FROM EXPLOITATION TO REMEDIATION: A Land Use History of Goodwin College’s River Campus

Steve Armstrong
Anthony Roy

Abstract

"Goodwin College’s River Campus has a history that is tied to the very fabric of Connecticut and American history. This is the story of settlements and communities, agriculture and industry, pollution and promise. Born out of communities that were dependent on the land, East Hartford grew into an industrial center by the twentieth century. During this period the use of the land, and people’s relationships with it, changed with the patterns of American society. Regardless of how those that owned the land intended to use it, the area has always had a strong connection to the River. The land-use history of the River Campus shows that this location and East Hartford as a whole have experienced three major transformations. The first of these transformations was the institution of private land and commercial agriculture. The second transformation was to an industrial use from the early twentieth century to the end of the Cold War. Now, in the early years of the twenty-first century the land is again adapting to the societal changes as it is revitalized into a college campus in the post-industrial era. The various uses of what is known today as Goodwin College’s River Campus were shaped by the national historical context in which they occurred."