Correction: Well, apparently I didn’t go far enough into Hamden Plaza as I’ve been informed there is a plaque near the main buildings. My bad. However, there’s definitely nothing near the physical location, and I still think my car show/trunk-or-treat idea is a good one.
The other day, I’m driving up the Wilbur Cross Parkway, and I got off at Exit 60 in Hamden to run some errands. Maybe it’s because of the season, but suddenly, as I drove up Dixwell Avenue, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia. I thought to myself, “This is where the Ghost Parking Lot is!!” – or, rather, was. And I was completely disappointed when I remembered that it’s not there anymore.
And even moreso because there isn’t anything signifying that it was.
For those who don’t remember, in 1978 the owner of the Hamden Plaza shopping center hosted a peculiar but unique roadside attraction – the Ghost Parking Lot. A bunch of junked cars were buried under asphalt. That’s it. Just because (skip to :37):
Actually, it was really because there was unused space, and it would make people drive in, park, and then hopefully, shop. All while admiring the other weird attractions around Hamden Plaza (remember that maze thing?)
Some called it art. Some called it garbage. It was kinda cool, kinda dumb, but wholly interesting for all the Hamden High kids who would hang out and climb all over the cars. Unfortunately, time, weather, and skateboards caused the asphalt to decay, and weeds to grow, and ultimately the Ghost Parking Lot had to be demolished in 2003, paved over, and now it just sits vacant.
But my question is, why isn’t there a marker of some sort signifying this attraction? Granted, I’m not asking for the government to name it a historic site, and I know that it ultimately became an eyesore because no one maintained it – but it was an iconic location for Hamden. It can’t cost that much to put up a little plaque on the wooden fence area.
Or, here’s another, far more feasible idea – why not have a Halloween Ghost Parking Lot car show? A lot of neighborhoods have “trunk-or-treat” events, and you can do just that – have kids go trick-or-treating to all the classic cars, parked in the same location as the original ghost cars.
Top Image: CT Boom