,
and two grandchildren.
Tell us more about your writing career!
“I began writing when I was 12 years old and have
never stopped,” he said with a smile. Shortly after
high school graduation he joined the military
service on December 7, 1941. He was a member of
the Army Air Corps during WWII serving both as
a drill sergeant and was involved in recruitment.
“I started working for the Manchester Herald in
1944. I was hired by Thomas Ferguson, Sr., who
quipped during my interview, ‘If you can type, you
can have the job.’ Well, I guess I’m lucky I got that
job because at the time I didn’t even own a typewriter.”
After many years on the job, he added that he’s not
an accomplished typist. He describes his style as the
old-fashioned hunt and peck approach and it has
served him well during the course of a prolific
writing career that now spans six decades.
Mr. Yost has fond memories of working life at
the Herald, “I liked my job so much that I never
needed an alarm clock and I never missed a day of
work or was late for work in 37 years. It was only
in the last three years that I missed about four
days,” he explained.
The only negative experience he reports was
when new owners at the Herald moved in on a
Friday night and proceeded to discard his records
and files.
“They threw out our history,” he said with some
disgust. “And it has had a long-term effect as I
myself sometimes have to check facts with the
Manchester Public Library and other sources.
There’s nothing worse than giving false information
or statistics in my business.”
Despite this obvious setback, Yost was able to
salvage many records and is frequently called upon
by others looking for the facts.
“After a 39 year stint with the Manchester
Herald ended in 1983, I did public relations work
for the Hartford Whalers for 8 years. In 1993, I
joined the staff of the Hartford Courant and now
write a sports column, which appears twice
What sports have you been personally
involved with?
Yost is himself an accomplished athlete who has
played a variety of sports, including basketball, volleyball, tennis, etc. He also told me that he spent
several years as a baseball umpire, even achieving
sought after East Coast Athletic Conference,
(ECAC) status. He enjoyed being an umpire so
much that he said he thinks that, had his sports
writing career not worked out, he would have pursued becoming a professional umpire.
He is tall in stature at 6’ 2” and once made a
living as a semi-pro basketball player with the
Wilmington Delaware Clippers.
According to Mr. Yost, “You always get a bigger
thrill out of playing than writing,” he explained.
Back when he was playing with the Clippers fans
used to line up for hours just waiting to get into a
game. “It was all very exciting and we had a wonderful time.” Still today he says that basketball is his
favorite sport.
He took up tennis during his 50’s and has been
a steady tennis player since and has had a fair
amount of success with tennis tournaments. A
tennis tournament, in fact, was named in his honor
eight years ago, the Earl Yost Tennis Classic. The
Manchester Parks and Recreation Department
sponsors it annually. He still plays tennis regularly
(doubles); and you’ll find him on the court three
times a week from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
continued on page 2
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Manchester Perspectives –
continued from page 1
How, in your opinion, has today’s athletics
scene changed from that of years past?
“I believe that today’s athletes are superior in many
ways. For example, they are much better shooters
than we ever were. Back in the days when I was
playing basketball you might end up with 40 points
in an entire game; today the individual players score
as many points,” he added.
What are your biggest goals?
“Well, I’ve actually had two and have been working
on them for many years; one of my longstanding
projects has been to establish and promote the
Manchester Road Race and the other is the ongoing
support of the Manchester Sportsmen’s Hall of
Fame,” he said.
“I’m thankful that I’ve had both the opportunity
and privilege to promote the Manchester Road
Race for decades. Lucky for me the publishers of
the Manchester Herald, i.e. the Ferguson family,
used to give me as much space as I needed to write
about it because they recognized how important it
was for Manchester,” he explained.
“There were only eight runners in the 1945 race
and I used to promote it simply by writing to every
high school, college and university throughout New
England, New York and New Jersey inviting their
top runners to participate.” It has grown steadily
from that starting point. “It’s an event that makes
Manchester come alive like no other day of the
year,” says Yost with pride. “During the last six
years, more than $100,000 has been given to local
charities. Would you believe that back in 1945 our
biggest expense was the safety pins needed to pin
runner’s numbers on their shirt?” he added.
“My second major goal is the establishment and
ongoing support of the Sportsmen’s Hall of Fame,
which began back in 1980 at the behest of Mayor
Steve Cassano. Today, the organization is going
strong and just celebrated an important silver
anniversary year.”
While conducting this interview Earl Yost gave
me the rare privilege of taking a glimpse at his
home office. Among the many impressive awards,
scrapbooks and sports memorabilia, I noticed a
wonderful caricature of him drawn by Bill
Whittaker, appropriately titled Earl Yost,
“Super Gentleman of Sports.”
Making a Difference:
budgeting and communicating. They allow students
to gain a wider perspective
and learn to appreciate
others’ talents.”
But are clubs really just
fun and games?
“Well,” she says, “our
Chemistry Club competes
in the Chemistry Olympiad at UConn and just won
its fourth straight championship. Our Math Club
won the competition among larger schools in the
Greater Hartford Math League.”
And there is more, she is quick to point out. The
clubs take on school improvement projects. “They
have painted nine student bathrooms so far this year
and they are going to do another round in the
spring,” she says.
Sarah is the first to point out that she is not a
teacher but she tells an interesting story about why
she loves what she does at MHS.
“When I was on campus in college, I’d walk by
the physics building and be thrilled knowing that
there was cool stuff going on in there. I have the same
feeling when I walk down the halls here at
Manchester High. I look into the classrooms and I
know what great things are happening there,” she
said. “I think every teacher in this school has that
same feeling.”
“The staff here is generous with their time and
personal resources because they want every student to
be successful,” she continues. “I wish everyone in
Manchester could come in here and see that.”
As she finishes her comment, her phone rings
again and she provides some information to a parent
about an upcoming activity.
Does she get to talk to parents often, she is asked?
“Yes, I call parents, but not because these is an
issue of some kind. I call them to thank them for letting me work with their kids.”
If you ask a youngster at Manchester High School if
he or she is in a school club or has participated in a
club sponsored event, 80% of them will say yes. That
translates to more than 1,800 students participating
in 47 different clubs. From Astronomy Club to the
Drill Team, Manchester High School kids are busy
doing things outside the classroom that they really
like, and in many ways, are learning from.
At the center of all this club activity is Sarah
Jones, an energy-filled young woman who has
devoted herself to making the clubs successful for the
past seven years. She started as an intern in the
Manchester High School student activity office while
an undergraduate at UConn studying Parks &
Recreational Management. She went on to earn a
Master’s Degree in Experiential Education at
Springfield College and then returned to Manchester
High School as the Director of Student activities.
“I planned to stay for just four years,” Sarah said,
“but somehow, I’m still here after seven.”
Sarah makes it clear that she doesn’t actually
advise all the clubs. Each club has a teacher who acts
as an advisor. Sarah’s job is to make it possible for the
clubs to function. She handles logistics for meetings,
trips and social events, gets space allocated for functions and meetings, coordinates the work of the custodians and even handles security arrangements for
evening events such as dances and concerts.
She also acts as the state’s Executive Director of
Student Councils, an extra job that she says benefits
Manchester High School through the experience she
gains there.
She is by any measure a very busy person. Every
Friday night of the school year, there is a club or athletic event of some kind.
“I attend every event that I can,” she says. “I don’t
have much of a weekend life.”
Does she mind? Her smile answers the question
Sarah is a strong advocate of the clubs at
Manchester High because she sees how students benefit when they participate.
“Clubs are great for socialization,” she said. “They
teach useful skills such as event planning, finance,
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Sarah L. Jones
Sarah Jones can be reached at 647-3350 or
[email protected]
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Broad Street
If plans are realized, Broad Street will be
transformed from a deteriorating, aging commercial strip with lack of a solid identity to
an attractive commercial corridor with granite
curbing and sidewalks, ornamental street
trees, attractive pedestrian crossings, and
landscaped median islands.
This vision for a beautified Broad Street came
out of a conceptual design study commissioned by
the Town Board of Directors. The Town hired BL
Companies to take the master plan recommendations from the Parkade/Broad Street Revitalization
Study, prepared by TPA Design Group in 2003,
and develop conceptual plans and preliminary cost
The master plan goals from the 2003 study
included improving pedestrian access, scale and
safety on the street. By reducing the number of
curb cuts and/or the size of curb cuts on the street,
an improvement will be seen in the way Broad
Street works for vehicles. Uniform design features
on both sides of the entire length of Broad Street
will create a more attractive streetscape and provide
a uniform look and a foundation for new development. Improving the visual appearance and function of Broad Street will enhance economic viability
of the street for new businesses and investors.
The streetscape project will not only beautify
the street but will perform necessary improvements
to an aging road surface and drainage system. It will
“As a lifelong resident of Manchester, as well as
the person who renovated the West Middle
Turnpike section of the Parkade, and as the
person responsible for re-developing the vacant
Broad Street Parkade, I am one hundred percent
in favor of the renovations.
Broad Street is a main commercial thoroughfare
in town and is badly in need of an upgrade. My
25 years of experience in commercial real estate
re-development gives me great confidence that
these improvements will generate significant
commercial interest from tenants and stimulate
capital improvement investments from landlords
on Broad Street.”
-George Lee
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“It is with certainty that the existing drainage
system and pavement in this area will need to
be completed within the next few years. This
proposal will address both these important
infrastructure needs and improve the aesthetics
of the entire Broad Street commercial district.”
- Mark Carlino, Director of Public Works.
become the foundation of an economic revitalization strategy to create a vibrant mixed-used district
and to reuse vacant or under-used properties on the
The concept plan keeps the three lanes that exist
on Broad Street, but these lanes would be slightly
narrowed to gain additional land to put sidewalks,
curbing and landscaping on both sides of the street.
This approach will not compromise safety for
pedestrians or motor vehicles and avoids expensive
land acquisition costs.
Three gateway features would be created: one at
the intersection of Middle Turnpike and Broad
Street, another at the intersection of Center and
Broad Street, and a third at the intersection of
Green Manor Boulevard. Decorative pavers would
delineate crosswalks, and street trees would be
planted along the edge of the right-of-way and in
medians in the street. Ornamental pedestrian street
lighting would add to the overall appeal of the
BL Companies estimates the probable construction costs for the streetscape improvements at $4.4
million. BL Companies also investigated the cost of
placing the overhead utilities underground, in an
attempt to further improve the appearance of the
street. However, that cost alone would be $6.7 million.
At a public information meeting, the plan
received solid support from property owners and
business owners located on Broad Street. Those
attending the meeting had some suggestions for
possible improvements, including suggestions on
relocating some utilities behind buildings or
cleaning up the overhead lines by reducing their
number. Overall, there was enthusiasm for dealing
with the many problem conditions on Broad Street.
The Board of Directors heard a presentation on
the proposed Streetscape Improvement Plan at a
policy breakfast in January 2005, and is now faced
with the question of how to fund this important
capital investment. The Board is considering
whether to add the Broad Street Streetscape
Improvement Plan to a bond referendum in 2005.
This is Not Your Father’s Museum
You will find the Lutz Children's Museum in a cozy
retired schoolhouse at the south end of town; but
don’t let the tranquil setting fool you, it is a busy
and exciting place inside. Many people fondly recall
visits to the museum as a kid, but timidly admit
they haven’t been there in years. Well folks, there is
no time like the present. Just brace yourself for a
roller coaster ride.
The first thing you will find is that the museum
is actually huge. It reaches across Manchester and
beyond. The “museum” can be found in grade
schools teaching hands-on arts, science and living
history programs. A staff of museum educators
takes the museum on the road every day. They
summer arts program, too.
often carry interesting artifacts with them from the
Neighbors have reported seeing lights at all
museum’s huge collection of curiosities. You will
hours of the night. It could just be the staff setting
also find the museum under water, or at least
leading a group of junior biologists into the pond at up for a birthday party, or maybe it is a meeting of
grown-ups: a lecture, or a hobby group. You had
Oak Grove Nature Center. The museum operates
better get some
this nature
rest. Tomorrow
reserve and educould hold
cational center
another install“Many people fondly recall visits to the
in conjunction
ment in the “Live
with the Town
(Lutz) museum as a kid, but timidly
at the Lutz”
of Manchester
and Board of
admit they haven’t been there in years.” Performance
Series or a
Let’s head
Bus Trip.
back inside the
So, time is a wasting. Get the whole family in
primary museum building just a hop, skip and a
the car and head to the Lutz Children's Museum at
jump from downtown Manchester. The youngest
247 South Main Street. The museum is open to the
members of your party will be delighted with the
public six days a week (Tuesday to Friday from 9:00
inviting spaces in which to play and learn. Just wait
AM to 5:00 PM and weekends from noon to 5:00
until they discover the live animal collection. Yep,
PM). Admission is $4 per person and memberships
did we mention that the museum is also a wildlife
are available. Call 643-0949 or visit www.lutzmurehabilitation facility? Don’t miss the after school for additional information.
classes – there are hundreds! Oh, ask about the
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Homework Help for Students
@ the Library
by Douglas McDonough
Manchester is home to a public
library with one of the highest
number of books loaned per year in
the entire state. Despite the focus on
encouraging people to read and
borrow materials, the library hasn’t
forgotten other information-related
needs in the community, including
homework help for students.
While having thousands of books
to help children with homework
assignments, the public library also
offers access to magazine databases
and to the Internet, plus professional
librarians who work to match up the
student with the information that
each needs.
As homework assignments have
evolved, students sometimes need
new methods of completing their work.
Throughout the school year on Thursdays from
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM, special homework help is
provided in the Mary Cheney Library’s Howroyd
Room, where several laptop computers, Internet
access, and the availability of Microsoft Office software allow students to create reports or even
PowerPoint presentations for later use in their
school classroom. Working in this location means
that the full range of the library’s 150,000-plus
volumes of books are nearby as well as high-speed
Internet access and a librarian dedicated just to
homework help, spanning math assignments to
report writing. This service is especially aimed at
students from grades six through 12.
Restoration of Soldiers
Monument Is Complete.
Rededication Ceremony scheduled for June
at that time plans for
4The rededication of the recently restored Soldiers
the rededication cereMonument will be one in a series of activities the
mony began to take
Town has planned for June 4, the first day of Pride
in Manchester Week. Other events planned that
day include Family History Day, a Civil War
Encampment in Center Park, as well as a concert in
the park that evening.
The Soldiers Monument in
The Colonel Albert
Soldiers Monument, located in Center Park at
Center Park before restoration.
Drake Post, Grand
the intersection of Center and Main Streets, is hisArmy of the Republic,
torically significant as a symbol of the respect and
started the campaign for the Town to erect Soldiers
honor paid by the community to its citizens who
Monument, Manchester’s Civil War Monument, in
died in the Civil War. It is artistically significant for
1867. Albert Drake, colonel in the 10th
its rugged stone finish which, combined with the
Connecticut Volunteer Infantry,
raised smooth-finished seals on
died June 5, 1862. The post
the die, makes it an example of
raised several hundred dollars
work seldom found elsewhere.
and the town appropriated
The statue was dedicated on
nobler than devotion to
$3,000. September 17, 1877,
September 17, 1877.
country, to be willing to die the anniversary of the battle of
Until recently the monuif death lies in the path of
Antietam, was selected as the
ment was covered with light
day for dedication.
green corrosion and black polThe dedication festivities
lution deposits. The light green
a parade that began at
corrosion is caused by acid rain
and made its way
and snow dissolving the
The dignitaries
bronze. The black deposits are
from vehicle emissions. If it
Richard D. Hubbard and General Joseph R.
had been left untreated, the corrosion would have
Hawley, who rode in carriages in the parade.
eventually eliminated the details in the statue.
General Hawley made a speech in which he asked
The town received a State grant to cover half of
the crowd “Is there anything higher or nobler than
the cost of restoring the monument. The restoradevotion to country, to be willing to die if death
tion work was completed in November, 2004 and
lies in the path of duty?”
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One Hundred Years of
Center Park
By Susan Barlow, Manchester Historical Society
sturdy walls of Hartford’s Bushnell Park, designed
by Jacob Weidenmann, and of New York’s Central
Park, designed by Calvert Vaux and Hartford-born
Frederick Law Olmsted. Both Weidenmann and
Olmsted reshaped the land in creating their parks.
We don’t have a “before” topographic map of the
Center Park area, so we can’t determine how much
soil was moved to create the slope with the flagpole
on top, or to sculpt other areas of the park, but we
do know that those were common practices in the
great urban park movement, the heyday of which
was from 1890 to 1940.
For our next birthday party, we’ll recognize the
Cheney family’s 1909 donation of the “Dancing
Bear” fountain in Frank Cheney’s memory. This
bronze statue was sculpted by Albert Humphreys.
The fountain’s stone base was designed by Charles
Adams Platt (1861-1933), grandson of George
Wells Cheney, a brother of the silk-mill founders.
Center Park officially celebrates its
100th anniversary this year, but it
can also celebrate in 2009 and
2012. The seven-acre park developed in phases and has several significant dates in its history, so we
can have more than one centennial
This year, we commemorate
May 15, 1905, the date
Manchester voted to authorize
Susan J. Cheney (1827-1914) to
lay out a park, saying she could
A 1909 photograph of the Dancing Bear fountain, from the archives of
“make changes in grade or otherthe Manchester Historical Society.
wise … including laying walks,
placing or removing trees, shrubbery or constructing other improvements
Platt, nationally recognized for his etchings, paintthereon...”
ings, and landscape architecture, also designed New
The Manchester Historical Society will celebrate
York apartment buildings and townhouses, country
this event with a walking tour and program on
houses, public buildings, including the Public
May 15.
Library in Rockville, Connecticut, the Freer Gallery
Other important dates in the Park’s history go
in Washington, D.C., and several Cheney mansions
back to when “Manchester” was still part of East
in Manchester. His design of Center Park’s pavilion
Hartford (Orford Parish). Land was set aside as
and Daughters of the American Revolution fountown property in the northern edge of today’s park,
tain, mirror similar classic work in New York City’s
bordering Center Street.
Bryant Park.
In 1876, this land, known as Monument Park,
Another party awaits us seven years from now,
was chosen for the site of a Civil War monument,
recognizing Susan J. Cheney’s 1912 deeding of
a statue of a young soldier, placed and dedicated
three acres of land to the Town, “for a public park
in 1877.
only.” At the October 7, 1912 Annual Town
In 1896, Frank Cheney (1817-1904), one of the Meeting, a motion was made and voted to “accept
Cheney Brothers who founded the silk mill dynasty, the deed of a gift of the Public Park at the Center,
donated land on Center Street to enlarge the park
offered by Mrs. Susan J. Cheney; also the sum of
and provide a place for the Hall of Records, today’s
…$15,000 Dollars… which sum shall be…
Probate Court. A town report indicates that this
devoted towards the future maintenance of the said
colonial-revival-style building cost $15,000
park.” Chestnut Street, which formerly cut right
including the furniture.
through the park, now ended at Linden Street.
In 1905 when Frank’s widow, Susan, offered
In 1915, the Annual Reports of the Selectmen
more land along with the laying out of the park, she and Town Officers, states that before this 1912 gift,
may have been influenced by the curving walks and
the town had no park, until the Cheney family
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Manchester’s famous Dancing Bears as they appear
today in Center Park.
“conceived, created and presented to the Town the
beautiful tract at the Center as a memorial. A
grateful people appreciate the gift, and no better
testimonial of appreciation can be had than the creation of the smaller parks at Depot Square and at
the Green. From a hideous, desert-like space in the
very center of the North End, a neat and well-kept
beauty spot has sprung, giving notice to all who
pass that way that here pride and enterprise and a
love of the beautiful are found.”
However, Herbert O. Bowers, then
Superintendent of Parks, said that the Park
Department was still a “lusty infant.” The annual
budget for parks was $1,318.91, including the $21
expense: “Horse for mowing lawn.”
In 1937, a library opened in the park, named
after Frank and Susan Cheney’s daughter, philanthropist Mary Cheney (1855-1934), whose portrait
hangs on the north side of the library’s lobby. Two
wings were added to the library in the 1960s, and
some of the lawn was paved over.
There have been other changes over the years,
but the structure of the park is substantially the
same as 1912.
Continual work and attention are required,
however, just to maintain the status quo. Trees die,
weather takes its toll, and accidents happen. In
addition to the refurbishing of statues and monuments, extensive work was performed on the slope
at the south end of the park, and dedicated with a
plaque at the bottom of the stairs to the pavilion:
“The landscaping of this hillside honors the
memory of Mary Olmstead Chapman, 1879-1956,
for many years the chairman of the Park
Commission of Manchester, a skilled gardener and
a lover of beauty in all its forms. – The Manchester
Garden Club.” Some of this project includes work
from a re-landscaping plan developed in 1953 by
James Klar and Associates, a drawing of which is on
file in the archives of the Historical Society.
More work on the pavilion was needed in the
mid-1990s, when inscribed bricks were sold as a
fund-raising project.
Over the years, there have been threats to the
park’s natural beauty, rebuffed by concerned preservationists and by The Friends of Center Park, founded
by Dr. Frederick Spaulding, a Park advocate and
neighbor. The Friends and the Historical Society
support continued preservation of this historic open
space, and continual celebrations of its place as a
green jewel in the center of our town.
On Sunday, May 15, 2005, the Manchester
Historical Society will lead a walking tour
from the former Frank Cheney mansion to
Center Park. The walk begins at 1:00 PM at
20 Hartford Road, and will include commentary on the Cheney building and other
Downtown landmarks. At 2:00 PM, the
walk will reach the Civil War monument,
where there will be a program of history
and commentary about the park, with
music provided by The Universal Voices.
The public is welcome to attend either the
walking tour, or program, or both. These
events are free. In case of rain, the 2:00 PM
program will move to the Salvation Army,
across from the Park, at 661 Main Street.
Neighborhood Meetings
– Manchester’s Board of Directors is interested in hearing residents’ questions and
concerns about our town’s operations, programs and policies.
– On September 28, from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, meet Directors Josh Howroyd
and Geoffrey Naab in the cafeteria at Highland Park Elementary School,
397 Porter Street.
– On November 30, from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, meet Directors Geoffrey Naab and
Kevin Zingler in the cafeteria at Verplanck Elementary School, 126 Olcott Street.
– Your ideas, concerns and comments are important. Please join us.
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623 Main St.
Manchester, CT 06040
(860) 646-5356
By Tana Parseliti,
Downtown Manager
Downtown Manchester Special Services District
When I arrived in Manchester in April of 2000, the
husband and wife team of Scott and Hilary
Stevenson had recently opened their restaurant,
Cheney’s, at 623 Main St. In our family, special
occasions are always celebrated with food. My husband and I decided to mark the occasion of my
new job as Downtown Manager for the Downtown
Manchester Special Services District with a nice
meal. The classic brick exterior of Cheney’s beckoned, promising a warm and cozy interior.
Although I can’t remember exactly what we ate on
our first visit, I know that the quality of the food,
service and atmosphere ensured many return visits.
With its dark wood paneling, brick walls, and
polished wood tables, Cheney’s exemplifies the best
features of an intimate neighborhood restaurant
and pub. The small bar, situated just inside of the
front door, seats twelve. A partial wall separates the
bar area from the dining room, which seats a maximum of 62 and offers both booth and table
Cheney’s menu is a reflection of chef-owners
Hilary and Scott Stevenson’s heritage and culinary
philosophy. Hilary received formal chef ’s training
in her native Ireland. Scott’s background includes
knowledge of bartending gained during a six-year
stint as part time bartender at First & Last in
Hartford, and a natural love of cooking. While not
expansive, Cheney’s menu is well balanced and
reflects a style of cuisine that Hilary refers to as
“contemporary Irish and other items.” Every
offering on the menu is prepared to order and uses
fresh seasonal ingredients.
A recent visit to Cheney’s reacquainted us with
some old favorites and introduced us to some new
ones. We began our meal with one of Cheney’s
imported beers. The waitstaff at Cheney’s knows its
beer and helped us make a selection from an array
of Irish, English, Belgian and local beers, both on
tap and bottled.
From a list of four appetizers and one soup du
jour, we selected the “Irish Toasts” to share.
Although the steamed mussels prepared with garlic
and white wine, and the Shrimp Wraps accented
with spicy peanut dipping sauce looked delicious,
the Irish Toasts sounded so much like an Italian
Bruchetta that we just had to try them. The toasted
Irish Soda Bread topped with fresh chopped tomatoes, a touch of red onion and cheddar cheese was
satisfying and with four slices, more than enough
for two people to share.
Cheney’s menu offers five different salads. My
two favorites are the White Chocolate Salad (fresh
field greens dressed with a citrus vinaigrette, topped
with pecans and sun dried cranberries and finished
with shaved white chocolate) and the Ballycotton
(fresh field greens in a white champagne vinaigrette
topped with warm goat cheese and walnut toasts).
My husband, ever the carnivore, raved about the
Orange and Duck Breast Salad (marinated, pan
seared duck breast served over fresh field greens).
He loved the contrast between the warm duck and
the crisp salad and was delighted that the duck
could be prepared to his liking.
Restaurant bread often does not merit mention
but Cheney’s bread does. The Irish Soda Bread is
moist and crusty with a characteristic baking
soda tang.
Cheney’s eight entrée selections include fish,
chicken, beef, pasta and pork plus a daily vegetarian
and fish special. My husband selected the
Shepherd’s Pie, a hearty winter dish combining
ground beef, and onions and herbs topped with a
piped mashed potato and served with crisp julienne
carrots and zucchini in a light butter sauce.
In my eternal quest to learn to like fish, I
ordered the fish special: Cod with Gorgonzola
Cream Sauce. Baked en casserole, the cod was firm
and white, a nice compliment to the rich
Gorgonzola cream sauce. The serving size was
ample and my husband and I could easily have
taken a part of our entrée’s home to enjoy later.
Cheney’s kitchen prepares three freshly baked
desserts each day. Although our personal favorite,
Chocolate Cream Brulee, was not available on this
recent visit, we savored the Warm Chocolate Tart
recommended by our waitperson. The flourless
chocolate tart formed a moist, dense embrace for
the warm, fudge-like center. Fresh whipped cream
and shaved white chocolate gave a decadent finish
to this dessert that could be satisfactorily shared
by two.
As we savored our after dinner coffee, my husband and I agreed that each time we visit Cheney’s
we are reminded that bigger doesn’t always mean
better and nothing compares to a well-crafted menu
that offers a careful balance of freshly prepared
entrees and specials.
Cheney’s is open Tuesday through
Saturday from 4:30 PM to closing
for dinner only. Reservations are
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Adventure in Australia
By Darcy Arcand
Manchester’s Assistant Recreation Director Chris
Silver just had the best professional experience of
his career and he’s been in the business now for
almost 20 years. He and three other Parks and
Recreation professionals from New England; Nancy
Bove and Maggie Leuggers from Burlington,
Vermont and Dan Landsend from Needham,
Massachusetts, recently visited the State of Victoria,
Australia as part of a group study exchange program. The National Recreation and Parks
Association began sponsoring the program in 2000.
Chris was chosen from a competitive pool of applicants and it is believed that he’s the first
Connecticut Parks and Recreation professional to
receive this honor.
Team New England in Australia. From left, Nancy
Bove, Manchester’s own Chris Silver, Dan Landsend
and Maggie Leuggers.
Australian community centers, aquatics centers,
parks, bike paths, etc. Australia's natural beauty
during its summer season was a tantalizing backdrop.
The journey also opened a few eyes as the team
discovered some important differences between
Australian management practices and ours. One
thing that particularly intrigued them was that the
responsibility of recreational programming is
assigned to local clubs or committees, not a Parks
and Recreation professional, as is the case here in
the states. In Australia, their counterparts are
absorbed in facilities planning, development and
being landlords to the local clubs and committees
Chris Silver and his companions from New England
who are the lessee of recreation sports complexes
came across this group of school children. When he
and facilities.
asked about the big hats the children were wearing,
In general, Silver observed that the Australian
he was reminded that February is the height of
summer in Australia and that the hats protect the
system is more geared towards strategic planning
youngsters from skin problems caused by the
strong sun.
“Our philosophy is much more reactionary here
in the United States; a more proactive mindset
The snow was falling in Connecticut when
could definitely be detected over there,” he said.
“Team New England,” as the foursome dubbed
“The key is to have the plans in place, before the
themselves, landed safely in Melbourne, Australia
funding is even available. I'd like to take some of
on February 5. The group later picked up and travwhat I learned during
eled more than 500
my trip and try to
bone-crunching miles
apply it in my day“I
from the central busito-day job in
ness districts of cities to
their food and observed their
Manchester,” he added.
suburban residences.
Since returning
The trek, which convefrom his Australian
niently coincided with
adventure, Chris has
the Australian summer
been busy as Manchester’s Assistant Recreation
months of November through April, lasted three
Director, creating great programs for this summer
and beyond. He has also created a beautiful DVD
According to Chris, the whirlwind tour was
of many of his trip photos. If you asked him, we’re
hectic, but he was happy to have the experience of
sure he could arrange to show it.
living with different Australian families and individYou can reach Chris at 647-3089 or at
uals during his stay.
[email protected]
“It's a little more difficult, but staying with host
families gave me a good glimpse of real Australian
life. I stayed in their homes, ate their food and
observed their lifestyles. It was real life,” he said.
He explained that sometimes bunking with six
different families was a challenge for him, but he
No trip to
had no real regrets.
Australia would
Team New England’s aim was to have a true
be complete
cross-cultural experience and learn the most they
without a photo
could about Australian Parks and Recreation manlike this and
Chris did not disagement. The tour included close-up views of
appoint us.
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Fall Prevention
Falls can happen to anyone. However, the effects from a fall can be life
altering to a senior. More than a third of people age 65 or older have at
least one fall per year. They are a major cause of death and disability for this
Just as other health problems can be prevented or reduced with information and awareness, so can falls. Research has shown that by maintaining
strength and flexibility through exercise, being aware of side effects of medications and minimizing or eliminating environmental hazards (to name
just a few actions to take), falls can be reduced.
The Manchester Senior Center has partnered with the Connecticut
Collaboration for Fall Prevention to bring a fall prevention initiative to
Manchester. A “kick-off ” event was held March 29 to raise awareness
among the senior population and to rollout the efforts being made to
Senior Center member Toni Sterne
keep our seniors safer.
demonstrates her balance for Nurse
In addition to a number of planned programs concerning this issue,
Barbara Quigley
fall prevention assessment is being offered by appointment with the nurse
at the center.
“This is an opportunity for people to meet with me individually to identify their risk factors and
develop a plan to address them,” said Senior Center nurse Barbara Quigley, RN. “I’m finding that most
people are aware of their risks but need some suggestions on ways to reduce those risks.”
The assessment includes balance testing, blood pressure testing both
lying and standing, medication review as well as a variety of questions
about the person’s home environment.
Toni Sterne, a Senior Center member, recently had an assessment
done and stated “I thought the assessment was very helpful. I believe in
prevention and I thought I was doing everything I could to prevent a fall
but I learned some additional things I could do to be even safer.”
To make an appointment for a fall prevention assessment, call the
Senior Center at 647-3211. Stay healthy and stay safe!
State Senator (and Manchester resident) Mary Ann Handley describes a fall
she took at the state capitol. Senator Handley spoke to an overflow crowd
at the Senior Center’s March 29 presentation on Fall Prevention.
Manchester Matters
Services Fair
Signs Up 1,000th Subscriber
One of the
nagging issues
for service
providers has
been that
some citizens
are not aware
of the many
programs and
offered in Manchester. To help remedy this, there
will be a “Services Fair” at Nathan Hale School,
160 Spruce Street, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM on
Saturday, May 7. The focus will be on health and
safety however, providers will offer information
about a broad range of programs and services and a
limited number of services will actually be offered
on site.
Entertainment in the form of a DJ and performances by groups like Manchester Youth and
Senior Theatre group will take place during the
day. Some groups will also
give demonstrations
such as martial arts.
It promises to be
an exciting event
with lots of
information for
citizens who
to Manchester
subscriber Bob
Morra, a professional appraiser
who works
throughout this
area of
Connecticut and
is First Selectman in the Town of Bolton. Bob,
(pictured here with Customer Service Manager
Doreen Petrozza), was the winner of a prize
package given to the 1,000th subscriber to
Manchester Matters, the Town’s electronic
newsletter. The prize package included a T-shirt
and assorted Manchester memorabilia. Bob says he
appreciates the excellent service given by the
Customer Service and Information Center and is
looking forward to receiving our newsletter.
Sign-up is easy. You can register on-line at or call the Customer
Service and Information Center at 647-5235,
Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00
PM, with your name, address and e-mail information.
The on-line service is designed to keep community residents better informed about the activities
of local government. Everything from election
results to reminders about upcoming special events
and leaf and trash collection will arrive in your
computer’s mailbox.
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Section 1. The sum of $44,305,000 is hereby appropriated to
the 2004-2005 Capital Accounts for the capital purposes consisting
of the expansion and renovation of Bennet and Illing Schools and
the purchase of furniture and equipment for Bowers and Waddell
Schools (the “Project”) as follows:
Bennet School
(Expansion and Renovation, including pool)
Illing School
(Expansion and Renovation)
Bowers and Waddell Schools
(Furniture and Equipment)
$ 6,800,000
$ 425,000
The Project shall include the purchase of furniture and equipment for Bowers and Waddell Schools, including computer equipment, and planning, acquisition and construction of the renovation,
repair, expansion and improvement of Bennet and Illing Schools
including building code and ADA compliance, fire alarms, asbestos
removal, HVAC systems, electrical and wiring, roof system, additional space and space reallocation, and renovations to the Bennet
School swimming pool. The Project shall include architects', engineers' and consultant fees, surveying, easements, testing, equipment,
furniture, appurtenances and improvements related thereto, and debt
administrative, including printing, legal and financing costs, or so
much thereof as may be accomplished within the foregoing appropriation. Said appropriation shall be in addition to all appropriations
for such purposes adopted prior or subsequent to the effective date of
this resolution, unless otherwise provided by the Board of Directors
(“the Board”), but inclusive of state and federal grants in aid thereof.
The Board of Directors is authorized to transfer amounts among
purposes so as to accomplish Project priorities as may be established
from time to time by the Board, and within the foregoing appropriation. The Board and the Board of Education shall approve each
improvement purpose as required in order to apply for and receive
state or federal grants.
Section 2. It is hereby found and determined that the Town
expects to receive an estimated $17,100,000 in State school building
project grants, consisting of the Town’s current reimbursement rate
multiplied by total estimated Project cost, reduced by estimated ineligible expenses. All of the estimated grant actually received shall be
included as part of the $44,305,000 appropriation.
Section 3. Upon approval of the Project and appropriation set
forth in Section 1 at referendum as required by Charter Chapter 5 §
25, $44,305,000 bonds of the Town, or so much thereof as shall be
necessary for such purpose, after taking into account state and federal
grants in aid of the Project, are authorized to be issued to finance
said appropriation. Said bonds shall mature not later than the twentieth year after their issuance date, and may be issued in one or more
series in such amount as shall be determined on behalf of the Board
by any two of the Treasurer, General Manager, and Director of
Finance (the “Town Officials”), provided that the total amount of
bonds to be issued shall not be less than an amount which will provide funds sufficient with other funds available for such purpose to
pay the principal of and the interest on all temporary borrowings in
anticipation of the receipt of the proceeds of said bonds outstanding
at the time of the issuance thereof, and to pay for the administrative,
printing and legal costs of issuing the bonds. The Town may finance
any portion of the appropriation with bonds, notes or other obligations issued to the State of Connecticut, the federal government or
its agencies. Pursuant to Section 7-370 of the Connecticut General
Statutes, except as otherwise provided herein, the Town Officials are
delegated authority to determine the terms, details and particulars of
borrowings authorized by this Resolution.
Section 4. Said bonds shall be sold on behalf of the Board by the
Town Officials in a competitive offering or by negotiation, in their
discretion. If sold in a competitive offering, the bonds shall be sold
upon sealed proposals, or by auction, at not less than par and
accrued interest on the basis of the lowest net or true interest cost to
the Town. A notice of sale or a summary thereof describing the
bonds and setting forth the terms and conditions of the sale shall be
published at least five days in advance of the sale in a recognized
publication carrying municipal bond notices and devoted primarily
to financial news and the subject of state and municipal bonds. If the
bonds are sold by negotiation, the purchase agreement shall be subject to the approval of the Board.
Section 5. The Town Officials are authorized on behalf of the
Board to make temporary borrowings in anticipation of the receipt
of the proceeds of said bonds and to determine the terms, details and
particulars of each said borrowing, including interest rates. They shall
be issued with maturity dates which comply with the provisions of
the General Statutes governing the issuance of such notes, as the
same may be amended from time to time. The net interest cost on
such notes, including renewals thereof, and the expense of preparing,
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issuing and marketing them, to the extent paid from the proceeds of
such renewals or said bonds, shall be included as a cost of the
project. Upon the sale of said bonds the proceeds thereof, to the
extent required, shall be applied forthwith to the payment of the
principal of and the interest on any such temporary borrowings then
outstanding or shall be deposited with a bank or trust company in
trust for such purpose.
Section 6. The bonds and notes herein authorized shall be in the
denomination of $1,000 or a whole multiple thereof, be issued in
bearer form or in fully registered form, be executed in the name and
on behalf of the Town by the manual or facsimile signatures of any
two of the Treasurer, the General Manager and the Chairman of the
Board of Directors, bear the Town seal or a facsimile thereof, be certified by and payable at a bank or trust company designated by said
officials which bank or trust company may be designated the registrar and transfer agent, and be approved as to their legality by Bond
Counsel. Except as otherwise provided, they shall bear such rate or
rates of interest as shall be determined by the Board. The bonds and
notes shall be general obligations of the Town, and each bond and
note shall recite that every requirement of law relating to its issue has
been duly complied with, that it is within every debt and other limit
prescribed by law, and that the full faith and credit of the Town are
pledged to the payment of the principal thereof and the interest
thereon. The aggregate principal amount of the bonds or notes,
annual installments of principal, redemption provisions, if any, the
date, time of issue and sale and other terms, details and particulars of
such bonds and notes, as applicable, shall be determined by the
Board in accordance with the requirements of the General Statutes of
Connecticut, as amended. In connection with the issuance of any
bonds or notes authorized herein, the Town may exercise any power
delegated to municipalities pursuant to Section 7-370b, including
the authority to enter into agreements moderating interest rate fluctuation, provided any such agreement or exercise of authority shall be
approved by the Board.
Section 7. Resolution of Official Intent to Reimburse
Expenditures with Borrowings. The Town of Manchester (the
“Issuer”) hereby expresses its official intent pursuant to §1.150-2 of
the Federal Income Tax Regulations, Title 26 (the “Regulations”), to
reimburse expenditures paid sixty days prior to and after the date of
passage of this resolution in the maximum amount and for the capital project defined in Section 1 with the proceeds of bonds, notes, or
other obligations (“Bonds”) authorized to be issued by the Issuer.
The Bonds shall be issued to reimburse such expenditures not later
than 18 months after the later of the date of the expenditure or the
substantial completion of the project, or such later date the
Regulations may authorize. The Issuer hereby certifies that the intention to reimburse as expressed herein is based upon its reasonable
expectations as of this date. The Director of Finance or his designee
is authorized to pay project expenses in accordance herewith pending
the issuance of reimbursement bonds, and to amend this declaration.
Section 8. The General Manager, or in his absence the Director
of Finance, is hereby authorized, on behalf of the Town of
Manchester, to enter into agreements or otherwise covenant for the
benefit of bondholders to provide information on an annual or other
periodic basis to nationally recognized municipal securities information repositories or state based information repositories (the
“Repositories”) and to provide notices to the Repositories of material
events as enumerated in Securities and Exchange Commission
Exchange Act Rule 15c2-12, as amended, as may be necessary,
appropriate or desirable to effect the sale of the bonds and notes
authorized by this resolution.
Section 9. The Project as adopted by the Board at this meeting
shall be submitted to the electors of the Town of Manchester for
approval or disapproval at a referendum vote to be held on Tuesday,
June 7, 2005, between the hours of 6:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. and
the Warning of said Referendum shall state the question to be voted
upon as follows:
“Shall the resolution entitled, “RESOLUTION APPROPRIATING $44,305,000 TO THE CAPITAL ACCOUNTS OF THE
PURPOSE”, be approved? Yes ___ No ___”
The ballot label for said question will read as follows:
“Shall the $44,305,000 appropriation and bond authorization
(to be financed by an estimated $17,100,000 state grant and the
issuance of an estimated $27,205,000 of town bonds) to renovate
and expand Bennet and Illing Schools and purchase furniture and
equipment for Bowers and Waddell Schools, be approved?
Yes ___ No ___”
Section 10. The Town Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to
prepare pursuant to section 9-369b of the Connecticut General
Statutes explanatory text for the foregoing question. Subject to the
approval of the Town Attorney, the Board further authorizes the
preparation and printing of materials concerning the question
approved above in addition to the explanatory text in accordance
with section 9-369b of the Connecticut General Statutes.
Manchester’s Senior
Center Has Unique
Management Team
suggested some
changes that
really made it
better,” she said.
“And now we
can put Senior
Center programs
in the town’s
brochure!” Kathy exclaims excitedly. One has to
admire the energy that these two have when talking
about their favorite subject.
One of the helpful things that Kathy McGuire
did after joining the Senior Center was to “grade”
the various exercise programs that were being
Manchester’s Senior Center, like those in many
offered. With the help of Barbara Quigley,
other communities, has a large and loyal following.
Traffic in and out of the center is brisk and virtually Manchester’s Public Health Nurse, each exercise
was rated as to its difficulty, with “1” being easy
every room is filled with seniors enjoying the many
and “3” being difficult. Those ratings are now
activities available to them.
beginning to be used when seniors sign up for an
But Manchester is rarely happy when one of its
exercise program. Barbara Quigley is also beginning
services is “just as good” as what other towns offer.
to use the ratings when she sees seniors during her
Manchester likes to be the best and it was that goal
weekly visits to the center.
that led General Manager Steve Werbner and key
Barbara Quigley has also added another dimendepartment heads to do something completely difsion
to the Senior Center that both Kathy and
ferent at the Senior Center: They assigned two
have embraced. Falling is a serious issue for
people with completely different backgrounds to
in terms of serious injury and the fear
manage it.
sometimes occurs even if the senior
Two very imporisn’t hurt during a
tant sets of skills
fall. Working with
come together in
“We understand the many challenges
the Connecticut
this new team:
Collaboration for
people may face as they age and the
Deborah Stein
Fall Prevention,
brings a backkinds
Quigley has plans
ground in social
to put in place a
services, counseling
they may need.”
Fall Prevention
and gerontology
Program that will
and Kathy McGuire
be used in the
adds expertise in
training of fitness
recreation and, in
Senior Center
fact came from Manchester Parks & Recreation.
risk assessAlso, the former Elderly & Family Services has
that will
been merged with the Senior Center to form the
difnew Senior, Adult & Family Services, of which
Debbie is the Director.
“Fall Prevention isn’t going to be a one-time
So, how do a social worker and recreation
program at our Senior Center,” Debbie Stein says,
person work together? Quite well, it seems.
“It’s our vision to have it fully embedded into all of
Kathy McGuire starts off. “Look,” she says,
our activities.”
“Recreation people are good at PR and getting new
Stein collaborated with Senior Center Social
people involved. We know how to create programs
Sue Bernstein to develop another Senior
that are fun and healthy and we are good at educaCenter
“Medicare University.” First held in
tion and recruiting volunteers.”
explained Medicare issues to a
“And at Elderly and Family Services, we know
children of Manchester seniors
lots about community programs for seniors and are
as well as new beneficiaries.
good at making referrals and providing social work
“That kind of education is our responsibility,”
and outreach services,” Debbie said. “We underDebbie
stand the many challenges people may face as they
to say, if you haven’t visited the
age and the kinds of information and support they
Center lately, you might want to
may need.”
going on. If you are a senior,
“We were able to share those skills and our posiyou’ll
that are healthy,
tive attitudes toward our seniors,” Kathy adds. “We
you’re not a senior,
were determined to make this collaboration work.”
drop in anyway. But be aware that if Kathy McGuire
Debbie, who feels that part of her job is
spots you, you just might become another of the
focusing attention on key issues that impact the
center’s corps of dedicated volunteers.
lives of seniors and their families, writes the front
page story for the popular senior newsletter. “Kathy
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Manchester’s New Cruisin’ History
By Tana Parseliti, Downtown Manager
Downtown Manchester Special Services District
Over the past four years Cruisin’ on Main Street
has grown to become one of Manchester’s premier
special events. Cruisin’ on Main Street is a free
cruise and show for antique and classic cars, trucks,
sports cars and street rods 25 years old and older.
This one-day event brings thousands of vintage
vehicles and enthusiastic admirers to the streets of
historic Downtown Manchester.
This year Cruisin’ on Main Street will celebrate
its 5th anniversary. The idea for a Main Street
cruise and show was born in 2001 and quickly
caught on. A generation of Manchester residents
recalls Thursday evenings spent driving the Main
Street “loop” with their best girl by their side.
The Board of Commissioners of the Downtown
Manchester Special Services District adopted the
idea of a Main Street cruise at the urging of commission chair and local businessman Ed Firestone
of Pinewood Furniture, and vintage vehicle “guru”,
Butch Gordon of Manchester Motor Car Co.
Given the unique history and character of Main
Street and the burgeoning interest in vintage vehicles, the commission thought that a Main Street
cruise and show would be a winner.
A core group comprised of representatives of the
Downtown Manchester Special Services District,
Manchester Motor Car Co., the Eastern CT
Chapter of the Over the Hill Gang and Big Hits
102.9DRC FM took on the task of organizing the
event. Local civic organizations were recruited to
act as vendors and downtown businesses provided
prizes for a drawing to add to the fun. With technical support from the Town of Manchester, the
first Cruisin’ on Main Street was held in August of
Cruisin’ organizers had a modest goal of
attracting 200 show cars and several hundred spectators to that first cruise. Over 500 show cars and
several thousand spectators turned out. Since that
beginning, Cruisin’ on Main Street has grown exponentially each year. Cruisin’ on Main Street 2004
drew over 2,000 vintage vehicles and over 20,000
spectators, making it the largest downtown cruise
and show of its kind in the Northeast.
Cruisin’ on Main Street is supported by a
healthy mix of both local and national sponsors,
If there’s a classic Chevy in your background, you can
relive old memories on Sunday, August 7 right on
Main Street
many of whom have sponsored the event since its
beginning. The Cruisin’ Committee is proud to
welcome a consortium of Manchester car dealers as
presenting sponsors of this year’s event. They
include: Carter Chevrolet/Dodge, DeCormier
Nissan, Key Hyundai, Lynch Motors, Manchester
Honda, Schaller Acura, and Suburban
Cruisin’ on Main Street 2005 will be held on
Sunday, August 7 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM with a
rain date of August 14. The Cruisin’ Committee
has been hard at work for months planning every
aspect of the event. This year’s cruise will offer
more music, food, trophies and fun then ever
before. Even the number of port-o-lets has been
With the growth of Cruisin’ on Main Street
comes an increased need for volunteers to help support various aspects of the day and vendors to provide food and refreshments to spectators. Those
interesting in volunteering should call the Special
Services District at (860) 645-2101 for more information.
Folks of all ages who appreciate the beauty,
engineering and romance of our automotive past
should mark their calendars to attend Cruisin’ on
Main Street 2005 and become a part of
Manchester’s new cruisin’ history.
The Marlow Building
In September 2002, in the first issue of Manchester
Magazine, our cover featured the Marlow Building
on Main Street. At that time, Marlow’s was within
weeks of closing and we thought it fitting to
remember this wonderful store, where many said,
“You could find almost anything.”
When it closed, Marlow’s occupied only the
northern half of this historic brownstone building.
Manchester Hardware had very successfully occupied the other half as it does so today.
Today, just 2-1/2 years later, the Marlow space
has come back to life. A program of adaptive reuse
under the direction of Manchester developer John
Lee has produced an almost completely renovated
first floor. New tenants in the space include
Northeast Brokerage, Blitz for Men and the soon to
be completed Landmark Café.
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The upper floors are being renovated into
market rate apartments and a new façade is being
added as part of Manchester’s Façade Improvement
Program that provides building owners with 75%
of the cost of a façade project.
Tana Parseliti, Manager of the Downtown
Manchester Special Services District notes that the
businesses that have located in the Marlow building
will generate additional foot traffic and more
people shopping and dining on Main Street is good
for all of Manchester’s downtown.