National Register of Historic Places

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New Canaan Historic Preservationists Select Firm To Prepare Waveny’s Listing on National Register of Historic Places

A nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation in New Canaan is hiring a Pawtucket, R.I.-based firm to put together an application to list one of the town’s most cherished properties on the National Register of Historic Places. It isn’t clear yet just which buildings or portion of the grounds at Waveny—beyond the 1912-built main house—will be included in the application that Public Archeology Laboratory Inc. is to prepare, according to Rose Scott Long, co-president of the New Canaan Preservation Alliance. If approved, Waveny will become the first public property in New Canaan to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The town three years ago voted to back the Preservation Alliance in pursuing the listing. The listing itself has absolutely no bearing on what the town does with main house, grounds or any outbuildings. Continue Reading →

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Limestone Fireplace at Waveny House Poised for $17,500 Cleaning, Thanks to New Canaan Preservation Alliance

The grand fireplace that welcomes visitors to Waveny House is getting a $17,500 brush-up and restoration, thanks to the local nonprofit group that advocated successfully for New Canaan to pursue listing the beloved mansion and park grounds on the National Register of Historic Places. No government funds, state or federal, will be used to restore the limestone fireplace in the Great Hall at Waveny. The New Canaan Preservation Alliance has donated to the town $27,830 that it raised during a 100-year anniversary celebration of the historic Waveny House in 2012, and the major portion of that money will be used to restore the fireplace, officials said Thursday. “I’m excited to get this thing going and it will be a real nice addition when you walk into that building to see that fireplace in good shape,” First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said as the Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 to allocate the funds, during a special meeting held in the Training Room at the New Canaan Police Department. Restoring the fireplace has been a goal of the NCPA since it began last spring navigating town approvals for a separate effort—the National Register listing. Continue Reading →

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By Narrow Margin, Town Officials Vote To List Waveny on National Register of Historic Places

First Selectman Rob Mallozzi on Wednesday cast a tie-breaking vote in favor of listing Waveny on the National Register of Historic Places. New Canaan’s highest elected official broke a 6-6 tie on the Town Council (voting record below), freeing local preservationists to draft an application to list on the register Waveny House and a portion of the park whose exact boundaries are still to be determined. Rose Scott Long, president of the New Canaan Preservation Alliance—the organization that fueled the effort to list Waveny and has offered to fund the application cost (up to about $30,000)—in an interview directly following Mallozzi’s vote thanked the Town Council and especially those on its Land Use & Recreation committee for their diligence. “They have done the right thing for Waveny and they have done the right thing for the town of New Canaan and the citizens of New Canaan,” Scott Long said outside the Sturgess Room at the New Canaan Nature Center, where the Town Council held its regular monthly meeting. The dramatic vote followed multiple meetings and public hearings before the Town Council and other municipal bodies, and a walk on the grounds of Waveny this week that included councilmen, New Canaan’s recreation director, state officials and local preservationists. Continue Reading →

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Preservationists Respond to Town Council’s Concerns about Listing Waveny on National Register of Historic Places

The local nonprofit organization advocating to list Waveny—the main house, outbuildings and grounds—on the National Register of Historic Places, said in an open letter to town officials that its own members are seeking only to serve as fundraisers and expert advisors on the hugely popular public park. In a Dec. 5 letter to the Town Council, New Canaan Preservation Alliance President Rose Scott Long addressed the municipal body’s concerns about the nonprofit’s “authority, control and involvement” in overseeing capital projects or improvements at Waveny. “The Alliance would have no authority or control, but would like to be involved as a fundraising entitiy and as a source of preservation knowledge and expertise either from within the Alliance or by facilitating networking between the Town and entities with preservation expertise,” the letter said. It follows the Town Council’s Nov. Continue Reading →

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Town Council Eyes Narrower Scope to Listing of Waveny on National Historic Register

Raising questions about the exact scope of a proposal to list Waveny Park on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as some concerns about just what might follow from the designation, the Town Council on Wednesday night decided to postpone a vote for at least one more month. At one time, an effort led by the nonprofit New Canaan Preservation Alliance focused on listing just Waveny House and that century-old structure’s immediate environs on the National Register, though—with the thought that the park’s outbuildings and grounds, too, could benefit from an opportunity to get matching grants from the state for capital projects—the proposal has since expanded to include the entire park. But just what encompasses the “entire park” among the five contiguous parcels that form Waveny (see image at right) and whether New Canaan should seek to list all of it on the National Register in one shot are open questions, Town Council members said at their regular meeting, held in the Sturgess Room at the New Canaan Nature Center. Town Council member Kevin Moynihan said he was concerned about “potential negatives” of the listing, such as limiting what could be done on properties abutting Waveny if the designation was granted. “I recall that if you were following the Connecticut Siting Council’s approval of the Armory location for cell towers and the state historic preservation office used the Merritt Parkway’s designation on the National Register of Historic Places as a basis for restricting what could be done on state property adjacent to the National Historic place,” Moynihan said. Continue Reading →

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