An abandoned religious theme park in Waterbury is coming back to life

Ever heard of the abandoned religious theme park in Waterbury, CT?

It’s called Holy Land U.S.A., and although it has been abandoned for 25 years, a group of locals are hoping to bring it back to life this year. Mieum Media was allowed to tour the park–which is generally prohibited–during an exclusive interview with Chuck Pagano, head of Holy Land U.S.A.’s board.


Extended Interview with Chuck Pagano:


Citations:

#1: Chamberlain, Frances. “The View From/Waterbury; A Hilltop Landmark Undergoes a Revival.” The New York Times, 4 Nov. 2001, http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/04/nyregion/the-view-from-waterbury-a-hilltop-landmark-undergoes-a-revival.html. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#2: RoadsideAmerica.com. “Holy Land U.S.A. – Defunct Religious Theme Park.” RoadsideAmerica.com, http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/51714. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#3: MessyNessy. “Holy Land USA (Before & After): The Abandoned Christian Theme Park.” Messy Nessy Chic, 14 Mar. 2016, http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/10/04/holy-land-usa-before-after-the-abandoned-christian-theme-park/. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#4: Bendici, Ray. “Holy Land USA, Waterbury.” Damned Connecticut, July 2016, http://www.damnedct.com/holy-land-usa-waterbury. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#5: RoadsideAmerica.com. “Holy Land USA (Album #1).” Flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/pmaiorana/sets/72157622373114226/with/3921079319/. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#6: RoadsideAmerica.com. “Holy Land USA (Album #2).” Flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadtripmemories/sets/72157603616821181/with/3156542498/. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#7: RoadsideAmerica.com. “Holy Land USA (Album #3).” Flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/laurmarshall/sets/72157622727418303/with/4123366431/. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#8: Enemark, Michelle. “Holy Land, U.S.A.” Atlas Obscura, 4 Dec. 2009, http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/holy-land-usa. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#9: “Holy Land USA.” Sometimes Interesting, 9 Sept. 2016, sometimes-interesting.com/2016/09/09/holy-land-usa/. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#10: RoadsideAmerica.com. “Holy Land U.S.A., Waterbury, Connecticut.” RoadsideAmerica.com, http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/51713. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#11: “19-Year-Old Tells Police He Raped, Stabbed Girl To Death At Holy Land.” The Hartford Courant, 30 Sept. 2018, http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-xpm-2010-07-19-hc-holy-land-murder-0720-20100719-story.html. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#12: Zielbauer, Paul. “A Sight That Inspires Ambivalence; Ruins of a Religious Park Await Restorers or the Bulldozer.” The New York Times, 12 Nov. 2002, http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/12/nyregion/sight-that-inspires-ambivalence-ruins-religious-park-await-restorers-bulldozer.html. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#13: “Former Holy Land U.S.A. Theme Park in Waterbury Continues to Crumble.” New Haven Register, 26 May 2016, http://www.nhregister.com/connecticut/article/Former-Holy-Land-U-S-A-theme-park-in-Waterbury-11392447.php. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#14: “Cross May Spark Revival of Holy Land USA.” Catholic Transcript Magazine, http://www.catholictranscript.org/component/content/article/1-latest/508-cross-may-spark-revival-of-holy-land-usa.html. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#15: “Holy Land Cross Lit Up in Time for Christmas.com Connecticut.” WTNH, 22 Dec. 2013, web.archive.org/web/20131224110826/www.wtnh.com/news/new-haven-cty/holy-land-cross-lit-up-in-time-for-christmas. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#16: Somma, Ann Marie. “At Holy Land USA, A Vision Crumbles.” The Hartford Courant, 28 Aug. 2005, http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-xpm-2005-08-28-0508280144-story.html. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#17: Davidow, Bernard T. “Raising Waterbury’s Holy Land From Ruins.” The Hartford Courant, 2 Oct. 2018, http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-xpm-2013-07-05-hc-beliefs-holy-land-0707-20130705-story.html. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#18: Davidow, Bernard T. “Holy Land U.S.A. Purchase Would Restore Giant Lighted Cross On Waterbury Hill.” The Hartford Courant, 2 Oct. 2018, http://www.courant.com/breaking-news/hc-xpm-2013-06-28-hc-holy-land-waterbury-0629-20130628-story.html. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#19: Leukhardt, Bill. “Outdoor Mass Saturday At Waterbury’s Holy Land USA Hilltop.” The Hartford Courtant, 7 Aug. 2018, http://www.courant.com/community/plainville/hc-news-waterbury-holy-land-20180807-story.html. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

#20: Castillo, T. “Holy Land USA Landmark Lights The Way Again.” FOX 61, 23 Dec. 2013, fox61.com/2013/12/22/holy-land-usa-landmark-lights-the-way-again/. Accessed 18 Mar. 2019.

#21: Knight, Michael. “17‐Acre ‘Holy Land’ in Waterbury Nearly Finished.” The New York Times, 5 Mar. 1974, http://www.nytimes.com/1974/03/05/archives/17acre-holy-land-in-waterbury-nearly-finished.html. Accessed 18 Mar. 2019.

#22: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. “Shrine of the Times.” Comedy Central, 20 Nov. 2002, http://www.cc.com/video-clips/cxjpvq/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-shrine-of-the-times. Accessed 18 Mar. 2019.

#23: Terrien, Yan. “Secret Igloo.” Futile Oblivion, Free Music Archive, 13 Feb. 2019, freemusicarchive.org/music/Yan_Terrien/Music_For_Me/01_Secret_Igloo_1726.
File originally posted online under an applicable Creative Commons license.

#24: Outro Song: “Fill Me In” by Atwaters featuring Yeon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW0iKqFMoxo Used with artist’s consent. The contents and views of this video may not necessarily be shared with the artist.