City, design firm win Keystone Award for historic walking tour

Published on Tuesday, 23 May 2017 22:06


NEW BRITAIN - The city and a local design and urban planning firm have been recognized for their efforts in developing a historic walking tour that connects notable downtown areas.

Mayor Erin Stewart, Director of Public Works Mark Moriarty and representatives from the TO Design firm were on hand Thursday to accept one of five Keystone Awards from the Connecticut Main Street Center in a ceremony at the state legislative office building.

“This year’s winners represent both catalytic and keystone initiatives that ignite and support significant positive change in Main Street communities,” said CMSC Associate Director Kimberley Parsons-Whitaker. “From engaging the community in playing a proactive role in local economic development and envisioning new life for their historic public places, to the complex redevelopment of historic mills and factories for modern residential and commercial uses, our 2017 award recipients are leaders in re-imagining Main Streets.”

City staff worked with TO Design to develop an interpretive signage program for the downtown area that recognizes New Britain history in a way that puts “feet on the street” in and around downtown. The walking tour comprises three distinct loops around the central business district, all of which begin at Central Park. Each loop illustrates different city history subjects and points of interest.

The walking tour developed five years ago from the Downtown Streetscape Working Group in response to a Preserve America Grant from the National Parks Service. TO developed text and mapping for the routes and participated in public outreach efforts led by the city.

A total of eight awards were bestowed during the CMSC Vibrant Main Streets event, including those recognizing the restoration of a historic ball bearing mill in Farmington and a 14-acre flood control project that created a public park and mixed-use economic development in Meriden.

Christopher Fortier can be reached at 860-801-5063 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, General News, New Britain on Tuesday, 23 May 2017 22:06. Updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2017 22:08.