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May 3, 2022

Most people in the tri-state area have driven the Merritt Parkway with its extraordinary bridges and landscaped vistas.  But can a roadway built in the 1930s during the Great Depression survive today in the 21st century without losing its charm?

In celebration of Historic Preservation Month, we will learn how the Merritt Parkway, the state’s most heavily visited National Register historic district, was saved from modernization and restored to its original design.

In this episode, Asst. Publisher Mary Donohue learns more about the history and preservation of the parkway from her guests Christopher Wigren deputy director of Preservation Connecticut and author of Connecticut Architecture: Stories of 100 Places. He co-wrote the National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Merritt Parkway and serves on the Department of Transportation's Merritt Parkway Advisory Committee. And her second guest, Wes Haynes, the Executive Director of the Merritt Parkway Conservancy, a non-profit organization committed to the preservation, revitalization and stewardship of the Parkway.   

Thanks to Chris for being our guest. You can order his book here:

And thanks to Wes for being our guest. Find out more about the Merritt Parkway Conservancy here:

For more Connecticut Explored stories about the Merritt Parkway,

Photos used with permission from the Merritt Parkway Conservancy.

This episode of Grating the Nutmeg was produced by Mary Donohue and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan, High Wattage Media, LLC at

Donohue has documented the built environment and pop culture for over 30 years She may be reached at