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Fifty Years Later Leo A. Milewski Park, Roundabout Rededicated

Editor | New Britain City Journal
Editor | New Britain City Journal
Mayor Erin E. Stewart cuts the ribbon on the completion of Phase 4 of the “Complete Street Masterplan.”
Editor | New Britain City Journal
Part of the memorial and roundabout.
Editor | New Britain City Journal
Leo Milewski’s family looks at the memorial to their father and grandfather.

Mayor Erin Stewart unveiled a new roundabout and rededicated the Leo Milewski Park on Columbus Blvd. on Oct. 29, which signaled the end of the fourth phase of the “Complete Street Masterplan.”

“I’m so happy to rededicate the park and make our downtown more accessible and at the same time improve the quality of life for our residents with the addition of the roundabout,” Stewart said. “With the slight relocation of the sculpture and the street improvements, this will improve the quality of life for our residents. We now have a clear path from Main Street to Columbus Blvd. all the way to the Harry
Truman Overpass.”

Mary Ann Fagan’s father Leo Milewski passed away in his sleep of a heart attack on Jan.16, 1969. He was just 58.

In his adult life, Milewski made huge contributions to the City of New Britain and the Mayor at the time, Paul Manafort Sr. wanted to honor his work.

Manafort, after all, had asked Milewski to be the first Economic Development Director in town and he also asked him to be the redevelopment commissioner, all as a volunteer on top of his full-time job at Landers, Frary & Clark. He did all the work for the city as a volunteer and came home around midnight most nights.

So, on Oct. 16, 1969 artist Olaf Zeidenberg’s sculpture was unveiled on Columbus Blvd. as a memorial to Milewski. A plaque on a large stone had Milewski’s name on it and
some of his accomplishments with the city.

Fagan’s sons John, who was 5 and Chris, who was 3, were able to flip the switch for the lights in the
sculpture to go on and the fountain to start to flow.

“When I heard they might be taking down the sculpture I was concerned,” Fagan said. “I didn’t know what they had planned but I was interested to see. I was then contacted by Olaf Zeidenberg ‘s daughter Dagmara and together we watched the city engineers break down the sculpture and refurbish it. When they put it back, Dagmara knew where every bracket went and wasn’t afraid to tell them,”

Fagan was ecstatic that they kept alive her father’s memory.

“I thanked the Mayor, who is just amazing,” Fagan said. “It is a wonderful tribute to my dad. I thanked the engineer and Dagmara. My dad died unexpectedly but he saw the benefits of doing business in New Britain and I think the Mayor sees that value today.

My dad would have been very proud of this and his affection for the city was without limits.”

Stewart told the crowd at the rededication that this was another major step in revitalizing downtown.

“This is part of a much larger master plan,” Stewart said. “Our award-winning ‘Complete Street Masterplan’ will see completion of
the Beehive Bridge, which will give us better access to ‘Little Poland’ and you can already see work being done on Columbus Commons, which will be a mixed-use development.
We are headed for a brighter,
vibrant downtown.”