NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Thomas Appleby, the man credited with an urban renewal program in New Haven that saved Wooster Square and other key neighborhoods, has died in Upstate New York.
Mr. Appleby, 82, was considered New Haven's urban renewal guru in the 1960s when he focused on renewing its neighborhoods rather than clearing them away for new structures, local and state officials said.
Mr. Appleby died July 2 in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., from respiratory failure, a family friend told The
Mr. Appleby was New Haven's development administrator from 1961 to 1965.
After his work in New Haven, he became the first president of the United Nations Development Corporation in New York City and is credited with supervising the redevelopment of several parts of the city.
Joel Cogen, executive director of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, told the New Haven Register that Mr. Appleby provided the transition from the large-scale clearance that characterized much of urban redevelopment in the 1960s to a vision that emphasized renewal.
Wooster Square was one of the first areas of its kind to benefit from that approach, said Cogen, a former colleague of Mr. Appleby's.
``It was all part of the growing sensitivity to the fabric of the existing city," Cogen said, praising Mr. Appleby for having ``great vision" in overseeing the city's Dwight neighborhood, the Green and other key areas.