‘It is a Beautiful Part of Our Town’: Selectmen Approve Funds for Exterior Restoration of Vine Cottage


Calling Vine Cottage a “beautiful part of our town,” town officials last week approved funds to renovate the exterior of the prominent Main Street structure.

“The porches are in dire need of repairs," Bill Oestmann, Buildings and Fleet Superintendent said.

“The porches are in dire need of repairs,” Bill Oestmann, DPW Buildings and Fleet Superintendent said.

It is important that the Town does not tamper with the look of the building, because it blends beautifully into the architecture of New Canaan, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said during a Board of Selectmen meeting.

With Mallozzi, Selectmen Beth Jones and Nick Williams gave unanimous approval for the New Canaan Department of Public Works to enter into a $43,500 contract with Manhattan-based Architectural Preservation Studio, which has an office on Pine Street in New Canaan .

According to Bill Oestmann, buildings and fleet superintendent for the DPW, the most recent renovation of the Vine Cottage was, “about 12, 15 years ago and mostly that was all interior work.”

However, this upcoming renovation will be focused on the exterior renovation of porches, windows and siding.

“Ninety-nine percent of this project is exterior,” Oestmann said during the meeting, held May 17 at Town Hall. “On the inside we will have to do a little painting for the trim work of the windows, and put in some carpeting because of the floor problems we have been having. But that is a very small chunk of the overall project.”

Oestmann said that the project’s focus is preservation. “We are not changing the appearance of that building, we are just going rebuild the porches, the siding, and put the proper windows in,” Oestmann said.

Jones asked Oestmann when the renovation is expected to begin and end. According to Oestmann, the porch work can start immediately, but the Architectural Preservation Studio still needs to make final decisions about how to approach this project so that the Vine Cottage stands strong for years to come. “They [The Architectural Preservation Studio] will make sure we get the right supplies for this project so that we can get the life expectancy out of this building that we want,” Oestmann said.

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