New Canaan Preservation Alliance

Recent Articles

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 →

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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 →

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Preservationists: We Will Purchase Antique Ferris Hill Road Home Slated for Demolition

The historic 1735-built Ferris Hill Road home slated for demolition June 1 will be spared because the group of preservationists that formed to save it will purchase the property with an eye on selling it on to a like-minded future owner, officials say. Between funds raised and a generous dollar-for-dollar pledge from a town resident, the 8 Ferris Hill Road Group has enough money now to enter into a contract with the widely discussed 2.14-acre property’s owner, according to New Canaan’s Tom Nissley. “The upshot is that the history of New Canaan is upheld with some integrity,” said Nissley, acting chairperson of the group. “It just would be wrong to eradicate that house and what it represents in the development of the town.”

On the radar of preservationists since it sold in November 2013 for $1,250,000, and a plan to develop the property soon emerged, the so-called “Hoyt-Burwell-Morse House” has been continuously occupied for 280 years, historians say. Its owner has said he regrets purchasing the property at all, believing that neighbors would back his idea of preserving the old house while building a new one. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

Studio Elan, an established business on Burtis Avenue, is moving into the former Candy Scoop space on Elm Street, up the alley by Chef Luis and next to New Canaan Music. ***

New Canaan Public Schools cafeterias recently earned the No. 1 “Best Food Ranking” from Niche.com. Here’s a peek at the top-10 (Darien is No. 23—nanny nanny boo boo):

New Canaan
Middlefield
Weston
Westport
Wilton
Chester
Killingly
Waterford
Simsbury
Glastonbury

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Police responded to a call at 1:28 p.m. last Saturday that a dog near Forest Street and Locust Avenue was “going crazy in a car.” The dog’s owner, who was inside the nearby New Canaan Diner, paid her bill and left the restaurant to take care of the barking animal. Continue Reading →

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Letter: ‘Thank You’ for Support of Waveny Book Launch

On behalf of the New Canaan Preservation Alliance, I would like to thank the community of New Canaan for the overwhelming support of the launch of my book Waveny: New Canaan’s Treasure. What a treat to have Christopher Lloyd return to his hometown of New Canaan for this family event, which helps build awareness of this unique historic estate that his mother gifted to the town in 1967. Much thought went into producing this book by a small group of dedicated people, who all donated their time and expertise. First, I would like to thank the talented artist and illustrator Nicole Johnson Murphy for devoting over a year to working with me on this project, which was truly a labor of love for both of us. Julia O-Dowd brought the significant Herter Looms murals to life with her detailed photographs. Rose Scott Long’s photographs further highlighted many of the decorative elements in the house, while the graphic designer John Kearns and Robert La Banca of Impression Point packaged and printed the book beautifully. Continue Reading →

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