In the 1960s, the old center of Moodus was shopworn, had limited parking, and sometimes smelled of sewage. A town committee was formed, consultants were hired and a plan was hatched to secure "free" federal urban renewal funds for redevelopment.
A public relations campaign to sell the project to residents was begun. It was a successful campaign.
In 1967, East Haddam residents voted 2-1 for a "modern" village to replace what they had.
What happened next was a disaster. Despite the predictions of economic progress, the project ended up destroying the heart of the Village of Moodus.
Town resident Rudolph Freund shot this footage of a part of Moodus Center in the early 1950s.
Residents lost the historic village and gained an ugly and small aluminum shopping plaza. How the town came to this decision is the subject of this award-winning newspaper series first published in 1982 in the Lyme Gazette. The series was updated and published in 2016 in the East Haddam News.
Moodus Center circa 1938