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“It is altogether too easy to forget the New Haven of a decade ago” New Haven’s Mayor Richard C. Lee began as he addressed the members of his Citizens Action Commission in 1965. “Neither our eyes, nor our memories are any longer jolted by the vision of the old produce market that had operated near the Railroad Station for more than half a century. The old market was a tangle of stress, often so congested that normal business was impossible. Most business was conducted from the tailgates of trucks. This was a truck market in every sense of the word, with little tax return to the City and few permanent jobs. The buildings that were used were obsolete and inefficient, relics of a bygone age. Streets were too often littered with refuse and filth and infested with rats and vermin. This was the sight that greeted visitors to New Haven as they left the railroad station. One can hardly imagine a less impressive entrance to a city.” Lee had come before the CAC, a group of New Haven’s business heavyweights that supported his goal to rebuild the city, with a proposal to replace the tangled market with a new development that would be “the showplace of twentieth century architecture.”

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