NEW CANAAN, Conn. – The New Canaan Daily Voice is counting down some of the top stories of the year as 2012 comes to a close.
New Canaan Town Hall is now empty. The town’s central building closed in November in anticipation of a renovation that’s been discussed for several years.
Town officials opted to close the doors to the 103-year-old structure after a boiler in the building’s basement failed and the repair was deemed too expensive. The building also had many issues, including access for the disabled and a leaky roof.
Town hall offices were relocated to other portions of town. First Selectman Robert Mallozzi’s office and others on the second floor of town hall moved to the New Canaan Police Department on South Avenue. Offices on the first floor, including the town assessor, tax collector and parking department, moved to an office complex on Elm Street next to Walter Stewart’s Market. The town clerk’s office was the last department to leave, moving after the 2012 general election.
Boards and commissions now have meetings at several locations, including the New Canaan Nature Center and New Canaan Library.
Initial plans are to renovate the rear of the building while maintaining the famous façade that faces Main Street. Renovation work, which includes abatement of asbestos, was scheduled to start in early 2013. The New Canaan Preservation Alliance managed to get a 90-day delay for the town’s demolition permit from the Historical Review Committee so that the building’s history can be properly recorded.
Mallozzi expects there will be public meetings to discuss how the new Town Hall will look. The renovation is expected to take about two years.