More from my colleagues Bernie Davidow and Rich Messina on plans to resurrect Waterbury’s Holy Land U.S.A. from ruins:
Atop the once and future Holy Land U.S.A., city native Geraldo C. Reyes Jr. surveys the religious landscape in the distance.
“There’s St. Patrick’s over there,” he says, pointing to the city streets below. He ticks off one Christian church after another, some only blocks apart. “St. Anne’s right here, Sacred Heart right over here. … St. Cecilia’s over there, Immaculate Conception’s over there, Our Lady of Lourdes.”
The city takes pride in its churches, originally populated by wave after wave of immigrants who came to make clocks and buttons and work in its once-great brass factories.
But mention Waterbury to most outsiders, and the one religious structure they can identify is an illuminated, 52-foot-tall cross that for decades towered over the city from where Reyes was standing — a landmark that identified Waterbury for those who knew little else about it.
Read Bernie’s entire story and see a gallery of Rich’s photos here.