Wright Hall is a residence hall formerly located in the Northwest Quadrangle at the University of Connecticut.  Sadly, it has since been replaced by a dining hall, but it used to be the lab science/engineering dorm at UConn.  It's hallowed corridors, especially the third floor hallway, known as Wright 3rd, gave rise to much geekdom, and many late night discussions.  The concept of the psycho hos beast was derived during one of these late night rambles.

    The hall was named after Benjamin Wright, born in Wethersfield, Connecticut, to Ebenezer and Brace Butler Wright, on October 10, 1770.  Benjamin Wright was a senior engineer on the Erie Canal and was named the official "Father of American Civil Engineering" by the Society of Civil Engineering.

    Skilled at mathematics, Wright studied surveying.  He saw the opportunities for surveyors in the new settlements of the Mohawk Valley in New York, and he convinced his father to move to Fort Stanwix (now Rome), New York, in 1789.  Here Wright became interested in the transporting of goods to market.  Seeing that the roads were as poor as trails and their chances for imporvement slight, he focused on canals. Wright surveyed for the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company and at the same time became a leading member of the community.  He married Philomel Waterman of Plymouth, Connecticut; the two had nine children.  Wright was elected to the New York state legislature and was made a county judge in 1813.

    In 1816 the Erie Canal project was launched, with Wright in charge of the middle section.  The first ground was broken July 4, 1817, in Rome.  After completing the middle section, Wright took charge of the ardous eastern division.  The construction teams completed the canal in 1825.

    The sucess of the canal stirred other states to improve their transportation systems, and Wright was called upon to play a role.  He constructed on the Farmington Canal in Connecticut, as well as the St. Lawrence Ship Canal in 1833, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal from 1828 to 1831, and for railroads in New York, Virginia, Illinois, and even Cuba.  He died August 24, 1842.

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