Stamford’s East Main Street is part of U.S. Route 1. Before I-95 was built in the early 60′s, Route 1 was Connecticut’s most critical highway. Its physical location follows old 18th century mail routes and toll roads. It is still referred to in some communities as “the King’s Highway” or “the Boston Post Road.” Stamford’s growth can be traced by looking at the changes that have occurred along East Main Street. Little more than 100 years ago there was, by comparison to today, almost no development between Elm Street and the Noroton River. However, the east side – Glenbrook Road, Lafayette Street, Crystal Street, the railroad, Myrtle Avenue, Lockwood Avenue, Courtland Avenue, Seaside Avenue and Hamilton Avenue – are easily identifiable on turn of the century maps. Over the next 50 years development spread eastward from the city’s core, infilling and establishing the now familiar local street network and neighborhood development.
Because of its traditional traffic and commercial functions, East Main Street developed as a spine from which several of the city’s neighborhoods spread to the north and south. It has therefore been thought of as a corridor, somewhat distinct from the neighborhoods just a few feet away. But it is more appropriate to think of it as an integral part of several neighborhoods, forming a link between the Belltown, Glenbrook, Springdale, Cove and Shippan areas.
It is, in part, based on the historic position of the East Side and the natural growth from the city center into the surrounding areas, that our community has such potential.