Mimi Findlay

Recent Articles

Owner of Antique Home on Valley Road Applies for Demolition Permit

Saying it’s too expensive to maintain and insure a vacant, antique house in northeastern New Canaan, the property’s owners on Monday filed an application to demolish it. The first taxing district of Norwalk has no immediate plans for the ca. 1750-built house and 4-acre property it owns at 1124 Valley Road, according to James Fulton, an attorney who serves as trustee for the district. “If someone offers us enough money, they can buy the whole property with the house on it, too,” Fulton told NewCanaanite.com. “But for the amount of money that some people think the property is worth and are willing to pay, it is actually worth more to the district to keep it for its future use. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

‘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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Connecticut Trust Honors New Canaan’s Mimi Findlay, Janet Lindstrom for Work in Historic Preservation

A prominent state organization has honored two New Canaan women for their decades-long and far-reaching work in historic preservation. Janet Lindstrom, recently retired executive director of the New Canaan Historical Society, has received the Jainschigg Award from the Hamden-based Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, while the organization created a new award honoring Mimi Findlay, co-founder and chairman emerita of the New Canaan Preservation Alliance. The ‘Mimi Findlay Award for Young Preservationists’ will recognize individuals or groups of people 35-and-younger involved in preservation of historic buildings, districts, landscapes or sites in Connecticut. Asked how she feels about the honor, Findlay told NewCanaanite.com that she’s “thankful.”

“I hope it may inspire other young people to take up the challenge and spread the word—old houses, old buildings, old furnishings have many new uses and should be recycled,” she said. “Digging up the artifacts buried in a trash pit is all part of discovering the way people lived in the past and part of the big cultural picture.”

She added: “This award makes me very happy and proud of my life’s accomplishments, and pleased that they are recognized.”

Lindstrom was not immediately available for comment. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Even ‘Richmond Hill Garage’ Gets a Fresh Look from Group Appointed to Evaluate Town Buildings

Like all other town-owned buildings, the disused brick structure at 64 Richmond Hill Road—slated for demolition in 2010 and described as a “garage” by some, “barn” by others—is getting a fresh evaluation now by an appointed volunteer group. The Town Building Evaluation and Use Committee in September is to report back to the town on the conditions, uses and capital needs of the 44-plus structures that New Canaan owns (except for the public schools). The group is expected to make recommendations to the town about how buildings may be used differently, or whether New Canaan should continue to own them at all. In their meeting Monday, members discussed the possibility that the Richmond Hill Garage, located at the northern edge of Mead Park, roughly opposite Grove Street, could be restored for some useful purpose. It’s an empty space that, “with a decent amount of money, could be put into useful condition,” committee member Ben Bilus said during the meeting, held in Town Hall. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,