Richmond Hill Neighbors Weigh In on Future of ‘Mead Park Brick Barn’


The pending demolition of the Mead Park Brick Barn has drawn polarizing reactions from the community—while preservationists advocate for its historical and cultural value, at least some of those who favor its razing live in the long-vacant building’s immediate area.

Richmond Hill Garage. Photo submitted by Robin Beckett

Amy Wilkinson lives in the townhouse off of Richmond Hill, and said she is “very much anticipating the demolition of the structure” and is “very happy it is finally going to happen.

The building is “an eyesore” for residents and “doesn’t have a particular function and it hasn’t for a long time,” she told NewCanaanite on a recent afternoon.

According to Sandy Kelly, a relative newcomer tof Richmond Hill Road, the decaying structure has not been actively preserved and has attracted “delinquent behaviors” in some cases.

Wilkinson confirmed that there is “a tendency for people to hang out around here.”

According to Chris Orelup of Richmond Hill Road has described the building as an “eyesore” and noted that demolishing up with open up the neighborhood to “an uninterrupted view of Mead Park from Richmond Hill and Grove that will be lovely.”

“I believe that the vast majority of those who actually live in the neighborhood will be very glad to have it gone,” Orelup said.

Wilkinson echoed his point of view.

“I think if it was removed it would open up the vista to Mead lake and make it much more pleasing to look at,” she said.

Kelly said the Brick Barn “blocks the view of the park which is really pretty.”

“So I think bringing it down would be a good thing,” Kelly said.

Many of those who are fighting for the Brick Barn’s preservation “ don’t live near here,” Wilkinson said.

“They don’t have to see it every day,” she added.

From a budgetary perspective, Wilkinson thinks that the $65,000 earmarked for its demoition is money well spent.

“I think that it will be money well spent to remove it and make that area more accessible to the park,” she said. “It will also help the value of houses in the neighborhood.”

In response to the effort to preserve the barn for historical significance, Wilkinson said, “Just because something is old doesn’t make it historically valuable.”

6 thoughts on “Richmond Hill Neighbors Weigh In on Future of ‘Mead Park Brick Barn’

  1. People are to quick in wanting it torn down, instead of seeing that it could turn into something good and decent.
    Not an eyesore…

  2. Ye gods, are we still discussing this old eyesore at the edge of Mead Park? My late husband and former Selectman Terry Spring worked long and hard to keep this decayed building from becoming a Fire Engine private Clubhouse. The P & Z honored their opposition.
    And yet here we are again in 2018 talking about keeping this musty relic alive. Do bad ideas never die? There is not a single reason—no history, no beauty, no architectural or historic reason–to keep this
    derelict monster standing. Without it, everyone driving along Richmond Hill will have a glorious view of beautiful Mead Park and Mead Pond. I say down with it. And soon!

  3. “Quick in wanting it torn down”??

    Mr. Jensen — I think everyone would agree that there has been nothing in this saga that has been quick. I have personally lived on Richmond Hill for almost 15 years, and everyone with whom I have spoken in the neighborhood has wanted it demolished that entire time.

    When demolition has been delayed in the past due to the protestations of a vocal minority (who do not live in the neighborhood) with grandiose plans to restore the garage what has happened once the dust settles? Nothing! The same proposals keep getting made over and over again and the garage continues to decay.
    (see Robert Rogers’ comment on the “Letter: Show Support for NCPA’s ‘Brick Barn’ Proposal” article as well as Mrs. Brooks’ comment above). The current NCPA proposal is much as they have proposed in the past and the results would be the same as in the past–nothing.

    NCPA cites the fact that the garage is one of only a couple similar structures left in existence as a reason it should be saved. I would counter that the reason there are so few left as that most towns have already had the good sense to realize they have no real historic or architectural significance and demolished them years ago!!

    The lower half of Richmond Hill’s school bus stop is in the shadow of the garage–are we going to wait until part of the building falls down on someone to act?

    I encourage Mr. Moynihan and the rest of the town leadership to maintain their resolve and proceed expediently with demolition as soon as the 90 day delay expires.

  4. The patient neighbors across the street have been tortured by misuse and by this endless process for years. There has never been a good faith effort by those concerned about the building’s removal to subsidize a meaningful use for it, yet protests arise each time the town begins to implement it’s removal. If the building is so important, perhaps those expressing interest in it’s preservation would be willing to move it to another site at their cost. Hopefully the town will refrain from using the space as a station for equipment storage once the building has been removed. The neighbors deserve quiet enjoyment of the park.

  5. The “barn” and its asphalt lot is an eyesore in the neighborhood. There are no concrete plans for its use. As Mrs. Brooks pointed out this discussion has gone on far too long and it is time to demolish the structure.

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