On the Town Hall Addition’s Brick: ‘We Are Not Trying to Imitate Anything’

As the addition back of Town Hall materializes—the major piece of the historic building’s $18 million renovation and expansion—one question coming in from many observers, officials say, involves an aesthetic detail that no one expected to garner attention: its bricks. Engineers, historic preservationists, architects and builders have spent years conceiving—now building—a flexible, modern, safe, ADA-compliant, open and hi-tech Town Hall that’s sensitive to the original 1909 structure. And in fact much of the exterior work at 77 Main St. has involved restoring the original façade of the building (an effort that’s led to some exciting revelations—see below). Yet for many of those eyeballing Town Hall from angles where the original structure and addition are side-by-side—say, from beside Vine Cottage—the differently sized and colored bricks in the new construction have emerged as a kind of curiosity.

Water Main Hookup to Renovated Town Hall to Cost Unanticipated $74,000; Overall Project Remains on Budget

New Canaan will spend an unanticipated $74,000 to connect the renovated Town Hall to a water main, after officials from the public water company found the hookup that had been in place wanting for the expanded structure, officials say. When workers at the Main Street site went to connect to the water main through an existing line, Aquarion discovered that a single line had been serving not only Town Hall but also the Outback Teen Center behind it, and “it turned out we needed a separate line with the two buildings,” said Michael Pastore, director of the Department of Public Works. “We didn’t know that,” Pastore said. “There is some confusion as to how come this is different to what it was. But it has to be different to what it was.

Officials: $18 Million New Canaan Town Hall Renovation on Time, Budget

The widely anticipated renovation of Town Hall is on pace to wrap up next spring and officials said Monday that even after earmarking about three-quarters of what’s been budgeted for contingencies, the project is on track to come in at its estimated $18 million. According to the Joseph Zagarenski of Bridgeport-based firm The McLoud Group, which is overseeing the project as construction manager, the project is within two days of schedule and with the installation of steel by the end of June, “We will be 100 percent on schedule.”

“The foundation is 95 percent of the way complete,” Zagarenski said during a meeting of Town Hall Building Committee III, held in the Adrian Lamb room at New Canaan Library. “The frame will go up in the next two to three weeks. It will be a huge difference in what you see.”

A project expected to improve dramatically New Canaan’s main municipal building and services, the Town Hall renovation since its inception has been guided by principles of creating a modern facility (adding ADA accessibility and built-in technology to ease public use, for example) while retaining the historic character of the original 1909 structure (it was designed by celebrated architect Edgar Alonzo Josseyln after he’d won a competition for the right to do so, historians say—by then he’d already designed what’s now called the “Old Town Hall” of Stamford). The following renderings of the renovated New Canaan Town Hall are from White Plains, NY-based KSQ Architects and have been included in multiple presentations to town officials over the past two years.