Commission Approves Sidewalk Extensions, Reconstruction Around God’s Acre

The volunteer group that oversees New Canaan’s Historic District last week approved three sidewalk projects that cross into the area of God’s Acre. The projects include new and reconstructed sidewalks on Main and Park Streets. 

One calls for a reconstructed sidewalk climbing the hill on the east side of God’s Acre from Heritage Hill Road all the way along Oenoke Ridge to Parade Hill Road, according to Tiger Mann, the town’s public works director. The other two effectively will create continuous sidewalk access for pedestrians coming up Park Street in front of the Congregational church and will wrap around the corner at Oenoke “in order to give sight lines and then there will be a crosswalk so that, in essence, you are getting right across the street to the district itself or to the Historical Society itself,” Mann told members of the Historic District Commission at their July 23 meeting, held via videoconference. 

Commissioner Pam Randon said, “It’s sorely needed.”

“It’s terrible, really bad,” she said. “You cannot even push a wheelchair on it now.”

Randon, Chair Tom Nissley, Secretary Carl Rothbart and Commissioners Marty Skrelunas and Todd Lampert voted 5-0 to approve the project. Under the town’s Historic District regulations, the appointed body’s approval is needed for such alterations. 

The sidewalks themselves in the district will be colored gray concrete, Mann said.

‘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.