"As a newcomer to Norwalk, I have found the Chamber to be the best place to meet people. As a City department head, I value the Chamber colleagues I have found in the private sector, as well as members in the non-profit world who share the same customer base as the library. I do my job for the City better because of my involvement with the Chamber—and have fun doing it!"
Norwalk Public Library
The City of Norwalk
Norwalk is a coastal city bounded on the north by New Canaan and Wilton, on the South by Long Island Sound, on the east by Westport & Long Island Sound and on the west by New Canaan and Darien.
With a population of almost 85,000, Norwalk is the sixth largest city in the state of Connecticut. Norwalk was founded in February of 1640 via a purchase by Roger Ludlow of land between the Saugatuck and Norwalk Rivers. Captain Daniel Patrick purchased an additional portion of land soon after, and Norwalk was declared a town by the General Court of Connecticut in 1651. During the Revolutionary War period, Norwalk was burned by a large force of Hessian and British soldiers, leaving only six homes untouched.
After the war, the citizens of Norwalk rebuilt the town. Beginning as a farming community, Norwalk soon developed into a major seaport for the shipping trade, and later became an important manufacturing center for many years, producing clocks, watches, paper, pottery, hardware and hats. The oyster business also boomed, and remains vibrant to this day.
Today, Norwalk boasts an active, progressive and diverse business and corporate community. The pioneering and prestigious Merritt 7 Corporate Park, a cornerstone of Norwalk economic development, now boasts six buildings, and continues to be home to various corporate offices, as well as numerous small and mid-sized businesses.
Building & Land Technology has also made its mark and impact by renovating the former Caldor’s headquarters into prime office space, and building a regional headquarters for Hewitt Associates, a North American headquarters for Diageo, and world headquarters for Xerox Corp. The Spinnaker Companies has also significantly contributed to the local development picture by renovating The Lock Building, creating the successful development, NordenPark, and building, in association with the City of Norwalk, the much-needed Maritime Garage parking facility in South Norwalk. Spinnaker continues its success with the recent development of Maritime Yards, as well as taking a leading role in the development of the 95/7 project.
Other major contributions to Norwalk’s economic development include Stanley M. Seligson Properties’ plans of redevelopment of the West Avenue corridor, and substantial additions of retail to Connecticut Avenue. Plans are also being put forth to revitalize the Wall Street area through various redevelopment and addition of commercial and residential spaces to the area, spearheaded by POKO Partners.
With all of these large projects, Norwalk continues to retain the balance between office development, retail, small business, housing, and open space. Norwalk is the rare community that enjoys a very healthy business presence and climate coupled with a high quality of living.
Norwalk continues to be a strong tourist attraction in Fairfield County and the state of Connecticut. Norwalk’s main attractions include The Maritime Aquarium, the Stepping Stone Museum for Children, the Lockwood Mathews Mansion, historic South Norwalk, Sheffield Island Lighthouse, and the Norwalk Museum.
Norwalk also offers a variety of celebrations and festivals such as the SoNo Arts Festival, the International In-Water Boat Show, and the famous Oyster Festival.
The Norwalk Hospital, which was founded in 1892, is a first-rate health care facility, and the primary medical center servicing the greater Norwalk area. The Norwalk Public Schools is recognized nationally for its innovative and exemplary validated programs responding to the educational needs of over 12,000 students. Norwalk is also fortunate to be home to one of the best and most highly regarded community colleges in the state, Norwalk Community College.
With over 1,400 acres of park and shoreline land available to residents, there is plenty of space for recreation and leisure time in the great outdoors. Norwalk has numerous municipal tennis and basketball courts, soccer and baseball fields, a public golf course, and miles of paths for walking, biking and skiing, as well as a public beach. Calf Pasture and Cranbury are the largest of the city parks.
At the age of 360 years, Norwalk continues to be a thriving economic city, a community of pride and progress, and a great place to live, work and visit.