New Canaan Preservation Alliance

Recent Articles

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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‘It Was An Amazing Place To Live’: Actor Christopher Lloyd Returns To Waveny House

About 12 years ago, Christopher Lloyd, the actor, re-visited Waveny House, his childhood home in New Canaan and centerpiece of the sprawling property, now a beloved park, that his mother Ruth Lapham Lloyd conveyed to the town in 1967. It was a Fourth of July weekend, Lloyd recalled, and he was “sitting out in the field, and the fireworks were going off down near the parkway and I looked back and I saw all those faces and the people and they had a band playing and all kinds of barbecues going on.”

“And I thought, if my mother could come back and see that, she would feel that her dream was coming true,” Lloyd recalled from the Great Hall at Waveny House on Sunday afternoon, standing a few feet away from the recently restored floor-to-ceiling limestone fireplace that has greeted generations of New Canaanites entering the 1912-built structure. “That Waveny hadn’t been turned into gas stations and mini-malls—not that we don’t need those—but something that was preserved ‘in perpetuity’ so to speak, where the people who live in this area can come and enjoy what it offers. That’s a great pleasure, to come back and see that.”

He got a good dose on Sunday, attending the sold-out launch of a children’s book, “Waveny: New Canaan’s Treasure,” written by town resident Arianne Kolb and illustrated by Nicole Johnson Murphy. A max-capacity crowd of more than 150 picked up copies of the book, mixed and took photos with Lloyd, learned about the work of a nonprofit organization that co-presented the event with the town, the New Canaan Preservation Alliance, and perused contemporary photographs of the Waveny grounds by New Canaan artist Torrance York, while New Canaan Music owner Phil Williams entertained the crowd with live music from his band, Scavenger Trio. Continue Reading →

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Former Waveny House Resident, Actor Christopher Lloyd, To Attend Children’s Book Launch There on Sunday

The widely anticipated launch of a Waveny-inspired children’s book on Sunday is drawing back one of the cherished public building’s most prominent former residents, officials say: Christopher Lloyd. The Emmy Award-winning actor—of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Taxi” and “Back To The Future” fame—is the son of Ruth Lapham Lloyd, and grew up in Waveny House before his mother gave it, as well as all other buildings and the sprawling acreage that made up the estate, to the town. His attendance at the launch of “Waveny: New Canaan’s Treasure” is “significant and wonderful,” said Arianne Faber Kolb, author of the book, which is illustrated by Nicole Johnson Murphy and whose publication was made possible by a New Canaan Community Foundation grant and funding from the town. “He is really the history of this place and it’s his story and his family’s history and his own personal story is so tied to Waveny and the house, so it is really special for the town and community that he is still attached to this and would like to continue to be involved with anything that has to do with Waveny, and he has expressed that.”

He’s also made good on that promise. Lloyd attended the 100th anniversary celebration of Waveny House in 2012—an event organized by the New Canaan Preservation Alliance—and told attendees stories about growing up at the beloved building and property. Continue Reading →

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