The New Canaan Preservation Alliance is pleased to announce that Waveny was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 30th 2019. NCPA is most pleased to have successfully promoted, facilitated and funded this nomination as prepared by Public Archeology Laboratory of Rhode Island. This project was made possible by a reimbursable grant from the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.
In October of 2013, the NCPA held a celebratory Waveny 100th Celebration and fundraiser after which it was decided by the Board of Directors to pursue funding the nomination of Waveny to the National Register. Although not required to do so, the NCPA presented a request to the Town of New Canaan to support proceeding with this nomination. Throughout this process the NCPA presented a thorough and open proposal to all relevant government agencies which included facilitating attendance of representatives from SHPO to answer all questions relating to this nomination.
The Twelfth Annual Preservation Awards will be presented by the New Canaan Preservation Alliance at a Ceremonial Reception on Sunday June 9th at the New Canaan Historical Society. Selected by a jury of preservationists and board members of the Alliance, the winners will be presented certificates of honor. To be eligible for an Award, the property is viewed mainly from the street, as well-preserved buildings are considered a “Gift” to the community, appreciated by all who value New Canaan’s heritage. There are various categories of winners from rehabilitation, restoration, to preservation of antique structures. Beginning at 4:00 PM, the public will be welcomed to a reception in celebration of NCPA’s twelfth Annual Awards.
A divided Board of Selectmen on Tuesday voted to approve a pair of contracts to demolish a long-neglected town-owned building on the northern edge of Mead Park, signaling the end of a long-running and hotly disputed debate concerning its future.
Selectman Nick Williams, who emerged in recent months as the Board’s “swing vote” on what preservationists have dubbed the “Mead Park Brick Barn,” said he had mixed feelings about voting to raze it.
Noting that a local nonprofit organization, the New Canaan Preservation Alliance, has “worked tirelessly in its efforts to save the Barn” and that “every citizen of New Canaan, regardless of whether you are in favor of or opposed to its continuation, should applaud their efforts,” Williams said that “the time has finally come to proceed with demolition.”
“During a meeting last fall, I said then and I quote, ‘I am personally generally agnostic about the disposition of the Brick Barn, but regardless, one of two things needs to happen—it either needs to be fixed and rehabilitated soon, very soon, or it needs to come down,’ ” Williams said during the Board’s meeting, held at Town Hall.
“While the Alliance has indeed tried to move heaven and earth to save the Barn, alas, the requisite funding plan, in my mind, essentially, cash on the barrel and in the bank for the complete restoration, with no ‘strings attached,’ and together with a business plan acceptable to relevant town bodies has not come to full fruition,” Williams continued.
He noted that municipal bodies including the Town Council and Parks & Recreation Commission have voted repeatedly to see the Brick Barn demolished.
“That tells me that even if we as a Board today were to provide additional time for the Alliance, their continued efforts would ultimately be in vain,” Williams said. “For those reasons, I feel compelled to assist in ending a discussion that has has taken place for nearly a decade. It’s time to move on. The disposition of the Barn has engendered an extraordinary amount of input from our citizens, with emotions running strong on both sides of the issue. Likewise the so-called ‘process’ of that disposition has been discussed and debated extensively in our local press.
The municipal body that by Town Charter would need to approve contracts related to the demolition of a widely discussed building at the northern edge of Mead Park remains divided about whether or not to support a nonprofit organization’s efforts to restore it. During their regular meeting last week, members of the Board of Selectmen heard from two members of the New Canaan Preservation Alliance. The organization is requesting that the ‘Notice of Demolition’ sign be removed from the ‘Mead Park Brick Barn,’ to be allowed to spruce up the abandoned Richmond Hill Road (with some outdoor cleanup and a wreath) and to get feedback on a proposed lease agreement.
Yet at the close of the Dec. 4 meeting, when Selectman Kit Devereaux asked for information on where the town stands with respect to the NCPA, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said that the organization cannot make a request of the selectmen through a meeting’s public comment period. Selectman Nick Williams called the NCPA’s offer “generous.”
“I don’t think it has any bearing on demo or not demoing,” Williams said at the meeting, held in Town Hall.
Reigniting an effort that dates back to this spring, New Canaan’s highest elected official said this week that the town is seeking to acquire a vacant antique home on Valley Road by eminent domain. The town, with a funding commitment from a local nonprofit organization, had offered to acquire the four-acre parcel at 1124 Valley Road, including a prominent red-painted house, for $1.2 million. But the property’s owner, Norwalk’s First Taxing District, rejected that offer. After applying for a demolition permit and then withdrawing it, the Taxing District later rejected the town’s offer to purchase just the house with .8 acres carved out around it, for $250,000—a figure New Canaan had arrived at following an appraisal of the property. Now, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said, “We intend to proceed with our plan to acquire the property by our power of eminent domain.”
“They don’t need the property for water company purposes, they disrespect the house which is over 200 years old and various groups—the Historical Society, the Preservation Alliance—various town bodies want to see that house preserved and that neighborhood preserved,” Moynihan told members of local press during a media briefing Wednesday in his office at Town Hall.