Richmond Hill Garage

Recent Articles

First Selectman Breaks 6-6 Tie To Advance Demolition of ‘Mead Park Brick Barn’

Though some argued that it makes little sense to rush an irretrievable decision when a viable alternative has emerged, members of New Canaan’s legislative body and the first selectman on Wednesday pushed forward the demolition of a widely discussed brick structure on Richmond Hill Road. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan broke a 6-6 tie on the Town Council to preserve $65,000, as part of a larger proposed bonding package, for razing the “Mead Park Brick Barn” or “Richmond Hill Garage.”

New Canaan Baseball has said it’s interested in using the 1901-built, two-story structure, opposite the bottom of Grove Street, for meetings and storage. Yet some on the Council questioned the organization’s ability to make the structure usable and maintain it. “I am totally in favor of giving [New Canaan Baseball] a reasonable amount of time, but I think the building should be taken down unless there is a credible plan,” Moynihan told members of the Town Council as he cast a vote in favor of preserving the money for demolition. It wasn’t immediately clear what are the criteria for “a credible plan,” or how long “a reasonable amount of time” is, though Councilmen noted that a 90-day delay is likely from the time the town applies for the demolition permit. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Op-Ed: New Canaan Baseball ‘Natural, Deserving’ Occupant of Mead Park Brick Barn

New Canaan Baseball (NCB) wants to move into Mead Park Brick Barn but the town continues to talk about its demolition. Over the years, countless parties have wanted to occupy the space: Old Faithful, a bike shop, a flower shop, architects, not-for-profits, and now NCB. Historically, despite what the town says, third-party occupancy and even third-party investment in the Barn have not seriously been considered—in 2013, CT Trust awarded the town a grant for Barn work but it lapsed under the then first selectman who found implausible excuses not to seek Town Council approval. This grant is but one example of various sources of possible external, non-Town funding from the state, federal government, foundations, and private interests. Some of these sources should be readily available and forthcoming. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

New Canaan Baseball Proposes Long-Term Use of ‘Mead Park Brick Barn’

After the idea first surfaced at last month’s Forum on Public Buildings, the nonprofit organization that runs youth baseball in New Canaan on Thursday formally proposed using a disused town-owned brick structure on Richmond Hill Road for storage and meetings. New Canaan Baseball officials in a May 10 letter to the selectmen and Town Council said the building known as the “Brick Barn” or “Richmond Hill Garage” would be more suitable for storage than a town-owned shed at Waveny and could offer more uses. “New Canaan Baseball would like to formally express our interest in the above property,” NCBB Co-Presidents Rob Moore and Brian Rogers said in the letter, obtained by NewCanaanite.com. “We need to fully understand the financial impact and commitment of inhabiting the space but we are willing to explore the next steps.”

“We recognize that the Barn needs repairs and upgrading, and have seen preliminary estimates,” the letter said. “The main room on the ground floor provides us some raw space we could use with some modifications. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Public Buildings InfoSheet: Richmond Hill Garage/Mead Park Brick Barn

[Editor’s Note: The following has been prepared in advance of the “Forum on Public Buildings.”]

Built: 1901
Square footage: 2,500
Current uses: Vacant
Committee recommendations: Demolish it unless there is an individual or organization that can fund renovation for town-sanctioned use with endowment for lifetime maintenance. Relevant articles: Even ‘Richmond Hill Garage’ Gets a Fresh Look from Group Appointed to Evaluate Town Buildings (March 2017), Now, Vandalism: Richmond Hill Garage Remains a Problem, Town Officials Say (July 2017)

Submitted by Robin Beckett:

The Mead Park Brick Barn is located at 64 Richmond Hill Road. In 2010 it was listed on the CT Register of Historic Places, a designation which qualifies it for CT Trust, state, federal and foundation grants for its structural assessment, repair and restoration. In 1901 Benjamin Mead of New Canaan and James Mead of Greenwich sold a lot situated near “Dismal Swamp” on Richmond Hill Road near Grove Street to Standard Oil Company of New York for $300 where Standard Oil then built a kerosene depot complex of brick structures which were later documented in a 1927 Sanborn map. One of the structures was a carriage barn with stalls for horses, grain and tack, a center passageway for a kerosene delivery wagon and a hayloft above. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,