Ed Vollmer

Recent Articles

‘A Really Wonderful Model for the Neighborhood’: Officials Offer High Praise for Forest Street Home Design in Voting 4-0 To Lift Demolition Delay

Calling the redesign of a new home on Forest Street tasteful, respectful of the property’s historic past and exemplary for an important neighborhood, town officials last week voted unanimously to lift a delay on the demolition of an existing structure. Members of the Historical Review Committee voted 4-0 at their Jan. 5 meeting to lift a delay instituted last month on demolishing the ca. 1830-built home at 74 Forest St. “You have made significant changes—positive changes—I think you have created a winner here, a really wonderful model for the neighborhood and an example for others who will come after you,” committee member Martin Skrelunas said during the group’s meeting, held at the New Canaan Historical Society’s Town House. Continue Reading →

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Officials Vote 4-0 To Delay Demolition of ca. 1830-Built Forest Street Home

Saying that more information is needed about a new two-family house planned for Forest Street, town officials on Monday voted unanimously to impose a 90-day delay in the demolition of an existing antique structure on the .3-acre lot. Members of the Historical Review Committee during a special meeting described the architecture of the approximately 1830-built home at 74 Forest St. as a “vernacular” type that rapidly is disappearing in a historically important area. Committee member Martin Skrelunas, an architecture and landscape preservationist, said the red-painted house “represents and is one of last of this style in New Canaan.”

Addressing Tom Sturges, the contractor on the construction project, Skrelunas said, “I think the thing that could be special about your project is, knowing you’re building from scratch, is that you can demonstrate that you can build in a non-designated historic street but maintain that history, maintain that spirit, which in turn could benefit the rest of that block.”

“I think there will be change on the rest [of the street] and if you are able to do that, I could see others following suit and becoming a much more valuable area,” Skrelunas said at the meeting, held in the Janet Lindstrom Room at the New Canaan Historical Society’s Town House. Committee member Rose Scott Long, an architectural preservationist, added: “This is kind of a crucial point because there is definitely going to be more development in that area and what you do here it is really going to have a great impact.”

The committee voted 4-0 to impose the delay. Continue Reading →

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‘The Town’s Heritage Is Being Eroded’: Objection Filed in Planned Demolition of 1829-Built Forest Street Home

A town resident and historic preservationist has filed a formal objection to the razing of a multi-family house on Forest Street that once was cited for blight. The red-painted, 2,500-square-foot house at 74 Forest St.—the fifth residence on the west side of the street, running north out of downtown New Canaan—dates to 1829, tax records show. The property in July was purchased for $603,750 by a limited liability company whose principals are James and Gregory Demirjian of New Canaan, according to records on file with the Connecticut Secretary of the State. It was transferred the following month to a different LLC controlled by the same two individuals. It isn’t clear what is planned for the lot—no building permit application has yet come into the town. Continue Reading →

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Besieged by Complaints and Misinformation, ‘Merritt Village’ Developer Withdraws Offer To Restore Abutting Cemetery

Though they’d support another group’s efforts, the owners of a 3.3-acre parcel on the edge of downtown New Canaan said Tuesday that they’re withdrawing an offer to restore, plaque and protect an abutting, long-ignored and historically important cemetery after hearing complaints that its presence should disrupt the their widely discussed redevelopment plans. When they applied to the town in June to create 123 housing units on the Merritt Apartments property where 38 now exist, the property’s owners hired a consultant who determined that Ezra Benedict’s 1852-buit “Maple Street Cemetery” is one generation away from vanishing due to neglect. After running a sonar scan of the grounds and tracking down the heirs of 52 people buried there, property owner M2 Partners developed plans for rejuvenating the cemetery into a local landmark, with reset gravestones, family grouping and a plaque recognizing the remains of those interred with no headstone. “We were happy to do that and after the effort and time and the lack of consideration back to us of the applicant, we have withdrawn our offer of fencing it off, putting a plaque on it, putting a gate there and making sure it is not a ball field,” Arnold Karp of M2 Partners said during a subcommittee meeting of New Canaan’s legislative body. “So whatever the Historical Society or the group of New Canaan residents who feel it should be taken care of, we are in favor of that,” he said at the Town Council Subcommittee on Infrastructure and Utilities meeting, held at Town Hall. Continue Reading →

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‘It’s a Phenomenal Group’: New Canaan Democrats Endorse Candidates for Local Offices at Caucus

An estimated 30 to 40 registered Democrats in New Canaan on Tuesday night gathered for a caucus at Lapham Community Center to endorse party candidates seeking local offices this coming Election Day. Those in attendance by voice vote endorsed incumbent Beth Jones for selectman, Joe Paladino (incumbent) and Jim Kucharcyzk for Town Council, Brendan Hayes for Board of Education, Gerry Harrington (incumbent) for Board of Assessment Appeals and Cindy Franco, Arnold Karp and Ed Vollmer for constable (all incumbents). “It’s a phenomenal group of people,” Democratic Town Committee Chair Jane Himmel told NewCanaanite.com in a phone interview following the caucus. “Beth works so hard and has the biggest heart and is as much the soul of the town as anybody. We’re thrilled Joe is returning to the Town Council and Jim has so much experience and done so many different things. Continue Reading →

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