My name is Rebecca Serven, and I am a New Canaan High School alumna, class of 2017, currently studying Mechanical Engineering. I would like to take a moment to respond to the Op-Ed published earlier titled, “Critically Important’ To Move Forward with Current Plans to Rebuild New Canaan Library.”
I refuse to support a decision that destroys another piece of our history due to those who will not prioritize the wealth and beauty of New Canaan’s past, over their current individual interests.
It pains me to ask how much longer must the people fight for the preservation of our town’s heritage? From the Silvermine Tavern to the Maple Street Cemetery to the house on 8 Ferris Hill or even the Melba Inn on Park Street? And now, the time has come again to defend the preservation of the 1913 Main Street portion of our historic library.
In the past three expansions of our Library, in 1937, 1952, and 1979, the decision to retain the 1913 portion of the library had never been a question. The architects of those times still thought it to be paramount to adjust their plans to accommodate this space, despite its inconvenience to intended designs. Therefore, why is it only now that the 1913 part “compromises the visual integrity of the new library” and is an “out-of-place structure”? The two architectural firms, which are headquartered in New York City and Centerbrook, did not consider the heart of New Canaan’s history when designing the new library. In fact, it is ironic that the proposed plans are determined to disassemble the 1913 icon while the library’s website simultaneously markets itself as a cultural center of the community.
I ask of us to consider what integrity we have if our primary focus is to dispose of our town’s past. How will you look into the eyes of those to come, telling them that your myopic decision permanently destroyed a keystone of our history? And how will you look into the eyes of those of the present, telling them that your myopic decision made the places they loved just another memory?
I ask the community to consider what can be done to reimagine the presence of our town’s history, especially when we have already lost so much of it.”
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2021
B.S. Mechanical Engineering