CBC Program: Great Hunger Museum


Leonard Wyeth and Sal Filardi

Hamden, CT – Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, the world’s only museum dedicated to Ireland’s Great Hunger of the 1800s, was the site for the December Program for the Connecticut Building Congress. The museum, devoted to the Irish hunger tragedy of the 19th century, was a 2014 Connecticut Building Congress Project Team Award winner. The First Place winner in Small Projects category is a shining example of the spirit of collaboration in the face of difficult conditions.

Bill Hardy, president of FIP Construction, discussed the challenges facing the AEC team. “The biggest challenge was having to reuse the building with no change in footprint.” The team was given an extremely small area to work in due to the close proximity of neighboring properties.

Sal Filardi, vice president, facilities and capital planning of Quinnipiac University, spoke of the complete support from the University’s president, John Lahey, who conceived the idea when he served as grand marshal for St. Patrick’s Parade in New York City in 1994.

Leonard Wyeth, AIA, principal at Wyeth Architects, agreed. The cooperation between the owners and AEC professionals on the project was critical. Wyeth helped to bring the tragedy into perspective, noting that 1.5 million Irish starved and another 2 million left Ireland from 1845 through 1852, resulting in a population reduction of 50% in a seven-year period.

The discussion was planned and moderated by Marty Onorato, Robinson & Cole, who serves on the CBC Programs Committee.


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