South End: Introduction

To a greater extent than the other neighborhoods of Waterbury, the South End has been a place of mixed use with factories, housing and commercial activity in close proximity.  Shops, some open 20 hours a day, grew up on street corners throughout the South End, defining cluster neighborhoods of various ethnicity as the factories spread along the southern transportation routes.

 

"It almost reminded you of a street in New York.  It was one store after another, very close.  There was no space in between.  The buildings were connected.... Above the buildings was apartments where people lived.  Behind that there was another apartment (building)."
~ Joseph Graziosa

 

The neighborhood was home to some of the city’s most densely occupied housing and one of the most diverse mixtures of immigrant traditions.  French, Lebanese, Albanian, Portuguese, and Hispanic communities joined the long-term Irish and Italian residents in the South End.

 

"We had a million dollar childhood.  There were thousands of kids.  Most of them in six family blocks.  Mothers were all home.  Very few cars in the street, so we could lay stick ball, basketball, football, whatever we wanted… there were a lot of great people.  Most of them worked in the factories."
~ William Fitzpatrick