Group Seeks To Delay New Canaan Town Hall Demolition

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The New Canaan Preservation Alliance is asking for a 90-day demolition delay for the rear of New Canaan Town Hall. Photo Credit: Melvin Mason

NEW CANAAN, Conn.  – A preservation group is hoping demolition at New Canaan Town Hall can be held off while the importance of the 103-year-old building is properly recorded.

The New Canaan Preservation Alliance plans to ask the town’s Historical Review Committee for a 90-day delay in demolition of the rear portion of the building. The Historical Review Committee will meet at 10 a.m. Thursday at the New Canaan Historical Society.

Susan Gelvin, a member of the Preservation Alliance, said the group is not trying to be adversarial, but wants to make sure that the history of Town Hall is properly recorded before most of the rear of the structure is razed.

“How many years has this building been standing? What’s 90 days more compared to how many days it’s been standing?” Gelvin said. “We’re taking things into consideration that are historic and of merit.”

Mimi Findlay, president of the Preservation Alliance, said residents should attend the meeting to learn more about the pending demolition, preservation grants, tax credits for preserving the entire building and “the history of this core heritage asset.”

Town officials decided to go forward with renovating the building at 77 Main St. after years of talking about its deficiencies, including lack of access for those with disabilities and a leaky roof.

Town Hall was closed in November after a boiler failed in the spring. Municipal offices were relocated to the New Canaan Police Department on South Avenue and to the office complex next to Walter Stewart’s Market on Elm Street.

The Town Hall Building Committee expects demolition of the rear portion of the building, along with asbestos abatement, to begin early next year. The actual renovation is slated to start in June or July.

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