Milford house

Demolition of historic Milford house currently blocked


Milford >> The Milford Preservation Trust has stepped in and has so far prevented the demolition of the 1790 house at 111-113 North St.

The MPT filed a lawsuit Friday against William P. Farrell Sr. and Gwendolyn Farrell, owners of the property.

The couple received papers on Friday.

The request for a temporary injunction was filed by MPT lawyer Philip N. Walker of Canton.

The demolition did not start because an MPT member showed the contractor the court documents, sources said. A neighbor said demolition equipment was dropped off on Monday.

William Farrell could not be reached for comment on Monday. He is a candidate on the Republican ticket for the Planning and Zoning Board and is an officer of the Milford Historical Society.

A spokesperson for the MPT could not be reached for comment on Monday.

The house is in Historic District # 1, around North Street Duck Pond.

Milford Historic District Commission 1 voted more than three months ago to issue a certificate of desirability for demolition and for the construction of a new building, following submitted architectural plans.

By city ordinance, once an applicant files a request to shave a structure, the city historian or any organization concerned with historic preservation has 30 days to file an objection with the building department.

City historian Richard N. Platt filed an objection on July 16, the day after the department received a demolition request. Platt, in his official capacity, delayed action on a demolition permit until Sunday.

“I imposed the 90-day deadline the day after I received Mr. Farrell’s notice of intent,” Platt said at the time. The wait leaves time to find an alternative to demolition, he said.

“This ordinance is the result of nightly demolitions, such as the Clapp Mansion, which was Fort Trumbull, at Fort Trumbull Beach,” Platt said at the time.

The house is “an historic resource” under state law as it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in the River Park Historic District and Milford Historic District 1.

The area is mostly made up of 18th and 19th century houses, with the oldest in town, Buckingham House, built in 1640, just down the road.

Local curators disagree on the possible demolition of the house.

Two hearings were held and letters to the editors were published in local media, including the Register.

In an open letter, John Poole, a self-proclaimed architectural historian from Derby and Ansonia, offered to help preserve the house.

Poole had said he was a restorer of two 18th century houses and understood the work involved in the “unique historic house”.

He also offered to help her find a new owner for the house or a nonprofit that could move it.

On the other hand, the chairman of the Historic District Commission, Robert Berchem, said that the structure had “unfortunately” deteriorated over time and any work carried out would have resulted in “very little or no saving in the cost of the building. original structure “.

Two professional structural engineers had inspected the house. The Farrells bought the four-bedroom single-family home in January 2013 for $ 150,000.

A previous owner bought it in 2005 for $ 445,000, according to city records. It is a half-attic Dutch salt cellar with five skylights. With two large kitchen fireplaces, added in the 19th century, it was intended to be a two-family house.

Call Phyllis Swebilius at 203-789-5681. Have questions, comments or ideas about our media coverage? Connect directly with the editors of the New Haven Register at

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