100 Waterfront Street, New Haven, CT – Yesterday & Today

Posted on 04. Jul, 2007 by in 1960-1969, 2000-2009, New Haven, Connecticut

Photo Credits: Saab History

This weekend I was passing through Connecticut and managed to stop by SAAB Motors, Inc.’s first official headquarters after moving out of 405 Park Avenue, New York City in late 1960. The 100 Waterfront Street, New Haven Connecticut facility operated between 1961 and 1971 before SAAB Motors, Inc. moved not too far South also off of Interstate-95 to 60 Marsh Hill Road in Orange, Connecticut.

Arriving at 100 Waterfront Street in New Haven this past weekend, I was thoroughly impressed and surprised to see this building still standing strong, a full 36 years after being occupied by SAAB. The condition of the exterior of the building is completely original, although showing signs of normal age from a facility that was built somewhere around the first World War and previously occupied by the New Haven Terminal Company.

During my visit, I had the pleasant opportunity to have had a tour by the current occupants of the facility. This tour included most of the interior and exterior of the building as well as the SAAB lot and the finger pier where the SAAB 95’s & 96’s were originally hoisted off at.

During my visit, there were numerous notables, references and quotes that I am particularly interested in sharing. The first quote came from one of the employees at the facility after I indicated that I was visiting here to gather as much information as possible about SAAB’s history with this particular facility having a lot of historical importance to SAAB’s presence in the United States. The response to this statement that I received was “Will SAAB be coming back to Connecticut? We sure do miss them!”. While I was the not best person to answer a question like that, I think I would be in agreement with many of my peers from a nostalgic standpoint to see a similiar operation again or at least a well-done re-enactment of this facility by a hollywood production company. I am sure that there would be many SAAB 95 & 96 owners in the United States that would be happy to include their vehicle in such a production if it were to happen.

The second individual I met, had actually worked with New Haven Terminal along with SAAB Motors, Inc. in the 1960’s, who just happened to be at the same location at the same time when I was visiting, which is how we ran into one another at the Finger Pier, East of the building. The first piece of information I asked was, “Are there any more SAAB 95’s and 96’s as rumored to be somewhere on the ocean floor still here in the bay that either fell off the pier or from the ship’s crane?”. The response I received was that “This may have been true, but since that time, the bay has been dredged many times and even more recently, so that I am sure of that there are no old SAAB vehicles down there today. However, just South of the parking lot near where the cat tails are today, there were reported to be a number of SAABs in pristine condition to have been found there just after the SAAB facility closed its doors at the end of the decade”. I think that the most memorable quote that I heard from this very helpful man was that “SAAB had one hell of an operation here at that time!”. It is without question that I plan on following up with this individual in the near future in order to find out about any other important material and historical information that should be known about SAAB’s history in this particular area during the 1960’s.

The visit came to an end after returning from the Finger Pier to the front of the facility where I managed to snap some additional photographs before continuing North onto Interstate-91.

Here is a new feature to this website that best captures the photographs that had taken during this recent visit. I plan on utilizing this simple tool for some previous posts as well as all new postings that have more than just a few photographs in order to best capture them and display them in a easy-to-use format. I would be very interested in your comments or questions about any of this facility or SAAB Motors, Inc’s history at this time. If I don’t have the immediate answers to your questions, I will be collectin

I hope you enjoy the summary of the visit and the photographs.

Where: 100 Waterfront Street, New Haven, Connecticut

When: 1961-1971

What: Occupied by SAAB Motors, Inc.


Photo Credit: Google Maps

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  1. Saab History » Saab Advertising “Sven The Saab” - 1964 - September 13, 2007

    […] In 1964, the United States counterpart of SAAB SWEDEN, SAAB Motors, Inc. while located at 100 Waterfront Street in New Haven, Connecticut, created a promotional piece of literature in print titled “Sven The Saab”. […]

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