‘We Hope That There May Still Be a Happy Resolution’: Application To Demolish Filed for Historic New Canaan Home

Town officials on Wednesday received an application to demolish a Ferris Hill Road home that experts call one of New Canaan’s most historic structures—a development that follows years-long and wide-ranging efforts by its owner and preservationists to save it. The wood-shingled, 1735-built antique home at 8 Ferris Hill Road (or 441 Canoe Hill Road, according to the assessor, same property) sits in the southwestern corner of a 2.14-acre lot, up against the roadway, as is typical of the era. Town resident and builder Max Abel acquired the property in November 2013 for $1,250,000 with the thought of building a second home on the lot. It’s a purchase he said that he now regrets “because I held this naïveté that any plan that I would come up with that would include preserving the old house would be very welcome by all the people of the town, including all the neighbors.”

“And I didn’t see a possibility of anybody objecting to a plan—I could see more demands on how to make a [proposed new] house look more similar [to the antique], or have a garden between [the old and proposed new] houses to connect them, but never envisioned an objection by neighbors.”

The month after he purchased the property, Abel filed an application with the Planning & Zoning Commission for a special permit that would allow the antique home to remain as an accessory structure so that he could build a new house on the property (the combined square footage would go over coverage). Though Abel worked with preservationists and made some concessions in his development plan, several neighbors objected to its specifics, citing safety and aesthetic concerns, and in some cases requesting that P&Z impose requirements regarding the preservation of the antique (thought to have housed Connecticut’s last slave—more on that below), according to P&Z meeting minutes from January and February 2014.

VIDEO: Locals Congratulate Curt Casali, New Canaan’s First Major Leaguer

RE59ECT New Canaan Nod to Curt Casali
Uploaded by Michael Dinan on 2014-07-20. Here’s what newly retired Mark “2-5-0” Rearick had to say in a longtime townie Facebook group about Curt Casali, the former New Canaan High School Rams varsity baseball player under “Fiver” who on Friday made his Major League debut—the first New Canaanite ever to make The Show: “A fantastic moment for a most deserving young man.”

Beyond talent and diligence, Casali has earned a reputation for modesty, so we hope our video tribute above doesn’t embarrass the catcher. It’s just meant to say: We’re very proud back here in New Canaan—whether your career, Curt, encompasses 10 at-bats or 10 All Star games, you are our guy who made the bigs—and Saturday’s annual Sidewalk Sale afforded an opportunity to say so as a community. We went with a “tip of the cap”-style tribute for the Tampa Bay Rays catcher. RE59ECT to you, Curt, from some locals—some of whom will be known to you.

Credit: Chris Wearing

New Canaan Pride 9u’s Double Dip Yorkville

The New Canaan Pride 9u won their sixth and seventh consecutive games of the spring travel baseball season with Sunday’s doubleheader sweep over the Yorkville (NYC) Eagles at Mellick Field. New Canaan 12, Yorkville 2

In Game One, the Pride scored more runs than they would need in the top of the 1st inning, as Nick Burns reached first after being hit by a pitch and stole second. Ian Wearing ripped a single to RF to score Burns for the game’s first run. After Daniel Rogers walked, Eoin Mueller plated Wearing with an RBI single, giving New Canaan a 2-0 lead. Giovanni Cascione drove a triple to the Mellick Field fence to drive in 2, extending New Canaan’s lead to 4-0.