Who are the Circuit Riders?
Photo credit: Peter Morenus, UConn Photo.
The 2018 Merit Awards were the best yet.
At a lively celebration at the Edmond Town Hall in Newtown, the Connecticut Trust announced its 2018 Merit Awards. The visions and hard work behind each award are triumphant success stories of historic preservation’s value in our local economies and cultural life. Click here for a description of the 4 Award categories. The winners were:
Trustee’s Award for Stewardship
George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis, for their reclamation and reactivation of Arethusa Farm.
They have preserved 300 acres of agricultural land with numerous historic houses and barns, rehabilitated historic commercial buildings in the village of Bantam, stimulated strong visitor traffic, and created 250 jobs on the farm and in the production, wholesale, and retail chain. Arethusa is exemplary as compatible economic development in a place with a strong agricultural identity and as a stewardship engine to protect historic resources and character. Read More.
Janet G. Jainschigg Award
John Herzan, Branford, retiring Preservation Services Officer, New Haven Preservation Trust.
For forty years, John Herzan has dedicated his professional skills and personal talents to recognizing and protecting Connecticut’s historic places, first as National Register/State Register coordinator for the Connecticut Historical Commission and then as Preservation Services Officer for the New Haven Preservation Trust. Click here for Prior Winners.
Mimi Findlay Award
Regan Miner, historical consultant, Norwich Historical Society and City of Norwich.
Regan Miner has already made important contributions to preservation and public history in Norwich. She has secured grant funding, overseen building maintenance and renovation, established historic walking trails, coordinates activities among a wide range of historical organizations, and serves as a volunteer on local boards and the Norwich historic district commission. Read More.
Bolton: Bolton Heritage Farms
Town of Bolton; Nelson Edwards Company; GNCB Engineers, P.C.; Proulx Building and Remodeling; Billings Media Blasting
Since buying this farmstead, the Town of Bolton has restored the barn in two major phases—first making incremental repairs, then restoring faming and finishes after an arson fire. The town and its partners have shown vision, commitment, and perseverance in preserving a nationally important historic site and a working agricultural landscape.
Fairfield: Fairfield Museum—Sun Tavern and Victorian Cottage
Fairfield Museum; Town of Fairfield; David Scott Parker Architect
Working under a management agreement with the Town, the Fairfield Museum renovated the Sun Tavern (c. 1780), and Victorian Cottage (1888) for museum use. Thorough planning, partnership with public and private organizations, and professional guidance reinforces a broader effort to revitalize Fairfield’s historic town green, one of Connecticut’s oldest public spaces.
Greenwich: 330 Railroad Avenue (CL&P Greenwich Service Station)
Richard Granoff and Jeffrey Mendell; Granoff Architects
Built in 1928, during the early days of Connecticut’s electrical utilities, this Art Deco structure had become an eyesore. Nonetheless, Richard Granoff and Jeffrey Mendell saw potential in the vacant building. Enticed by state rehabilitation tax incentives, they converted it to coolest office building in Greenwich.
Hartford: Billings Forge
Preservation of Affordable Housing; Melville Charitable Trust; Billings Forge Community Works; Epsilon Associates, Inc.; The Architectural Team, Inc.; Keith Construction, Inc.; DH Bolton, Inc.
Billings Forge, one of Hartford’s first major adaptive-use projects, has been re-rehabbed for a new generation. Even more important is its enhanced role as a hub of the Frog Hollow neighborhood, with apartments, job-training, a restaurant, a community garden and a farmer’s market. As workplace, residence, and neighborhood anchor, Billings Forge is a dynamic fusion of past and present.
Hartford: Capitol Lofts (Pratt & Whitney Machine Shop)
Dakota Partners, Inc.; Crosskey Architects, LLC; Maggiore Construction Corporation, Inc.; James K. Grant Associates; Acorn Consulting Engineers; Meehan & Gooding, Engineers-Surveyors, P.C; Geoquest, Inc.
Dakota Partners tackled structural challenges to convert the former Pratt & Whitney Machine Shop to apartments. The completed project provides a link between Hartford’s downtown and the Frog Hollow neighborhood. And, crucially, it’s just two blocks from the state capitol, so lawmakers can see first-hand what the State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits can accomplish.
Hartford: University of Connecticut (Hartford Times building)
University of Connecticut; The HB Nitkin Group; Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP; Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.; Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.; Robert A.M. Stern Interiors; Robert Silman Associates.; Kohler Ronan LLC; BSC Group; Haley & Aldrich, Inc.; Atelier Ten; Acoustics By Design, Inc.; Philip R. Sherman; Page/SST Planners; Ricca Design Studios.
To move its Hartford campus back downtown, the University of Connecticut restored the façade of the Hartford Times building, which preserves granite, brick, and terra cotta from McKim, Mead & White’s Madison Square Presbyterian Church in New York. The restoration demonstrates that preserving civic buildings can help revitalize Connecticut’s cities while promoting interest in their history and culture.
Litchfield: Rufus Stillman Cottage
Kenneth Sena and Joseph Mazzaferro; Cutting Edge Construction, LLC; Alpha Plumbing and Heating Services, Inc.; Elegant Lighting LLC
Over the years this unknown work by the Modernist architect Marcel Breuer gained an awkward addition and lost its sense of perching on piers, like a camera tripod. Kenneth Sena and Joseph Mazzaferro have meticulously restored the cottage, recapturing its floating quality and adding a wing based on another Breuer design.
Milford: Sanford-Bristol House
Lesley Mills; Ray Oliver; Jay Bright; FJ Kirkham Associates; Bob & Chris Provenzano; Frederick Oram; All Phase Heating and Cooling; Larry the Painter; Stained Glass Design and Restoration; Joseph Hartman; Deborah Buskey; Steve Bielitz; Troy Kovalick Remodeling; Milford Preservation Trust
After the Milford Preservation Trust sued to prevent the demolition of the Sanford-Bristol house; Lesley Mills bought and renovated it. No general contractor would undertake the work, forcing Lesley to be her own contractor. While this caused delays and necessitated re-work, it allowed Lesley to meet her own standard of “doing the right thing.”
New Britain: Veterans’ Memorials
City of New Britain; Francis Miller Conserve ART; TO Design, LLC; Aegis Restauro.
In today’s world, there is often money for new construction but not for maintenance. However, New Britain, recognizing the community value and historic significance of its veterans’ memorials, undertook their rehabilitation—including archival research, cleaning and repairing masonry, and reproducing missing parts. The City is to be commended for ensuring that its veterans will continue to be honored.
New Haven: Victorian/Contemporary House
Anne McB. Curtis; Paul B. Bailey Architect; Baldwin & Baldwin.
While its façade still seemed attractive, this Gothic Revival cottage had been almost completely gutted and gained an awkward rear addition. After sitting empty for a decade, it caught the eye of a more enlightened owner. Now, its façade has been carefully restored and a new addition accommodates a contemporary lifestyle and back-to-the-city downtown living.
New Milford: AMEICO building (Southern New England Telephone Company building)
AMEICO, Inc.; Daniel Lamb; Glenn Hochstetter; Heritage Resources.
Ameico, a distributor of modern design items, was looking for bigger space when its owners discovered this former telephone company building. Historic rehabilitation tax credits offered a way to finance renovation. This project proves that rehabilitation can be accomplished by clients with no preservation experience, but with vision, perseverance, and a skilled team.
Stamford: Hoyt-Barnum House
Stamford History Center; City of Stamford; Christopher Williams Architects; Public Archaeology Laboratory; International Chimney; Freeman Companies; Edward Stanley Engineers; CB Breen Associates; Davis Building Movers.
When Stamford decided to build a new police station, this house, owned by the Stamford History Center, had to be relocated or face demolition. It was possible to move the house in two pieces, the roof (with added bracing), and the main floor with its massive chimney. Although far from its original site, the house has been reinvigorated as a museum.
Vernon: Talcott Brothers Mill
Historic Talcott Mill, LLC; Laura Knott-Twine; The Architects; Crosskey Architects LLC; Design Professionals, Inc.; James K. Grant Associates; Acorn Consulting Engineers, Inc.; Cutter Enterprises, LLC; Rome Clifford Katz & Koerner, LLP; Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina.
Al Pedemonte has rehabbed several historic buildings, but never one as complex as this former woolen mill. Nonetheless, he assembled an experienced team to convert it to apartments, offices, and warehouse space. One challenge was removing the belfry to reinforce the bell tower. Now back in its place, it can reign over Talcottville for another 140 years.
Weston: Lachat Farm
Friends of Lachat; Town of Weston; Nature Conservancy; Robert Hatch, architect (deceased); Salem Preservation.
What to do with a 40-acre former farm deeded to the Town of Weston and the Nature Conservancy? One official’s suggestion, demolishing the buildings for open space, triggered a grassroots movement to commemorate Weston’s agricultural past and create a legacy for its future. Putting historic buildings and farmland to good use, Lachat Town Farm has given Weston a community hotspot it never had before.