Wooster Square Tour
20 Academy Street
Former Italian Consulate, April 2010. Courtesy Hartford Courant.
Italian immigrants flooded the Wooster Square neighborhood in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to take jobs at textile, tool and weapons factories. Due to this influx, an Italian Consulate was needed to assist the immigrants in their assimilation to their new life here in Connecticut. The Consulate, built in 1890, was the center for Italian immigrant life during this period of time. An exterior plaque dates it as a consulate to 1910 and it still flies the Italian flag.
The 5,100 square foot gabled brick house was purchased and renovated in the 1970s by the Honorable John and Beverly Cassidento and includes stained-glass windows, parquet flooring, three fireplaces and frontage on Wooster Square. Beverly later married S. Joseph Carbonella after her husband’s passing. She was a well known figure in the preservation of the Wooster Square area and co-founder of the Cherry Blossom Festival, created to celebrate the planting of 72 Yoshino cherry trees around the square in 1973. The Festival takes place each year in April. The corner of Court and Academy Streets is named “Bev’s Corner” in her honor.
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