Letters to the Editor


NewCanaanite.com recently received the following letters to the editor.


To the Editor,

Thanks to the kindness, skill, and diligence of our faithful volunteer Medicare counselors, Lapham Center just finished its sixteenth year of assisting residents in evaluating their Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans. In addition to accommodating changing schedules, these counselors were also willing to accommodate varying comfort levels, given the current COVID climate, providing service either in person or by phone.

Despite many challenges, during the seven week Open Enrollment period that began October 15, our counselors were able to “meet” with 449 New Canaan residents. Of these residents, more than 39% people found a less expensive drug plan, saving, as a group, $166,683.07. This means that, during the ten years Lapham has kept records, our counselors have saved residents a total of $2,322,061.07!

We would like to thank our volunteer Medicare counselors who provide, free of charge, this very valuable service:  Dick Neville, Harvey Place, Sally Campbell, and Kim Campbell. As a group, they put in hundreds of hours helping their neighbors with this often frustrating and confusing process.

Lapham Center is also fortunate to have volunteer Medicare counselors available year round to answer questions about Medicare and to help those who are new to Medicare navigate the enrollment process. Appointments are available at 203-594-3620.

Medicare counseling may be the single most important service that Lapham Center provides. It would not be possible without these dedicated volunteers who go through extensive training and then spend many hours running the computer programs and explaining their findings to the Medicare recipients. We are so very grateful for all their efforts!

Aggie Aspinwall, Director

Lapham Community Center

Senior Center of New Canaan, Inc.


Don’t know why people in town complained about the wall on Park Street when the new construction on 123 Canaan Parish looks as if it belongs in Russia or some depressed area. So bleak, unNew Canaan like and tasteless. Who okayed the plans? Why does low income housing have to look as if it doesn’t belong to a fine town?  Doesn’t anyone care what the topography looks like on 123? There is nothing I can do about it. Obviously too late. It doesn’t even blend with Avalon, their neighbor.

E. J. Skinner



The plan submitted by the New Canaan Preservation Alliance for the transformation of the 1913 library earlier this month is clearly the most perfect solution for this beloved building. I don’t know how anyone can think differently, and yet Planning and Zoning approved the New Canaan Library’s plan which takes only half the small original 1913 building, and moves it at great expense to the rear of the Library campus by the Gulf Station.

The NCPA concept showed the whole original 1913 building, taken back down to its original small size, in situ, and bringing it back to its former beauty. It showed how the 1913 Library could become as useful as ever, as could be seen in the drawings in the plan. The back of the building could be transformed into a covered stage with hundreds of people on the green looking on. The building would also work for exhibits, various gatherings and a myriad of other things. It would cost so much less to keep it in place rather than moving a part of the building to the rear of the library campus. That move would mean that this beautiful building is then no longer a whole and useful building, but lost in the background, and most importantly – not historic preservation.

Many New Canaanites through time have opted to protect our town’s historic structures. Philip Johnson, who in fact is honored in the new library building plan, spent a great deal of time trying to save historic buildings. He picketed to save Penn Station in New York City, and he then worked along side Jackie Kennedy and others to save Grand Central Station. Surely, in his own home town, he would have tried to protect the 1913 Library because he would have understood its fine classic architectural lines and its great craftsmanship.

The 1913 Library is a building worth saving, and worth having as a functional handsome historic landmark. A building that should and can be used, and not pushed to the rear at great expense to become no more than a small piece of what it can be – for no logical reason. There’s still time to do the right thing.


Patricia Funt Oxman

4 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor

  1. I so agree with Patricia and I’m sure we’re not the only ones in town. It is a travesty that the Planning and Zoning commission has voted this way. The NCPA concept works! And makes the green much more useful! Please, please reconsider!

  2. I respectfully disagree with Patricia. The unoubstructed green in front of the new library has more value to the town than the walls of 1913 building. The best option would be to demolish this structure altogeher. The next best would be to move it back-to-back with the gas station house. Leaving it in the middle of the greenis would be the worst.

    In my opinion, of course.

  3. Igor – I think it’s good to have a friendly dialogue on any issue. But I think you perhaps don’t realize that the 1913 Library is not “just walls” as you call it, but a beautiful building that can be restored to its original beauty without as much money as it takes to half it and move it. It also has the lovely Salant room with fabulous classic revival murals created for the room by a local artist. The building has been deemed in very good condition by a consultant William Crosskey who was chosen by our Planning and Zoning to review the building. The consultant said “The 1913 library building is worth preserving and can be saved at reasonable cost and limited impact to the proposed new library,” He also said ” The building retains many of its character defining features, is in very good condition and provides many benefits.” It “provides a sense of place, community pride and identity distinct from other places.” His words, and I and many others agree. By the way, we already have a town green called God’s Acre – for many years it was referred to as the Town Green.

  4. As an immigrant to the USA some 27 years ago, I value content more than looks. So spending $38,000,000+ on a building while seeking $750,000 in donations for books reeks of misplaced priorities. This library project is the definition of first world privilege.

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