“inspired by an ancient fortification in Craigelachie, Scotland”
Castle Craig Tower is a stone observation tower atop East Peak in Meriden. The tower, which was dedicated on October 29, 1900, was given to the people of Meriden by Walter Hubbard, President of the Bradley & Hubbard Manufacturing Company, and one of the most generous of the city's philanthropic citizens. The round stone observation tower of native trap rock was built by local stone masons in 1900. It stands on East Peak with an elevation of 976 feet. The tower is 32 feet in height and 58 feet in circumference. An interior stairway provides access to the observation deck. On a clear day, an observer may see the Sleeping Giant Mountain Range to the south, and catch a glimpse of New Haven, the glistening water of Long Island Sound, and even the dim profile of Long Island. To the north, the foot hills of the Berkshires in Southern Massachusetts, vicinity of Mt. Tom, are discernible. The inspiration for the tower’s design has been disputed for years. Some say Walter Hubbard, a world traveler, was inspired by a Norman French Tower; others by a 12th Century Turkish Tower on the Danube; still others maintain that it was patterned upon an ancient fortification in Craigelachie, Scotland. Hubbard Park - The tower is part of the present 1,800 acre park which was donated by Mr. Hubbard and bears his name. Some 51 parcels of land, including 150 acres formerly known as the Hubbard Park State Park deeded by the State of Connecticut to the City, comprise the park. The tract was laid out originally by Mr. Hubbard in consultation with the Olmsted Brothers, sons of Frederick Law Olmsted, America’s foremost landscape architect. A great deal of effort has been taken to preserve and accentuate the historic nature of his park. The skate house, as it is known today, was formerly a refreshment and lunch facility. The James J. Barry Bandshell built in 1956 and named for Barry, a former Park Superintendent, is the site of numerous concerts and outdoor festivals; in 1990 Roberta Peters was a guest artist.
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