New Canaan Historical Society

Recent Articles

Public Buildings InfoSheet: Irwin House

[Editor’s Note: The following “Statement of significance” has been prepared in advance of the April 26 Forum on Public Buildings, to be held 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Town Hall—more information is available here and questions for panelists can be submitted here. Most of the information in the bullet points below is drawn from the Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee report.]

Built: 1963
Square Footage: 7,963
Current Uses: Recently provided swing space offices for the town, though a long-term use has not been identified. Committee Recommendations: Either put Irwin House to work or consider whether continued maintenance and the contingent liability is warranted. Potential use would be relocation of the Board of Educaiton from its leased office space either through a renovation/expansion or replacement, depending on the most cost effective and building appropriate analysis. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Owners of Valley Road Antique Slated for Demolition: We Will Sell House with Some Land, Not Entire Parcel

The owners of a prominent, antique Valley Road home that’s slated for demolition say they’re confused by a letter that New Canaan town officials sent Monday, urging them to work toward preserving the house. That’s because the owner of 1124 Valley Road—Norwalk’s First Taxing District—on March 27 met with New Canaan’s highest elected official and others and proposed selling the house and property it sits on to a local organization for a price that group has said it can afford, according to Dominick DiGangi, general manager of the First District Water Department. Specifically, DiGangi told, he proposed a lot line reconfiguration that would bring the 18th Century home onto an adjacent New Canaan Land Trust parcel for less than $1.2 million while then also adding some land to the existing 4-acre parcel at 1124 Valley Road so that it still meets setback distances under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations. The 4-acre property itself is no longer for sale as such, DiGangi said. “We are not going to change our mind about the land,” he said. Continue Reading →

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Police: 32-Year-Old Man Arrested Following Sunday Break-In at New Canaan Historical Society

Police on Sunday night arrested a 32-year-old Orlando, Fla. man in connection with a break-in at the New Canaan Historical Society. At about 6:27 p.m. on March 25, officers were dispatched to the God’s Acre organization’s campus on a report that someone had just broken into a building, police said. There, officers found the man walking down Main Street holding an umbrella, rock and stick, according to a police report. The witness identified him as the person seen leaving the Historical Society, the report said. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

An estimated 1,000 New Canaan High School students joined in a nationwide, 17-minute “walkout” Wednesday to rally for what organizers call “federal gun reform legislation” following last month’s mass school shooting in Florida. Principal Bill Egan in a letter addressed to the ‘NCHS Family’ said that “every school district in the area allowed students to have their voice during this time.” His letter continued: “Our students honored the lives of people lost to gun violence and showed solidarity with students in Parkland, Florida. Our students’ efforts focused on their desire to keep schools safe in New Canaan and around the country.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Town Imposes 90-Day Demolition Delay on Antique Valley Road House

Saying that buying some time prior to a planned demolition could help the owner of an antique and conspicuous Valley Road home find a way to transfer the structure to preservationists or otherwise avoid the wrecking ball, officials voted unanimously last week to impose a 90-day demolition delay. Representatives of the owner of 1124 Valley Road, Norwalk’s first taxing district, are not fighting against that delay, members of the Historical Review Committee said at their March 1 meeting. It would be interesting for the public at large “to know the purpose of the use” of the 18th Century home, committee member Laszlo Papp—formerly a neighbor of the house, for 54 years—said the meeting, held in the Town House of the New Canaan Historical Society. “Is there going to be open space attached to the land the water company has or do they intend to build a McMansion there or exactly what is the future?” Papp said. He added: “During the period of the delay, I think, all political pressure should be borne to Norwalk to influence that [trustee]. Continue Reading →

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