New Haven is Connecticut's second-largest city, following Bridgeport and tied with Hartford. It is situated on Long Island Sound, about 80 miles northeast of New York City and 35 miles southwest of Harford. The Quinnipiac River opens into New Haven Harbor in the southeastern side of the city.
New Haven is famous as the home of Yale University, which is also one of its largest empoyers. Southern Connecticut State University and Albertus Magnus College are also located here. The city remains an industrial center, though its industrial base has declined since World War II.
New Haven was founded by English Puritans in 1638. It was named in 1640 after the English town of Newhaven. The economy was based on port activity in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Industry grew in the 19th century, catalyzed by Eli Whitney's Winchester Arms Company and the coming of the railroad in 1839.
Downtown New Haven centers on the Green, a classic feature of New England town planning. To the east is , lined with most of the city’s commercial high-rises. To the west is Yale University with its Neo-Gothic towers. At the center are three fine churches displaying traditional New England architecture. Several outstanding museums are located on the Yale campus, contributing to the city's rich cultural life.
In the 1960’s, New Haven became a leader of the Urban Renewal movement. Many leading architects created dozens of buildings which transformed the inner city as well as the skyline. While there has been time to assess the failures as well as the successes of these efforts, few American cities of this size possess such a concentration of outstanding late-20th century buildings.