Historic Park Street Home To Be Converted into Museum 

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The 1837-built Greek Revival at 63 Park St. Credit: Michael Dinan

The town last week received a building permit application for an estimated $750,000 renovation that would convert a historic Park Street home into a museum.

The application filed March 16 relates to the Greek Revival-style home at 63 Park St. that once was owned by Maxwell Perkins, the great Scribners editor of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and (the original) Tom Wolfe.

“Convert existing single family dwelling with at home office into a museum with exhibit space, meeting space and offices,” said an application filed on behalf of the property’s owner, a limited liability company whose managing principal is listed in state records as a Manhattan man. He bought the 1836-built house in November 2018 for about $2.5 million.

Specifically, the renovation work will include lowering the floor of an existing walk-out basement to achieve greater ceiling height and removing a second-floor terrace. The architect on the job is Wilton-based William D. Earls AIA, and the contractor has not been selected yet, the application said.

In January 2019, the New Canaan Building Department received an application to renovate about 1,000 square feet inside the house. Plans referred to an “exhibit space,” “reception” area, “photo darkroom.” The estimated $50,000 job involved adding a catering kitchen and half-bath, according to the application. 

Formerly owned by Richard Bergmann, an architect, the home had hit the market at about $2.9 million, later reduced to $2.6 million. Its owner since 1973, Bergmann in 2017 had applied for a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals in order to gain more flexibility in the landmark house’s home-office use, but after two continuances that application did not come before the ZBA again. Instead, the Planning & Zoning Commission in August 2018 voted in favor of a Special Permit for the same. 

6 thoughts on “Historic Park Street Home To Be Converted into Museum 

  1. The January 2019 permit application was rescinded. It was for a much smaller project. The rooms mentioned in the article, including the dark room, were existing spaces and not part of the permit.
    The scope of the project increased since then.

  2. Wouldn’t the owner – said to be a preservationist – like to consider the historic 1913 library building for his museum? That would be a great use for that landmark.

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