Once the 'hat making' capital of the United States, the southwestern Connecticut city of Danbury has remade itself into a thriving, economically diverse city. Its population of almost 78,000 enjoys living in a city that continually ranks as one of the safest in Connecticut. Located in the Housatonic Valley region of the state, Danbury is the home of Western Connecticut State University.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Danbury boasts a low unemployment rate and a number of industries in Danbury are flourishing including manufacturing, services, retail, trade, health care, real estate, insurance and finance.
The Danbury Hospital has a staff of 3,300 making it one of the largest employers in the city. Ethan Allen Interiors Inc., has its headquarters in Danbury and employs 618 people in Connecticut, with 6,400 employees worldwide.
Praxair Inc., is located in Danbury and is a Fortune 500 company that manufactures and sells industrial gas. With 550 employees in Connecticut, the company is actively earning accolades for its excellent products and environmental safety. Originally specializing in cryogenically separated oxygen, the company produces various products including nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, helium, argon, and technology to help prevent companies from wasting energy.
Scholastic Library Publishing Inc., has its headquarters in Danbury, where it publishes educational material including the Encyclopedia Americana, a Spanish language encyclopedia, and the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia.
The Danbury Fair Mall is the largest shopping mall in Connecticut.
- Bear Mountain Reservation has a number of excellent hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts including beautiful lakeside views. Trails cut past the shores of Candlewood Lake. The reservation is located right next to the Danbury Federal Correctional Institute, a low-security women's prison.
- Old Quarry Nature Center serves Danbury and the surrounding areas as a haven of outdoor adventure and a resource for indoor/outdoor science education. The 80 acres of land feature a number of trails to explore. Center staff members also offer guided tours. The two abandoned limestone quarries that give the center its name were last used in 1912. The Girls and Boys Scouts also built an outdoor fireplace that is a popular summertime meeting place. The center also has a field house with a science lab, a library, and a collection of rocks and minerals available for study.
- Danbury Railroad Museum celebrates railroad history and houses many antique railroad cars. It is staffed completely by volunteers.
- John Rider House is the historic home of Revolutionary War Captain John Rider. Recently renovated, it is on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Tarrywile Park and Mansion was purchased by the City of Danbury in 1985 and converted into a community center and recreational park. The park is used for hiking, environmental education, forestry, and wildlife management, while focusing on the conservation of the protected land. The park is the site of many community events such as Winterfest, Summerfest, cross-country running meets, the Haunted Hayride, guided hikes, and National Trail Days. The 23-room Victorian mansion is used for community events and rented out for social engagements, school functions, and business gatherings. A children's garden outside the mansion was designed with the theme of Maurice Sendak's beloved story, Where the Wild Things Are.
- Danbury Fair Mall was built on the grounds where the Danbury Fair used to be held. It is now home to over 200 retailers including Macy's, JC Penny, and Lord & Taylor.
- The 411th Civil Affairs Battalion specializes in providing reconstruction and civil support in military operations. The battalion has been instrumental in organizing, shipping, and providing aid in recent years to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Western Connecticut State University is a public institution serving almost 6,000 undergraduate, graduate, and part time students. The school offers Bachelor's degrees in Social Work, Business, Music, Nursing, and Education. The Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies, specializing in programs focused on conservation and the environment, is also a part of Western Connecticut State University. The college competes in a number of Division III athletics including soccer, football, and baseball. The college has two observatories in the city - one for student and public viewing and the other for graduate and faculty studies. Western Connecticut State is also the only university in Connecticut with a Meteorology program.
- Danbury Westerners (Semi-Pro Baseball)
- Danbury Mad Hatters (Semi-Pro Hockey)
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