DISCOVER new haven’s “lost” TREASURES

All in a day’s work: Robert S. Greenberg unearths a time capsule in New Haven, CT.

All in a day’s work: Robert S. Greenberg unearths a time capsule in New Haven, CT.

The Lincoln Tree Time Capsule

For 20 years Robert S. Greenberg has collected and assembled historical New Haven antiques and artifacts for an upcoming 2020 installation about the amazing stories from New Haven. Many articles have been written supporting his vast preservation of these rare historical artifacts and investigation of their important stories. This large assemblage of artifacts will become the cornerstone for future educational formats including films, books and artwork to help enlighten students and the public about the importance of New Haven CT to the building of our American economy, culture and innovation.

Greenberg has been featured in articles in The New York Times, New York Daily News, Artscope, The New Haven Independent , The Daily Nutmeg, The New Haven Register, Yale Daily News, Artspace, Newport Daily News, Newport This Week, Sun Valley Times, NPR News, Network Connecticut, WTNH 8, WNBC 30, WFSB 3 amongst many others. 


Billed as “an adventure into the Elm City’s Cabinet of Curiosities,” around 35 tour-goers braved rainy conditions to attend a second, sold-out visit to New Haven’s newest depot of historic artifacts and memorabilia.

“But don’t call it a museum,” said Robert Greenberg, tour guide, owner and curator of the thousands of objects on display. “It’s really a sculpture,” he said.

Located on the edge of Fair Haven, Lost in New Haven takes up 3,500 square feet of the 20,000 square-foot building. Above the nondescript entryway at 424 Grand Ave., in a 1920s structure that once housed a trolley garage and New Haven’s first bus depot, a temporary sign reads “Lost in New Haven.”

Although Lost in New Haven is not fully operational and open to the public, Greenberg said that inquiries for fee-based private viewings, tours, and events can currently be made through email: lostinnewhaven@gmail.com.

Read the New Haven Independent article "History Found at Lost in New Haven."

Robert S. Greenberg has been prying this city’s secrets from its soil since he was a boy digging up coins at the beach. He divines information about its former denizens from the color of the dirt, and from the litter he finds, layers beneath the surface, from almost four centuries ago, when the British first settled here.

Mr. Greenberg, a 52-year-old amateur historian, springs into action anytime construction crews are about to dig in a spot that might contain traces of old New Haven, and pleads for the chance to retrieve objects as the bulldozers peel away the subterranean layers.

“I know that sounds odd,” Mr. Greenberg said, “but if you read the dirt, you can tell what different time periods the developers have hit.”

Read the New York Times article "Saving Scraps From the Past Amid New Haven’s Revitalization."


This museum presents a graphic documentary history of New Haven from its settlement in 1638 to the present day with artifacts and relics from the past and present. Every piece in the collection tells some story of the social, cultural, political and economic history of New Haven. So much information and inspiration is provided here to learn about our city. Great presentation by museum creator Robert Greenberg!
— Robert Gibson, tour-goer at Lost in New Haven, retired New Haven history teacher and librarian

GEORGE WASHINGTON PLAQUE RESCUED 2011

GEORGE WASHINGTON PLAQUE RESCUED 2011

Dead Speak on the Green

Dead Speak on the Green

PLAQUE CITING GEORGE WASHINGTON’S VISIT REDEDICATED AT ORIGINAL TRINITY EPISCOPAL SITE IN NEW HAVEN

NEW HAVEN >> There may be a spanking new Five Guys restaurant at 91 Church St., but the crowd on Saturday, complete with the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Second Company, Governor’s Foot Guard, were gathered for something old that has been restored to its rightful place.

An 83-year-old plaque marking the spot where President George Washington worshipped at Trinity Episcopal Church — and which had once been stolen and sold for scrap — was rededicated after its return to the renovated building, once was a Kresge’s department store.

“For me personally, the plaque was something that our ancestors placed so the future generations would be able to understand the importance of these locations,” said Robert Greenberg, a local historian who was integral to the tablet being found after he noticed it missing in 2011. “This plaque is a bronze memorial to an event, just a very small moment in time,” he said.


One Mans Treasure     T he tour of Rob Greenberg’s private, maverick, singular, endlessly intriguing personal museum of New Haven history begins big and distant and gets progressively more detailed and more lovingly local. Greenberg spent much of his career in New York, so he wants to show the table he’s constructed from pieces of the Coney Island Bath House, and the stone lion grotesqueries which once adorned the Vanderbilt Hotel and Bellevue Hospital. He has a bit of railing from the Brooklyn Bridge.  Read The Daily Nutmeg Article   One Man’s Treasure

One Mans Treasure

The tour of Rob Greenberg’s private, maverick, singular, endlessly intriguing personal museum of New Haven history begins big and distant and gets progressively more detailed and more lovingly local. Greenberg spent much of his career in New York, so he wants to show the table he’s constructed from pieces of the Coney Island Bath House, and the stone lion grotesqueries which once adorned the Vanderbilt Hotel and Bellevue Hospital. He has a bit of railing from the Brooklyn Bridge.

Read The Daily Nutmeg Article One Man’s Treasure


Ups and Downs (pt.1)    Knowledge of its true age added to the sense of wonder that permeated the air as Robert Greenberg, son of ACME owner Alan Greenberg and grandson of founder Joseph Greenberg, took Paul and me for a spin. On the way up, Paul quietly observed his great-grandfather’s creation, while Rob—a self-trained historian whose passion for New Haven’s past is virtually unmatched, and who’d only just confirmed the historical significance of the elevator he’d been operating for much of his life—looked up and around, visibly reverent, a single overhead bulb casting light and shadow across involuntary expressions of awe. On the way down, after triggering the button on the signal rope and prompting a raspy electronic whir, Rob said, “You hear that sound? That’s a nice engagement. That’s the right sound.”  Read the Daily Nutmeg article   Ups and Downs (pt.1)

Ups and Downs (pt.1)

Knowledge of its true age added to the sense of wonder that permeated the air as Robert Greenberg, son of ACME owner Alan Greenberg and grandson of founder Joseph Greenberg, took Paul and me for a spin. On the way up, Paul quietly observed his great-grandfather’s creation, while Rob—a self-trained historian whose passion for New Haven’s past is virtually unmatched, and who’d only just confirmed the historical significance of the elevator he’d been operating for much of his life—looked up and around, visibly reverent, a single overhead bulb casting light and shadow across involuntary expressions of awe. On the way down, after triggering the button on the signal rope and prompting a raspy electronic whir, Rob said, “You hear that sound? That’s a nice engagement. That’s the right sound.”

Read the Daily Nutmeg article Ups and Downs (pt.1)


Ups and Downs (pt.2)    The hoist, Farnsworth thinks, would have been appropriate for both the period and the purpose Greenberg asserts. Farnsworth also thinks it’s an exceedingly valuable artifact. “This is a very historically significant piece of equipment and the fact that it’s so beautifully preserved does make it relevant to [understanding] post-civil war manufacturing in New Haven,” he says. “This is a very rare find… I’ve only seen this type of wooden shaft and gear alignment in this particular building. It’s just not available [elsewhere]… It may be one-of-a-kind.”  Read the Daily Nutmeg article   Ups and Downs (pt.2)

Ups and Downs (pt.2)

The hoist, Farnsworth thinks, would have been appropriate for both the period and the purpose Greenberg asserts. Farnsworth also thinks it’s an exceedingly valuable artifact. “This is a very historically significant piece of equipment and the fact that it’s so beautifully preserved does make it relevant to [understanding] post-civil war manufacturing in New Haven,” he says. “This is a very rare find… I’ve only seen this type of wooden shaft and gear alignment in this particular building. It’s just not available [elsewhere]… It may be one-of-a-kind.”

Read the Daily Nutmeg article Ups and Downs (pt.2)

 

Residents Petition to Save Shuttered New Haven Restaurant    "It's really a time capsule, and there are very, very few places like it left in New Haven," explained Robert Greenberg, who has frequented the restaurant for 30 years. "It's an institution and needs to be saved."  Watch NBC Connecticut Report   Residents Petition to Save Shuttered New Haven Restaurant

Residents Petition to Save Shuttered New Haven Restaurant

"It's really a time capsule, and there are very, very few places like it left in New Haven," explained Robert Greenberg, who has frequented the restaurant for 30 years. "It's an institution and needs to be saved."

Watch NBC Connecticut Report Residents Petition to Save Shuttered New Haven Restaurant

 

Before Makeover, Artists Preserve Winchester Legacy    Among those at the well attended opening was New Haven historian  Robert S. Greenberg , who is familiar with the buildings at the Winchester complex. He shared part of his comprehensive collection of New Haven artifacts and memorabilia for this report. Standing before “Castles made of Sand: Hendrix was here,” one of Bakhoum’s photos, Greenberg pointed out a particular shade of red used in areas of the vacant building. “That’s ‘Winchester Red,’” the specific color used in all the company’s brand identification  Read the New Haven Independent article   Before Makeover, Artists Preserve Winchester Legacy  .

Before Makeover, Artists Preserve Winchester Legacy

Among those at the well attended opening was New Haven historian Robert S. Greenberg, who is familiar with the buildings at the Winchester complex. He shared part of his comprehensive collection of New Haven artifacts and memorabilia for this report. Standing before “Castles made of Sand: Hendrix was here,” one of Bakhoum’s photos, Greenberg pointed out a particular shade of red used in areas of the vacant building. “That’s ‘Winchester Red,’” the specific color used in all the company’s brand identification

Read the New Haven Independent article Before Makeover, Artists Preserve Winchester Legacy.

 

 
Demolition begins for a historic building in New Haven despite protests    “Developers and people who own buildings let the buildings decay,” said artist and collector Robert Greenberg. “That decay gets the building inspector and the fire department in there and they say you have to tear the building down.”  The brewery had several difference names: Yale and Quinnipiac among them. Greenberg still has one of the Quinnipiac bottles from the brewery, and a wooden case stamped with the Yale Brewery logo.  “Back then, Yale Brewing was a very famous company here in New Haven for beer,” said Greenberg.  Watch the News 8 report here   Demolition begins for a historic building in New Haven despite protests

Demolition begins for a historic building in New Haven despite protests

“Developers and people who own buildings let the buildings decay,” said artist and collector Robert Greenberg. “That decay gets the building inspector and the fire department in there and they say you have to tear the building down.”

The brewery had several difference names: Yale and Quinnipiac among them. Greenberg still has one of the Quinnipiac bottles from the brewery, and a wooden case stamped with the Yale Brewery logo.

“Back then, Yale Brewing was a very famous company here in New Haven for beer,” said Greenberg.

Watch the News 8 report here Demolition begins for a historic building in New Haven despite protests


A local collector of tangible history    Four-hundred-year-old bricks, 3-foot-long fabric shears, 30 colored matchbooks, a wooden tennis racket, a duck decoy, a row of 10 old Singer sewing machines, a $10 Elvis Presley concert ticket and two colonial Dutch windows from the 17th century can all be found in the same overpacked studio on Crown Street…  Read the article in the Yale Daily News   A local collector of tangible history

A local collector of tangible history

Four-hundred-year-old bricks, 3-foot-long fabric shears, 30 colored matchbooks, a wooden tennis racket, a duck decoy, a row of 10 old Singer sewing machines, a $10 Elvis Presley concert ticket and two colonial Dutch windows from the 17th century can all be found in the same overpacked studio on Crown Street…

Read the article in the Yale Daily News A local collector of tangible history

“It’s the best museum in New Haven,” said Dan Kazer, a worker at the construction site next door to Greenberg’s studio.

Robert S. Greenberg, Keeper Of New Haven’s Treasures    It’s a walk down memory lane with a New Haven man who is the keeper of thousands of treasures that tell us about the history of the Elm City. Robert Greenberg’s Grandfather started the collection and Greenberg watched him build it as a kid and now has the lead on this in the city. Greenberg’s dream and passion is to find a place where it can all be housed…  Watch on NYBERG   Keeper Of New Haven’s Treasures

Robert S. Greenberg, Keeper Of New Haven’s Treasures

It’s a walk down memory lane with a New Haven man who is the keeper of thousands of treasures that tell us about the history of the Elm City. Robert Greenberg’s Grandfather started the collection and Greenberg watched him build it as a kid and now has the lead on this in the city. Greenberg’s dream and passion is to find a place where it can all be housed…

Watch on NYBERG Keeper Of New Haven’s Treasures

“This is my way of bringing them up and letting them talk,” the 49-year-old artist said.

He called his installation of headstones a way of reminding people what’s underneath the Green: the bodies of hundreds of early New Haveners, still interred there from back when the Green was used as a cemetery.

The reminder is also a rebuke directed at Occupy New Haven, the camp of protesters that has held a spot on the upper Green for nearly six months. The camp has become “a mess” and it’s dishonoring the history of the city, Greenberg said. “I feel the New Haven Green has been disrespected.”…

 

Tree fall reveals 2 skeletons on New Haven Green, after hurricane subsides     Robert Greenberg  called it "an ironic Halloween twist": the discovery of skeletal remains in the root system of an oak tree on the New Haven Green toppled Monday by Hurricane Sandy.  Greenberg, a collector of New Haven historic artifacts who lives near the Green, came over Tuesday night to join in all the excitement surrounding the rare find.  "It was surreal," he said. "You had the full moon and spotlights. It was Indiana Jones-like. There were a lot of people here." Read the New Haven Register Article   Tree fall reveals 2 skeletons on New Haven Green, after hurricane subsides

Tree fall reveals 2 skeletons on New Haven Green, after hurricane subsides

Robert Greenberg called it "an ironic Halloween twist": the discovery of skeletal remains in the root system of an oak tree on the New Haven Green toppled Monday by Hurricane Sandy.

Greenberg, a collector of New Haven historic artifacts who lives near the Green, came over Tuesday night to join in all the excitement surrounding the rare find.

"It was surreal," he said. "You had the full moon and spotlights. It was Indiana Jones-like. There were a lot of people here." Read the New Haven Register Article Tree fall reveals 2 skeletons on New Haven Green, after hurricane subsides


 
An 1850s-Era Oyster Barge is Saved    “The barges were like processing plants,” Mr. Greenberg said. “The oysters came in one end and went out the other very quickly.”  The barges sprung up when New York City was still the oyster capital of the world and lower New York Harbor had about 350 square miles of oyster beds, where hundreds of millions of bivalves were harvested every year.  Around 1920, as the oyster industry in New York began to decline, Mr. Greenberg said, the barge was bought by Ernest Ball, who owned the Fair Haven marina property at the time. It was towed to Fair Haven, which still had a thriving oyster industry along the Quinnipiac River.  Read the New York Times Article   An 1850s-Era Oyster Barge Is Saved for Yet Another Life on the East River

An 1850s-Era Oyster Barge is Saved

“The barges were like processing plants,” Mr. Greenberg said. “The oysters came in one end and went out the other very quickly.”

The barges sprung up when New York City was still the oyster capital of the world and lower New York Harbor had about 350 square miles of oyster beds, where hundreds of millions of bivalves were harvested every year.

Around 1920, as the oyster industry in New York began to decline, Mr. Greenberg said, the barge was bought by Ernest Ball, who owned the Fair Haven marina property at the time. It was towed to Fair Haven, which still had a thriving oyster industry along the Quinnipiac River.

Read the New York Times Article An 1850s-Era Oyster Barge Is Saved for Yet Another Life on the East River


Hidden History: The Old Barge    FAIRHAVEN--It's a relic from a bygone era, with many a story to tell. Photojournalist Mike Townsend takes us to Fairhaven to learn the nautical history of the Old Barge in this week's Hidden History.  The land-locked vessel is the last of it's kind, a relic of of a bygone era. Once a floating storefront, and Oyster Barge, it's now ready to be sent back to it's original home on New York's East River, for restoration.  Watch the FOX 61   Hidden History: The Old Barge

Hidden History: The Old Barge

FAIRHAVEN--It's a relic from a bygone era, with many a story to tell. Photojournalist Mike Townsend takes us to Fairhaven to learn the nautical history of the Old Barge in this week's Hidden History.

The land-locked vessel is the last of it's kind, a relic of of a bygone era. Once a floating storefront, and Oyster Barge, it's now ready to be sent back to it's original home on New York's East River, for restoration.

Watch the FOX 61 Hidden History: The Old Barge


 
Construction Crew Unearths Colonial Gravestone    When the stone came up Thursday, local historian Rob Greenberg was ready, filming the exhumation with his iPad. Greenberg, who has a passion for local lore, is the history buff who first (correctly) surmised that last year’s skeletal discovery  also  included a time capsule   .   Greenberg said the gravestone is a footstone, a marker for the end of a grave opposite the headstone. The stone has a jagged bottom and is carved into a semi-circles at the top. It reads simply “Mr. Stephen Howell.”  Read the New Haven Independent article   Construction Crew Unearths Gravestone

Construction Crew Unearths Colonial Gravestone

When the stone came up Thursday, local historian Rob Greenberg was ready, filming the exhumation with his iPad. Greenberg, who has a passion for local lore, is the history buff who first (correctly) surmised that last year’s skeletal discovery also included a time capsule.

Greenberg said the gravestone is a footstone, a marker for the end of a grave opposite the headstone. The stone has a jagged bottom and is carved into a semi-circles at the top. It reads simply “Mr. Stephen Howell.”

Read the New Haven Independent article Construction Crew Unearths Gravestone


Archeologist Thwarted In History-Rescue Quest    As jackhammers pounded the ground and a John Deere grapple lifted buckets full of dirt, Rob Greenberg peered through a fence—but wasn’t allowed past it—in search of early New Haven Colonial history.  Greenberg (pictured), New Haven’s leading amateur archeologist, has been trying to get past the fence into the “holy grail” or early downtown historical sites to sift dirt for treasures before the heavy machinery destroys them. The developer who commissioned the machinery, Robert Landino of Centerplan, won’t let him in.  Read the New Haven Independent Article     Archeologist Thwarted In History-Rescue Quest

Archeologist Thwarted In History-Rescue Quest

As jackhammers pounded the ground and a John Deere grapple lifted buckets full of dirt, Rob Greenberg peered through a fence—but wasn’t allowed past it—in search of early New Haven Colonial history.

Greenberg (pictured), New Haven’s leading amateur archeologist, has been trying to get past the fence into the “holy grail” or early downtown historical sites to sift dirt for treasures before the heavy machinery destroys them. The developer who commissioned the machinery, Robert Landino of Centerplan, won’t let him in.

Read the New Haven Independent Article Archeologist Thwarted In History-Rescue Quest


Construction at CenterPlan Unearths Artifacts From New Haven's Past    Artifacts from New Haven's past are surfacing in the huge construction site at College and George Streets in the Elm City. Many citizens are concerned that the construction could destroy a link to New Haven's earliest days.  When construction crews at the CenterPlan development started unearthing old glass and pottery shards, amateur historian and life-long New haven resident Robert S. Greenberg, wasn't surprised. He said underneath this site could be New Haven's "holy grail."  Read and Hear the NPR article   Construction at CenterPlan Unearths Artifacts From New Haven’s Past

Construction at CenterPlan Unearths Artifacts From New Haven's Past

Artifacts from New Haven's past are surfacing in the huge construction site at College and George Streets in the Elm City. Many citizens are concerned that the construction could destroy a link to New Haven's earliest days.

When construction crews at the CenterPlan development started unearthing old glass and pottery shards, amateur historian and life-long New haven resident Robert S. Greenberg, wasn't surprised. He said underneath this site could be New Haven's "holy grail."

Read and Hear the NPR article Construction at CenterPlan Unearths Artifacts From New Haven’s Past


Historian Takes Construction Protest To New Level     Greenberg  and some supporters descended on the construction site at the corner of College and George Thursday afternoon armed with brightly colored stepladders. Perched atop the ladders, they held up letters forming a three-word sentence: “SAVE OUR HISTORY.”  Greenberg  has made that plea for weeks . Greenberg believes that the construction site—the  $50 million future of home  of new luxury apartments—is also the place where historic homes once stood, and their outhouses. Those ancient privies and garbage dumps are likely a motherlode of colonial artifacts, Greenberg said.  Read the article in the New Haven Independent   Historian Takes Construction Protest To New Level

Historian Takes Construction Protest To New Level

Greenberg and some supporters descended on the construction site at the corner of College and George Thursday afternoon armed with brightly colored stepladders. Perched atop the ladders, they held up letters forming a three-word sentence: “SAVE OUR HISTORY.”

Greenberg has made that plea for weeks. Greenberg believes that the construction site—the $50 million future of home of new luxury apartments—is also the place where historic homes once stood, and their outhouses. Those ancient privies and garbage dumps are likely a motherlode of colonial artifacts, Greenberg said.

Read the article in the New Haven Independent Historian Takes Construction Protest To New Level


Time Capsule Reveals “Grapeshot”    When the barrel came up last fall—along with old skulls and bones—local historian Rob Greenberg (pictured holding a capsule) began to suspect it contained a time capsule. He eventually  got the city bomb squad to X-ray the concrete lump , revealing enough evidence that Bellantoni and others worked to scan the concrete further, and crack it open to find the capsules.  At the press conference Monday afternoon, Drew Days, a Proprietor of the Green, publicly thanked Greenberg for his dogged pursuit of his time-capsule theory, which “kept us focused” on the possibility. ( He barred Greenberg earlier in the day from watching  the capsules being opened.)  Read the article in the New Haven Independent   Time Capsule Reveals “Grapeshot”

Time Capsule Reveals “Grapeshot”

When the barrel came up last fall—along with old skulls and bones—local historian Rob Greenberg (pictured holding a capsule) began to suspect it contained a time capsule. He eventually got the city bomb squad to X-ray the concrete lump, revealing enough evidence that Bellantoni and others worked to scan the concrete further, and crack it open to find the capsules.

At the press conference Monday afternoon, Drew Days, a Proprietor of the Green, publicly thanked Greenberg for his dogged pursuit of his time-capsule theory, which “kept us focused” on the possibility. (He barred Greenberg earlier in the day from watching the capsules being opened.)

Read the article in the New Haven Independent Time Capsule Reveals “Grapeshot”