Preservation Alliance plans to save brick barn
NEW CANAAN — For some, it’s an eyesore in the way of Mead Memorial Park. For others, it’s another building in town worth preserving.
“Time is running out!” the Save Mead Park Brick Barn website reads as a timer with month, days and even hour pulsates every second. “Help save Mead Park Brick Barn today!”
In a letter dated Aug. 30, Charles Robinson, a member of the Preservation Alliance, wrote to town council members about the organization’s plan to preserve and maintain the brick building.
Robinson outlined the organization’s proposal to “immediately invest up to $40,000 to secure the Mead Park Brick Barn” for necessary reparations and also suggested the town council vote to prevent the demolition, scheduled for late October.
Robin Beckett, an advisor to the Preservation Alliance, said the process for entities interested in preserving buildings slated for demolition was unclear.
“We want to help move with the town to create a defined process for evaluation of proposals. I’d like to know what the criteria for that is,” Beckett said. “We haven’t been given a roadmap.”
In a meeting with local media last Thursday, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said the building was seeing its last days.
“It’s a done deal in my view — the clock is ticking and a contractor has been hired,” Moynihan said. “My personal view is that the majority sentiment in this town is that they want the building gone.”
As of press time, the Preservation Alliance was scheduled to give a presentation to the town council Wednesday evening.
In mid-May, Moynihan cast a rare tie-breaking vote at a town council meeting in favor of allocating $65,000 in a bonding resolution to demolish the Richmond Hill Road building.
Before the vote, New Canaan Baseball had expressed an interest in maintaining the building. Co-presidents Rob Moore and Brian Rogers claimed they had sought preliminary estimates of costs to repair and upgrade the garage, though the effort didn’t prevent the town council’s decision and Moynihan’s vote to include the money slated for demolition.
Beckett noted the Preservation Alliance was looking into itemizing expenses and maintenance costs, but that it would not be $1 million, as a town councilman expressed at a meeting earlier this summer.
“It’s a structurally sound building,” Beckett said. “The second floor would most likely be made into office space and could also be used for storage. It’s going to be a passive, quiet space because it’s in a residential neighborhood.”