Connecticut Trust For Historic Preservation

Historic Properties Exchange

Daniel Chapman House, Redding

This eighteenth-century house of a Revolutionary War patriot needs to be moved or it will face demolition. Daniel Chapman, a soldier in the American Revolution, built the house in 1773, the year he got married. Four years later, British troops under the command of General Tryon captured him as they marched through Redding during the 1777 Raid on Danbury. He died in prison in New York City in the Sugar House, where many patriots lost their lives to disease and exposure to cold. Chapman left a young widow and an infant son behind in this house in Redding.

Chapman was from a family of early settlers of Connecticut in the seventeenth century. He had the same name as his grandfather, who was the founding minister of the Congregational Church in the Greens Farms section of what is now Westport.

The one-and-a-half story house is of post and beam construction with a hand-hewn timber frame. It has a fieldstone foundation and a center chimney of brick. Painted wood shingles sheath the exterior. The original windows have been replaced.

The present owner of the house may make a contribution to moving costs. Contact: Raymond D’Angelo, chairman Redding Preservation Society, 203-938-0240.

House, 233 Skiff Street, Hamden

This small residential structure is located in a commercial neighborhood. Town records give its date as 1940, but physical evidence suggests that it was probably built in the mid-nineteenth century and was perhaps associated with a nearby fac­tory. This house is a small one-and-a-half story structure with a rear ell that has an enclosed porch along its eastern side. The interior shows evidence of several renova­tions. A cobblestone chimney emerges from the center of the roof. Much of the exte­rior remains original. This house is offered for $1 for relocation to a new property. Contact: Dawn O’Connell, H. Pearce Real Estate. (203) 281-3400, ext. 333.

Fisherman’s Shed, Groton

This small building was constructed in the early 1900s, sometime before 1920, and served as a shed for a lobster business on the waterfront. The current owner needs to have it moved off the property in order to build a house and would prefer not to demolish the shed. It is in very good condition. Wood shingles sheath the exterior in the tradition of many seaside buildings. The shed originally had a wood shingle roof as well, but it has since been replaced with asphalt shingles. The building measures approximately twelve feet by sixteen feet and sits on a stone foundation. Inside it has wood floors and a small loft, which is accessible by ladder. A brick chimney served a wood or coal-burning stove. The shed has one window on each of its four sides. It would be relatively easy to move and would work well as a garden shed or guest cottage.Contact number: 860-961-1022.

HPX Update: Fodor Farm, Norwalk

Seven years ago the fate of Fodor Farm, Norwalk’s last remaining farm, looked grim. The city planned to build a new elementary school on the property. Three historic houses would be torn down, and the bucolic landscape would succumb to parking lots and ball fields. With the city’s permission a long attempt was made to find someone to move the main house to save it from demolition. A firm deal did not emerge, even after several listings in the Exchange and a feature in the "Save This Old House" column of This Old House Magazine. But now, after years of existing on borrowed time, Fodor Farm faces a bright future.

 A coalition led by the Norwalk Preservation Trust will implement an innovative plan to save not only the interesting early-nineteenth-century main house, but also two other neighboring historic houses and the majority of the rural landscape - and at no expense to taxpayers. The cooperative parties include such divergent partner’s as Mayor Knopp and a kindergarten class from the very school that was originally slated to be replaced by a new one at Fodor Farm. In the intervening years the school was renovated on its original site.

The buildings on the Fodor Farm property are likely to become a local historic district. The dwellings will be sold on individual parcels through a public process, and two other building lots may be created, all of which would be subject to review by the local Historic District Commission. The proceeds will fund research and documentation of the property, design and restoration of the landscape, and any improvements that would facilitate public access.

The city will retain ownership of the rest of the land. The acreage will become what the Norwalk Preservation Trust calls, "a nature center without walls." The Norwalk Trust hopes that the city will use the funds generated by the sale of the houses to restore the New England character of the landscape, including pastures and stands of native trees. Invasive plant species will be removed to help foster native plants and to create a welcoming habitat for birds. The nature center will also include trails and interpretive plaques.

The main house was built around 1802 and remodeled with steeply-pitched dormers and an octagonal cupola in the 1860s. It will remain a prominent landmark at the intersection of two of Norwalk’s early roads.

Ms. Mary Luf’s kindergarten class at Brookside School recently created a project entitled, "Save Fodor Farm," and entered it in the Norwalk Science Fair. The young students’ plan bears a striking resemblance to the Norwalk Trust’s proposal. In an outstanding achievement, the class won the city-wide contest, which included all elementary-school grade levels in Norwalk’s twelve schools. The Norwalk Trust presented Ms. Luf’s kindergarten class with its first Preservation Awareness Award, and the children will play an ongoing role in the process of protecting and maintaining Fodor Farm as a precious community resource.

HPX: November/December 2012

Historic Properties Exchange
November-December 2012

Andrews-Olney House (c. 1800)

Buyer needed by the end of the year!  Currently owned by the Southington YMCA and under temporary injunction preventing demolition until January 2013, the Andrews-Olney House on North Main Street is available for purchase and rehabilitation. The property is located in the Southington Center National Register District and identified as a contributing resource. It offers an opportunity for residential or commercial uses. Non-profit organizations interested in the property may qualify for pre-development planning grants from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation and restoration funds from the State Historic Preservation Office/Department of Economic and Community Development.

Contact: Gregory Farmer, Connecticut Circuit Rider, (203) 464-7380 or

250 State Street
New London

This property, currently owned by a national bank, is available for purchase through a modified bid process.  No deed restrictions or minimum bids.  250 State Street is a 19,000 SF retail/office building located in downtown New London, Connecticut and includes a 1/2 acre parking lot on Washington Street that can accommodate parking for up to 42 vehicles. Property is located in a National Register district and may be eligible for state or federal tax credits.

Contact: John McCormick
               CBRE/New England
   (860) 525-9171

Gideon Seeley House (ca. 1812)

This early 19th century vernacular cottage was owned by several of Brookfield's prominent families and has been occupied throughout its history. It has had some additions over the years including architectural details that date from the Victorian period on both the interior and exterior. It measures approximately 1,825 square feet and is available for relocation and rehabilitation to interested parties.

Contact:  Jacqueline A. Salame, AIA

200 Litchfield Street (1900)

This is a unique high-bay industrial building, requiring heating & plumbing to be restored. Perfect for heavy storage, it is located in the heart of a commercial/residential/apartment area within walking distance to Torrington's growing downtown area. Land is level, has railroad siding and frontage on two streets. Adjacent property is available, for a total of 9+ acres. The zoning is Downtown District with "Incentive Housing" designation. The site is directly south of Stop & Shop, JC Penney, TD Bank. Torrington officials are very interested in seeing this site put to good use.
Access the property from Rte 202/Litchfield Street. Borders Summer Street, across from Torrington Commons Shopping Plaza.

Submissions for the January-February 2013 issue must be received by Friday, December 21, 2012.