What’s Doing in Downtown Stamford, Connecticut

By Anna Breuer on 5 November 2020
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Known as Rippowan to the Sinoway Native Americans in the region as well as the very first English explorers, Stamford was settled in 1641 by 29 Puritan families from Wethersfield who bought a tract of land along the Rippowan River from two Sagamore Indian chiefs, borrowing the name from a town on the River Welland in Lincolnshire, England.

By the mid-nineteenth century, Stamford had become a thriving industrial center that manufactured bicycles, chemicals, locks, pianos, typewriters and later on automobiles, all of which were easily transported to New York by water from the city’s Canal Street docks.  Today, the visitor is more likely to find companies in healthcare, financial services, telecommunications, and tourism than anything else.

As decades passed, Stamford had gradually transformed from a genial small town to the largest center of commerce between New York City and Boston.  In the 1960s, 9,400 downtown acres  (3,400 hectares) were razed to make way for office towers with more than eight million square feet (743,224 square meters) of office space, built along Interstate 95 between exits 6 and 9.  Then, in the 2000s, there was another wave of construction and new high-rise buildings, including the 34-story Trump Parc Stamford, were built.

The Rippowan River runs through Downtown Stamford.

Indeed, the city is home to the headquarters of numerous companies: Charter Communications, Conair, Deloitte, General Reinsurance or Gen Re, Octagon Sports, Purdue Pharma, Thomson Reuters, and Pitney Bowes.  In addition, the University of Connecticut has located a major campus here.

Visitors will find examplesof numerous architectural styles in the city, including Art Deco, Late Gothic Revival, Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals, Late Victorian, Commercial Vernacular, and Modern, especially in the Downtown Stamford Historic District, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Several of the city’s most distinctive buildings were designed by the late Jordanian architect Victor Bisharat, which include St. John’s Towers, One Landmark Square, a 22-story structure that held the title of tallest building between New York and Boston between 1973 and 2008, and the Stamford Marriott Hotel and Spa, the largest hotel in Connecticut when it opened in 1986.

Click here to continue to Page 2What to Do and Where to Stay in Stamford

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