Historic District Commission: Proposed Redevelopment of Former Red Cross Property Not Appropriate

Members of the appointed body that oversees New Canaan’s Historic District—roughly, 21 properties around and near God’s Acre—said last week that plans to redevelop the former Red Cross building property are not in line with the town’s guidelines for the area. Plans filed in May at 51 Main St. call for the ca. 1889 structure—long associated with its former owner, the Red Cross (developer Arnold Karp purchased it five years ago through a limited liability company)—to be moved closer to the road while building a multi-family residential structure with 20 apartments behind it, six of which would be rent-restricted as part of an 8-30g affordable housing application. The Historic District Commission during its Oct.

Historic District Commission Approves Addition on Oenoke Lane

The volunteer panel that oversees New Canaan’s Historic District—the area around God’s Acre, generally speaking—last week voted 5-0 to approve a plan to build a mudroom and three-car garage onto an Oenoke Lane home. Just part of the 1962-built Colonial at 20 Oenoke Lane is located within the district, according to a map on the town website. As such, the Historic District Commission’s interest in the homeowner’s project is “focused on what you are doing on the east side of the house, where you are doing a major addition which is in District,” Commission Vice Chair Carl Rothbart said during the appointed body’s July 22 meeting, held via videoconference. “What you are adding at the bedrooms and back of the house really is beyond our purview,” he said. Darien-based architect Neil Tod Hauck, representing the homeowners, said a glass-enclosed mudroom would lead to the new two-story garage on the east side of the house, with a metal roof featuring three “doghouse” dormers and topped with a cupola.

‘It’s Something We Need To Look At’: Commissioner Seeks Weigh-In on Proposed Flagstone Terrace at God’s Acre

A member of the town commission charged with overseeing New Canaan’s Historic District said this month that the group should discuss further a proposed flagstone patio planned for the top of God’s Acre. The Historic District Commission in February approved the concept of a 18-by-36-foot terrace to be located directly across Park Street from the entrance to the Congregational Church, designed to serve as a public gathering space year-round and a place where the Town Band could set up each Dec. 24 for Christmas Eve caroling. 

Members of a volunteer committee that proposed the terrace have said organizers in the past have paid about $2,225 annually to erect a wooden bandstand for the Town Band. A permanent structure there would be both cost-effective and a year-round benefit to the wider community, the committee said. New Canaan’s funding bodies in September approved a $50,000 special appropriation for the project, to be paid with private donations raised by the committee. 

The Historic District Commission had called for more details and visuals of the proposal, in part to determine just how the new structure would look from different points of view around God’s Acre.