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Fill The Spot: 21 Union Street

A hair salon moved out of this spot recently; what should take its place?

A quick look into the history of 21 Union Street reveals a couple of very different functions: hairstyling and a newspaper that once employed playwright Eugene O'Neill.

According to the "electronic Eugene O'Neill archive" eOneill.com, the address held New London's morning paper, the New London Telegraph, when Eugene O'Neill was living in the city. O'Neill came on when he was in his early 20s at the urging of some family members.

More recently, it held the salon . This has pulled up the stakes and moved elsewhere, the letters gone from the window and a simple "Closed" sign hanging in the window.

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Union Street has some challenges for potential businesses, especially walk-ins. There's no on-street parking in this area, so any visitors have to park on State Street or another nearby site and walk over. Fran's isn't the first place to leave the block, as opted to relocate to a Broad Street location. Yet 21 Union Street is also right next door to the and the , both of which frequently have large crowds for art openings, fundraisers, and other events.

What do you think should go in at this address? Can this downtown side street work for walk-in businesses, or would something else benefit more?

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Daniella Ruiz May 13, 2012 at 07:32 PM
the biggest challenge for these 'off street' business's is the emphasis noted on the so called 'need for ease of parking'. i do think that the municipal lot is but .07 Miles away / less than 400 feet distant! are so many people in this city that crippled that they can't walk that far? do we need to hold peoples hands and lead them, step by step? perhaps the city should offer loaner electric wheelchairs at every parking meter or lot so people don't have to soil their soles? come on! if a vibrant city is EVER to reappear in this area, people need to get up offa their duffs and walk! its a great town, show it off!
Thomas Cornick May 13, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Parking is a minor issue regarding this structure. The current landlord's maintenance and repair practices should be enough to send anyone running.
Alan Green, Jr. May 14, 2012 at 01:53 AM
I'd love to see artists GIVEN this space as part of a tax abatement for the owner... this area is so rich with clandestine art operations, it would be great to have more spaces that artists could 'squat' in. This is the heartland of 'cool' in New London. Can't we support it and foster it somehow? Maybe some ambitious hipster might put a giant tin cup out front with a big hand written sign: 'Will pain for rent'? I'd throw a few bucks in the cup!
William Desmond May 14, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Alan, you do not understand, we have enough tax Give-A-Ways in New London already. These ideas will only make our tax & revenue problems worse.

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