‘It’s an Iconic Place’: Bank Clears Sale of Deteriorating Antique Home on God’s Acre

A long-vacant, prominent antique home on God’s Acre is poised after years of holdups to transfer to a new owner, officials say.

4 Main St. in New Canaan. Credit: Michael Dinan

The ca. 1780-built Greek Revival at 4 Main St., tied up for more than six years in foreclosure proceedings, is expected to be transferred this month to Arnold Karp, according to Paul Stone, chief operating officer at New Canaan building firm Karp Associates.

“It’s an iconic place,” Stone said of the home, located in New Canaan’s Historic District, next to St. Michael’s Lutheran Church.

Though plans have not yet been developed for the rear of the residence, where there’s an addition “that never really made sense,” the street-facing facade will stay unchanged and the property will remain a single-family home, Stone said.

“It’s a go and we are excited about it,” he said of the expected sale. “We think there’s value being in the Historic District, too. In the downtown, Historic District, on God’s Acre.”

Nobody has lived in the home in several years and it has deteriorated visibly from neglect. The roof of the house is full of holes, raccoons have take up residence inside and “half the structure is peat moss right now,” Stone said.

It’s been a major worry for the volunteers who oversee New Canaan’s Historic District, who two summers ago filed a blight complaint. The 10-room, 7,000-square-foot home has been tied up in lawsuits and foreclosure proceedings that became even more complicated due to a procedural error in court.

Karp himself said in January that he and the last occupant of the house, Dr. James Talbot, had agreed on a price, but the bank’s involvement following foreclosure proceedings complicated a possible transfer.

Recently, the bank finally OK’d the deal, Stone said.

Its transfer to Karp will bookend a tumultuous recent history that’s seen multiple interested parties try to acquire the property.

In June 2016, after talks with one prospective buyer broke down, historic district officials reported that a local builder appeared close to making an offer on the house, owned since 1984 by Talbot.

In 2013, a local couple, whose detailed plans for restoring the home gained favor from the Historic District Commission, made an offer on the home that had been accepted by the bank. But two months later, officials reported that Talbot had rejected that offer.

In July 2015, a civil court issued a judgment of foreclosure by sale on the property, according to records on file with the Connecticut Judicial Branch. That October, Talbot appealed that decision, and procedural errors in state court that then came to light threatened to delay foreclosure proceedings further.

The case went to state Appellate Court, a 2016 court filing obtained by NewCanaanite.com shows, and it has remained tied up there since.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *