Janet Lindstrom To Retire After 34 Years with New Canaan Historical Society

The New Canaan Historical Society announced Tuesday that Executive Director Janet Lindstrom will retire after 34 years with the nonprofit organization. The longtime town resident began her career at the Historical Society as a volunteer and joined its Board of Governors in 1981, according to a press release. “Telling the story of our town has been a great honor,” Lindstrom said in the press release. “I’ve played a special part of the society’s 127-year continuum, preserving the history of this exceptional place and helping generations of people to explore what makes our community so special.”

Mark Markiewicz, board president, confirmed with NewCanaanite.com that Lindstrom will remain in her role until a successor starts. Founded in 1889, the Historical Society keeps an active research library on the town, runs exhibitions out of The Town House at 13 Oenoke Ridge Road, where a meeting room is named after Lindstrom, publishes historical newsletters and pamphlets, holds educational tours and exhibitions and owns a handful of historic buildings in town.

Town Officials: Local Builder Close To Making Offer on Vacant Historic Home on God’s Acre

Though recent talks with one prospective buyer appear to have fallen through, a local builder now is putting in an offer on a deteriorating antique home on God’s Acre, officials said Thursday. Long vacant and tied up for years in foreclosure proceedings that have stalled its transfer, the 1780-built Greek Revival-style home at 4 Main St., if sold to an active owner, could be restored to prominence and in New Canaan’s designated historic district, according to the volunteer commission that oversees it. The Historic District Commission’s job now is to encourage the upkeep of the property there, and should consider requesting that the town get involved, Janet Lindstrom, the group’s acting chairman, said at a regular meeting. “I would like to to go the town and say, ‘Is there something we can do?’ Because to have that in the center of our district is really, really terrible,” Lindstrom said at the meeting, held at the New Canaan Historical Society’s Town House, just two doors up the hill from the .43-acre property in question. A member of the commission, Tom Nissley, last year had contacted homeowner Dr. James Talbot and received permission to have someone mow the lawn there, Lindstrom said.

Historic Ferris Hill Home To Be Rented, Back on Market in ‘Several Years’

Now that the property has been safely transferred, volunteers spent several hours Tuesday afternoon cleaning up a historic farmhouse on Ferris Hill Road in order to make it rentable in the next couple of months. Tom Nissley, who holds title to the property with his wife, Emily, said his long-term goal is to sell the 1735-built house at 8 Ferris Hill Road, though it could be “several years” before it’s ready to go on the market again. “Somebody who loves history is going to have to buy the house,” Nissley said. “My theory is that everything sells. There is always a buyer for things, and there are a lot of people who are interested in history.”

That’s a major reason why the historic farmhouse still stands.

Preservationists: We Will Purchase Antique Ferris Hill Road Home Slated for Demolition

The historic 1735-built Ferris Hill Road home slated for demolition June 1 will be spared because the group of preservationists that formed to save it will purchase the property with an eye on selling it on to a like-minded future owner, officials say. Between funds raised and a generous dollar-for-dollar pledge from a town resident, the 8 Ferris Hill Road Group has enough money now to enter into a contract with the widely discussed 2.14-acre property’s owner, according to New Canaan’s Tom Nissley. “The upshot is that the history of New Canaan is upheld with some integrity,” said Nissley, acting chairperson of the group. “It just would be wrong to eradicate that house and what it represents in the development of the town.”

On the radar of preservationists since it sold in November 2013 for $1,250,000, and a plan to develop the property soon emerged, the so-called “Hoyt-Burwell-Morse House” has been continuously occupied for 280 years, historians say. Its owner has said he regrets purchasing the property at all, believing that neighbors would back his idea of preserving the old house while building a new one.

Planned Demolition of Historic 1735-Built Home Pushed To End of May After Public Hearing

The historic home at 8 Ferris Hill Road will not be demolished until at least May 31, following a public hearing Thursday that saw a handful of residents speak passionately in favor of its preservation. Members of the Historical Review Committee voted 3-0 in favor of a 90-day delay (from the date of an application to demolish—in this case, March 2) after finding, as per the Town Code, that the 1735-built farmstead holds “historical, architectural or cultural significance” to New Canaan. The decision at the hearing—itself triggered by a formal letter of objection to the planned demolition— follows the mobilization and work of preservationists eager to spare what’s known as the Hoyt-Burwell-Morse House from the wrecking ball. It remains unclear whether the stay of demolition will garner a buyer for the home and 2.14-acre parcel, which appears to be the only viable alternative to its razing, despite the urging of planning officials to develop the property in a way that could allow for the antique’s preservation (more on that below). Max Abel, who identified himself as “the unlucky owner of this property”—drawing some laughter from the crowd of more than 50 attending the hearing, held in the Town House at the New Canaan Historical Society (the first location of New Canaan’s municipal government)—asked the committee to deny the 90-day delay.