Once Part of a 90-Acre Farmland Parcel, Historic West Road Barn on Track for Restoration

Officials on Tuesday approved a West Road property owner’s plan to restore what is being called a historically significant barn, and in a slightly different way than had originally been approved. It isn’t clear just when the 1.5-story barn at 388 West Road was built, though the head of the New Canaan Historical Society puts construction of an original house that had stood there and listed a barn on the property at about 1764. Originally, general contractor Ian Hobbs of New Canan’s Hobbs Inc. had planned as part of the restoration—which included modest additions (such as dormers and enough height for to accommodate them) and required a special permit—to preserve certain historical aspects of the structure itself. However, Hobbs told the Planning & Zoning Commission at its regular meeting, “a tremendous amount of rot” was discovered in the vertical beams during asbestos abatement. As a result, two alternatives emerged: using the barn’s mostly well-preserved horizontal beams for decorative purposes or else leave them in place and work around them at greater time and with no aesthetic benefit, as they’ll have to be sheet-rocked over in any case for fire safety, Hobbs said.