All I ever wanted for a certain chunk of Bridgeport’s downtown was to see 333 State St. go away. A hulking holdover from misguided urban renewal projects, the empty office building blighted Housatonic Community College’s campus and the spiffy Lafayette Tower across the street. It was gross, and in the way. And Housatonic’s main building appeared to be designed with 333’s future demolition in mind.
Now that I see the results of months and months of steady renovation, I can see how wrong I was. The building is shaping up to be a real asset to the area.
Yes, I’m still worried about parking for residents and its ability to find tenants — there are enough empty storefronts downtown already. It’s behind schedule, too. A year ago, the Post reported new tenants would arrive by spring of this year.
But on pure curb appeal, I have to say I can see the architect’s original vision — a product of its day, but still a solid example of modern design, a sort of glass cube floating over large base, much clear now that its exteriors have been scrubbed and polished. Comparing the two photos, it’s clear workers did more than scrub, but the construction they did also helped make a case for the building’s overall design.
I’m glad I was wrong about the aesthetics. Let’s see if the building fills with paying tenants, and if their cars cause problems for the school, office building, courthouse and, yes, the newspaper that all share that intersection.