Letter: ‘Friends of Our 1913 Library’

The Friends of Our 1913 Library are fully in favor of a new library building, as a neighbor to the preserved 1913 section of the current library, but with the town looking towards greater tourism and economic development, and with it holding itself out as a destination for those interested in seeing fine architecture, it is ironic indeed that it appears poised to allow the total, and unnecessary, demolition of 1913 which is the town’s most familiar, most admired and most used downtown public building. Such a momentous decision, with the potential for having for highly embarrassing publicity, could well hurt more than help that new town initiative. Many prominent architects in town, including one whose grandfather was a mason involved in the building of it, are absolutely horrified at the prospect of the 1913 section of the current library being torn down unnecessarily with such comments as “a magnificent building, a gem,” “a building with the absolute highest level of architectural detailing,” “it has an exceptionally high quality of architectural design,” “by far the best building architecture in downtown,” “keeping it should be an absolute no brainer,” “I cannot imagine how anyone could be even thinking of tearing it down.”

A professional report prepared by experts in historic buildings finds the building to be in extremely good shape. The library’s flooding and leaking problems are not caused by the oldest parts of the library.  Unfortunately, the unwillingness of the library administration to consider, or even hear of any alternate plan, which could keep 1913, has the makings of very protracted dispute which well could result in a referendum. The library’s leadership’s characterization of even the oldest parts of the current library as an “eyesore” with the firm demand that all of it must “leave the property,” in favor of some extremely costly green space is short sighted, and could well start hurting the libraries worthy efforts towards the new and better library building.

Letter: ‘Thank You’ from Rotary Following Successful Lobsterfest


The Rotary Club wishes to thank all those who participated in this year’s Lobsterfest, especially the New Canaan Historical Society for allowing us to hold it on their grounds, and all our many sponsors and ticket holders who came to help make it a lively, colorful and successful event. In addition to supporting many very worthy local organizations with our proceeds, we wish you to know that your continual support of us has reached deserving people well beyond our immediate area. In 1987, when there were 350,000 known cases of polio, Rotary International set out on a mission to help eradicate polio worldwide. Since then Rotarians, through their clubs across the globe, have all been contributing to this effort, so that four years ago there were only 359 recorded new cases anywhere, and last year only 21. This year, we understand that there have been no new recorded cases.

Letter: Ideal Spot for Year-Round, Heated Restroom Facilities at Waveny

The area near Waveny House badly needs year-round, outside accessible, heated restroom facilities. The restrooms near the water tower are seasonal only. There is a building right next to the Power House which is ideally located and, being slightly larger than the water tower restrooms building, suitably sized for such a use. It can be converted and readily made handicap accessible. It has the rounded stone foundation walls, indicating that it dates back to the Hall (1900) era, and it is the last of those buildings not in public use.

Letter: Making ‘Portrait of New Canaan’ a Town-Wide Reading Project

Bravo, and our thanks, to Jim Bach for once again giving us a most interesting talk at the Historical Society on another chapter in New Canaan’s history. His recent talk gave me the idea that perhaps someday, with appropriate lead time, the New Canaan Historical Society’s book “Portrait of New Canaan” by Mary Louise King, might become one of the chosen volumes for the library’s One Book New Canaan program. Used on Amazon, the King book sells for around $48 a copy so it might need re-publishing, which could help the Historical Society. It could also generate further knowledge and interest in the town’s history generally which is really much more fascinating than another novel about a small town. After all who would have guessed that the town did not even start recording its births, marriages, deaths and land transactions until over 50 years after its 1801 incorporation, or that it was, at one time, famous for its wild horses which were rounded up and driven overland to ports as far away as Rhode Island to be shipped to the West Indies, or that striking, protesting New Canaan workers of the Cordwainers’ Protective Union once noisily marched down Church Hill onto Main Street, holding the leather hides and the tools of their trade on-high demanding higher wages, or that the town’s first selectman was once a very left-wing Locofoco Democrat, and because the town could not give a majority to any one candidate for the state legislature, it went unrepresented at all in Hartford for four years, or that, way back in history, people started printing currency for themselves in their own homes until they were reported and then …