Town Council Votes 10-0 To Support Boundary of Waveny Described in Application for Listing on National Register

New Canaan’s legislative body last week voted unanimously in support of a boundary set forth in an application to list Waveny on the National Register of Historic Places. Once a matter of deep division and some agonizing among Town Council members, the elected body’s 10-0 vote marks a big step toward formally seeking the largely honorific designation for Waveny. 

Worked out by a Pawtucket, R.I.-based nonprofit organization with input from the New Canaan Preservation Alliance, state historic preservation officials and others, the boundary that will define the Waveny listing encompasses much of the park as regular visitors have come to know it. “The boundary reflects the development of Waveny lands over time from the 18th Century to the present day and the layers of settlement and agriculture and state and town park history that make it such an interesting and attractive place,” Rose Scott Long, co-president of the NCPA, told member of the Town Council at their regular meeting. 

“As stated in the nomination documentation, Waveny is a testament to the town’s thoughtful stewardship of the property, in keeping with Ruth Lapham Lloyd’s wishes and use restrictions that she conveyed to the town for public benefit,” Scott Long said at the July 18 meeting, held in Town Hall. “Listing in the National Register is primarily an honor, makes properties eligible for owners to apply for public grants for preservation and consideration for fire and life safety code compliance alternatives.”

The boundary follows the Merritt Parkway to the south and South Avenue to the east. On the west side, it follows the Metro-North Railroad tracks to Old Stamford Road and runs north but does not include the Waveny Care Center property.

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.

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.

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.

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.