Traffic Control Tower – Meriden, Connecticut - Atlas Obscura

Traffic Control Tower

A human attendant once directed car traffic from this structure before automated stoplights. 


In the early days of the automobile, before automated streetlights were common, traffic at intersections was directed by an attendant in a control tower. This attendant would manually switch the familiar red, yellow, and green lights in a regulated pattern. 

In 1925, one such tower was installed at a high traffic crossroads in Meriden, Connecticut. The distinctive structure quickly became a popular landmark and often appeared on postcards from the city. The Meriden Daily News Journal even ran a news column in its paper titled The Traffic Tower in honor of the structure. During World War II, soldiers from Meriden stationed overseas would receive regular bulletins that featured a photo of the tower on the front page as a reminder of their town.

Though the traffic control tower was finally retired in 1967 and replaced with an automated light, fond memories remained. In 1975, the tower was purchased by a local company and relocated to a new spot a few blocks away from its original location. In 2019, the tower was restored to its former glory  

Know Before You Go

The tower can be found at the intersection of Perkins St. and Colony St. next to the railroad tracks.

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