Location chosen for elevator at Waveny House
NEW CANAAN — A birdcage elevator may make its half-million dollar nest in the open grand stairway of Waveny House though if space and design allows it.
“It will be an (American with Disabilities Act) compliant elevator, a custom elevator meaning it will be built to our specifications,” Bill Oestmann, superintendent of buildings, said at the Waveny House Renovation Committee’s June 27 meeting.
“The manufacturer has to come here and discuss criteria. It can be anything we want it to be — brass, glass, steel or iron,” Oestmann added.
The renovation committee, formed May 22, is to make a recommendation regarding plans to make the house compliant with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) to the Board of Selectmen within 90 days of appointment.
The committee includes Bill Holmes, Sally Campbell, Amy Carroll, Carl Rothbart, Cristina Ross, Marty Skrelunas and Penny Young.
The renovation project is part of a $1 million appropriation approved by the Town Council for the 2019 fiscal year. The birdcage elevator, though not yet designed, is a vintage style reminiscent of those at the turn of the 20th century. Said elevator was previously estimated to come with a $500,000 price tag in a way to adhere to the house’s architectural style and make it ADA compliant.
A total of five different locations were suggested for the elevator location and members ultimately voted to have it in the open grand stairway though not unanimously.
Ross was the only member that voted in opposition to the proposed location, citing she wanted to see more information before proceeding.
“I don’t think that the research has been done and we have to be totally aware of what you’re getting in the end,” Ross said.
Committee members agreed that if the purported location for the elevator was not adequate for a custom-design elevator, another of the five possible spots would be explored.
“What we’re not picking is an elevator per se today, we’re picking a location and the mandate going back to (Oestmann) is that in that space you’ll design an ADA compliant lift device,” Holmes said.
Oestmann noted that any design plans would have to be ultimately approved by the state, ensuring that it meets ADA requirements and code.
“Once (the state) signs off on it, we build it and they come and inspect it,” Oestmann said.
According to Oestmann the architectural service has not yet been contracted and the selectmen will discuss that at their next Tuesday meeting.
Committee members agreed that the main objective was that the house be ADA compliant.
“The goal is to have the building ADA compliant which implies people getting to the second floor. I’m terrified of doing demolition in this house. If the elevator is ADA compliant, that’s enough for me,” Holmes said.