|Whale Oil Row|
Back to New London. As many of you will remember, in the early years of this century, the city of New London claimed by eminent domain properties on the Thames River waterfront comprising the Fort Trumbull neighborhood. The rationale: construction of a mixed residential, office, and retail complex. New London argued that it was in the city's economic interest to evict the working class families living there, many for several generations, and allow private developers to build the complex. Some of the property owners held out, and the case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. In 2005, in Kelo v. City of New London, the Court ruled 5-4 that "the city's disposition of petitioners' property qualifies as a 'public use' within the meaning of the Takings Clause." This was a real precedent setter, since eminent domain had never before been used to take private property for private development purposes.
|Fort Trumbull neighborhood today (from an Amtrak train)|