$10,000 in Improvements Planned for Colonnade at Mead Park

Town officials last week approved a $10,000 contract with a Norwalk-based company to improve the pedestrian access areas at the heavily used colonnade in Mead Park. A WPA project that originally had been a wading pool and was converted into a “victory garden” following World War II, the grassy colonnade area hosts community events such as the cherry blossom festival, an annual breakfast hosted by the New Canaan Beautification League and junior prom photo gatherings. At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Board of Selectmen approved a contract with Nature’s Way Landscape Associates of Norwalk to rebuild the cheek walls, steps and walkway there. Public Works Director Tiger Mann said New Canaan-based Keith Simpson Associates, a prominent landscape architecture firm, provided a “nice plan for work” at the colonnade that include four separate items. As of now, the town only has the funds to complete two of those four things, Mann said. Nature’s Way Landscape “are ones that are doing the work at Waveny right now and they are doing a very good job,” Mann said at the meeting, held in Town Hall.

Japan Enthusiasts Enjoy 2nd Annual Cherry Blossom Festival at Mead Park

Gabriel Santana began studying Japanese by accident. He noticed that a class in Japanese opened up at Norwalk Community College a couple of years ago and he hadn’t been interested in any other languages, so he signed up. From there, the Stratford resident recalled Sunday afternoon from the colonnade at Mead Park, he grew interested in Japanese folklore, music, history and food. “I took a very serious interest in all of that, and Japanese culture,” Santana, now secretary of NCC’s Japanese Language & Culture Club, said as a crowd of people visited the club’s table behind him, learning about tenugui or Japanese gift wrapping during the second annual Cherry Blossom Festival at Mead. Sponsored by the Japan Society of Fairfield County and the Consulate General of Japan in New York, the festival featured Japanese folk dancing, taiko drumming by UConn Taiko, the stories of Hachiko the Akita dog and Spartacus, an American Akita therapy dog with K9 First Responders, kimono dressing, ikebana flower arranging for kids, origami and calligraphy.

Eyeing New Uses, Town Approves Funds To Restore, Repaint Colonnade at Mead Park

Town officials have approved nearly $12,000 to enter into contracts with two area companies to clean and paint the marble Greek columns of the colonnade in Mead Park. A WPA project that originally had been a wading pool and was converted into a “victory garden” following World War II, the grassy colonnade area hosts community events such as the recent cherry blossom festival, an annual breakfast hosted by the New Canaan Beautification League and junior prom photo gatherings. Parks officials since last year have discussed ways to spruce it up so that the colonnade offers more uses. The Board of Selectmen at its most recent meeting approved an $8,780 contract with Norwalk-based Royal Restoration and $11,855 with Stamford’s Aladdin Services to clean up and paint the marble columns. “I think it’s money well spent,” First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said at the July 25 meeting, held at Town Hall.

Parks Officials Envision New Uses for ‘Colonnade’ at Mead

With its vantage point overlooking the pond and tennis courts, and enclosed by the columns that recall ancient Greece or Rome, the colonnade at Mead Park could be developed in some way to better serve New Canaanites, parks officials said Wednesday night. It’s a “nice area, and if you start to fix it up, it could be utilized,” Recreation Director Steve Benko said during a regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Commission, held at Lapham Community Center. The town could consider putting “either a paver patio or a flagstone patio, and you could put a couple of Adirondack chairs and round picnic tables with umbrellas, and a lot of people go down to the snack bar and it gets very busy with noise with kids. And it might offer the tennis players a place to go up, grab an iced tea, and sit and chat with their friends. Or somebody brings their lunch up there.

Mead Park Mystery: The Colonnade

It looks to be something out of ancient Greece or Rome or even the Old South rather than New Canaan. The colonnade that sits amid the Mead Park tennis courts on a perch overlooking Mead Pond serves no other function these days than as a picturesque background for pre-prom or family photos. A relic of some bygone era, many patrons of the park pass it by every day, oblivious to its significance. So what exactly was it for? The history of the colonnade dates back to the Great Depression, which according to the New Canaan Historical Society’s publication Landmarks of New Canaan, was actually a period of substantial growth for Mead Park.