MERIDEN — A city native has a new book about the history of Hubbard Park and Walter Hubbard.
Justin Piccirillo compiled over 200 photos of Hubbard and Hubbard Park from 1898 to 2020. “Hubbard Park (Images of America)” tells the story of the creation of the city’s premier park.
“It was great.” Piccirillo said about working on the book. “I jumped right in there and it was a lot of research.”
Piccirillo previously authored a children’s book about Hubbard Park. After getting in contact with Arcadia Publishing, he was inspired to do a photographic book on the same topic.
The book tells the story of Walter Hubbard’s business career, leading him to acquire the land for the West Main Street park. After going on a trip with his nephew, Hubbard comes up with the idea of including a Scottish tower that eventually became Castle Craig.
Chris Bourdon, director of Parks and Recreation, said that he thinks Meriden residents will appreciate Piccirillo’s dedication to research and education.
“It really is a fascinating story,” Bourdon said. “For Justin to bring this to the forefront, I think there is a big desire for Meriden residents to know what happened to the park and how it came to be.”
The Lincoln Middle School art teacher was looking forward to doing an in-person release event and book signing however due to COVID, he said he will probably do a virtual event.
He recently shot a video for the 120th anniversary of Castle Craig with the Meriden Historical Society, which was also promotion for the book and included a question and answer session.
“I want to do another one,” Piccirillo said. “What I really wanted more than anything was to be in in the gazebo in Hubbard Park. Unfortunately with COVID, it has changed the plans.”
“Hubbard Park (Images of America)” will release to the public on Feb. 1 and is available for pre-order on Amazon for $22 and Arcadia’s website for $25.