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Harry DeBenedet <a href="audio/debenedet.mp3">Listen to the interview with Harry DeBenedet</a>

“It was either that, or face the wrecking ball while we were in the house...”

Interviewed by Kirby Smith on November 20, 2003.

Harry DeBenedet

Harry DeBenedet, the son of Italian immigrants to New Haven, grew up in the Hill neighborhood. DeBenedet remembers his friends as being a diverse group of kids, all of whom felt a strong connection to the neighborhood where they grew up together. When the Hill became a redevelopment area, DeBenedet moved to North Haven. Here he describes how he found it impossible to stay away from his old home.

Vacant lot in the Hill photo
Vacant lot in the Hill neighborhood, 1970. A decade after redevelopment, many condemned lots in the Hill had not been rebuilt. Courtesy NHCHS.
Wrecking ball photo
Demolition of drug store in the Hill neighborhood. Photograph by Richard Balzer, in Street Time (1972).