‘We’re Really Excited’: New Canaan Library Opens ‘Green’ to the Public


New Canaan Library Vice President of Operations Cheryl Capitani on the new green, on Jan. 10, 2024. Credit: Michael Dinan

New Canaan Library’s widely anticipated green is now open to the public, officials say.

The ADA accessible ramp at New Canaan Library, on Jan. 10, 2024. Credit: Michael Dinan

Patrons of New Canaan Library can now approach and enter the new building from the corner of Main and Cherry Streets, and the green itself connects the campus to the downtown in a new way, said Vice President of Operations Cheryl Capitani.

“We’re really excited about the green being open,” Capitani told NewCanaanite.com. “It’s a step that really, for a lot of us, makes us feel part of downtown in a way that we haven’t felt before. So that connection is exciting for us. And the view walking up from the corner of Main and Cherry—it’s just a joy to walk up that crosswalk. Just for everyone to know, there is a long crosswalk that comes up [from the corner] that does have a bit of an incline, but there is also an ADA accessible one that comes up in the middle of Cherry Street that is accessible for everyone.” (Those seeking to enter the library itself from the green must push the button, as the sign says, in order to open the doors that lead into stacks on the first floor.)

New terraces, walkways and gardens form part of the green at New Canaan Library. On Jan. 10, 2024. Credit: Michael Dinan

Leveled out and planted in the weeks since the 1913 library building was moved 115 feet to the western property line, the green not only features a wide new lawn, terraces, gardens, walkways, seating areas and even relaxing music played through speakers, but also opens up new vistas of downtown New Canaan from the library and its approaches. 

Vice President of External Affairs and Philanthropy Ellen Crovatto said the library raised more than $2 million for the green alone and continues to solicit support for the Green Society, “which going forward will support the library and annual events.”

A new row of benches and trees fronts Cherry Street alongside the green at New Canaan Library, on Jan. 10, 2024. Credit: Michael Dinan

“We still have opportunities for people to become a Founder and receive permanent recognition on the green,” she said.

Asked about how the library envisions people using the green, Capitani said, “I think we are look at it as an opportunity for a mix of passive programming and use for people in the town, which will be lovely.”

Panoramic view of the new main ramp from Cherry and Main Streets, on Jan. 10, 2024. Credit: Michael Dinan

“We’ll look for that sort of spring fever time for some of our middle-schoolers to have some space to be outside and be productive out there,” Capitani said. “And in the spring we’ll be getting a variety of outdoor furniture, so we’ll have Adirondack chairs, as well as regular round tables and chairs to sit at, picnic tables for a variety of different terraces, and benches coming for the lawn. So, lots of different spaces for people to explore. And then, in addition we will be having some library programs out there, so everybody should definitely keep an eye out on our calendar for that.”

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