Mead Park Colonnade to get repairs
NEW CANAAN — The Mead Park Colonnade — a town landmark that often draws eyes and questions — will soon be getting a series of repairs.
The colonnade, notable for its white columns and raised grass structure, now sits between the tennis courts, just up the hill from the Apple Cart in the downtown park. But at one point in New Canaan’s history, it functioned very differently.
“It was a wading pool originally,” said Recreation Director Stephen Benko, of the Depression-era structure, at the Tuesday meeting of the Board of Selectmen at Town Hall. On either side of the colonnade, Benko said, were two bathhouses until the 1970s, when they were graffitied and the town chose to tear them down.
The colonnade was also home to a garden after World War II, when the wading pool was filled in, before becoming the grass-covered stretch of park that it is today. Benko said there is talk of installing a patio within the colonnade and creating an additional seating area for visitors to the park.
“A lot of times there’s overflow down at the Mead Park lodge area,” Benko said.
The colonnade, however, has seldom seen repair work in its recent history.
“The last time we did anything to the Colonnade was probably 12, 14 years ago. We painted and that was it,” Benko said.
With the unanimous approval of the selectmen on Tuesday of $11,855 worth of contracts, the Colonnade will see a series of improvements.
According to Superintendent of Buildings William Oestmann, repairs will include the polishing and resealing of the marble columns, which should last for roughly 25 years. The wood that spans the top of the columns will need to be rot-repaired and repainted.
“It’s critical that that gets done now,” Oestmann said.
First Selectman Robert Mallozzi III commended Benko and Oestmann on the work they’ve already done in Mead Park, namely the refurbishing of the arch at the Park Street entrance.
“It’s just a beautiful environment anyway, but you’ve added dramatically,” Mallozzi said.