New Canaan Now & Then: Stepping Stones

705 Weed St.

The residence discovered at 705 Weed Avenue, Stepping Stones, has an attention-grabbing earlier and signifies 1 of the final remaining “grand mansions” in metropolis.

The property was initially owned by Watts Comstock, who supplied the residence to develop tycoon Abraham Hatfield. The preliminary house on the house was destroyed by fireplace, which prompted Mr. Hatfield to request a format that was basically fireproof. The slate roof and the “falsely timbered beams” are composed of stone carved to resemble wood as completely as the commonly stone inside. His architect, Alfred Mausolff, utilized tough slice stone from shut by Vista, New York each equally inside and exterior. The English Gothic manor family was additionally outfitted with limestone trim and possessed a sharply peaked roof. The fifty area mansion was accomplished in 1929, though Hatfield put the cornerstone for the mansion in 1926. The kin chapel has tiles on the decrease a part of the partitions and flooring which have been constructed by Dr. Mercer of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, who wanted that he overview and approve the house concepts simply earlier than agreeing to do the carry out. The upper partitions have been painted to characterize a pilgrimage and the stained glass home windows portrayed St. Dunstan, St. George, St. Joseph of Arimathaea, and plenty of others. Regrettably, the partitions had been painted over and the stained glass house home windows have been being eradicated. Solely the rose window stays. In accordance to the 1970 New Canaan Historic Tradition Annual quick article, “the preliminary 6 acres ended up deliberate with loving care and took additional than a number of a long time to complete.” Stephen Hoyt Sons Nursery offered the plantings, together with an enormous elm, in accordance to a March 1938 quick article within the Advertiser.

The Hatfields shortly uncovered that the family was additionally main for his or her kin of 4 and the upkeep of the constructing was daunting. The Inter-Church Help Committee of New Canaan, included in 1962, had acknowledged the Hatfield residence ideally fitted to an condominium complicated for the aged. Architect Landis Gores was retained to function on developing with the providers. 4 little flats to a tool have been deliberate, ensuing in housing for 100 folks at present however the designs had been abandoned once they have been met by neighborhood opposition to the proposal. The New Canaan Advertiser dated October 17, 1940 outlined a subsequent proposal to vary the mansion to a medical middle. The clinic proposal was controversial primarily as a result of it might final result in a discount of taxes for the city. In March of 1941 the New Canaan Medical middle Affiliation was built-in by a crew of 15 residents equivalent to 4 docs. Simply after partaking an expert, it was concluded that it might be helpful to remodel the Hatfield mansion right into a hospital. Lastly, the property was supplied to Ms. Carolyn Trippe of Palm Seashore Florida on May 27, 1941. Ms. Trippe’s restricted possession of the home resulted in “silvering of the ceilings” and the set up of floor to ceiling mirrors on the stairway. The family chapel was altered from a put of prayer to a billiards hall. Ms. Trippe additionally opened up the residing room to extensive terraces and gardens. In 1944, Ms. Trippe marketed the property to Peter E. Siskind for $110,000. 4 a few years in a while, Mr. Siskind offered the property to the Congregation of the Holy Ghost and of the Immaculate Coronary coronary heart of Mary, reportedly for $15,000. The brand new house owners divided bedrooms into cubicles and the house housed forty or rather more grownup males on the weekend retreats. The mansion hosted relationship “encounters” and hosted area people affairs along with furnishing a spot of prayer for its clergymen with its landscaped walks and gardens. It’s documented that the decrease quantity of the chapel was utilised as a golf array by the clergymen.

Part of the property retained by Mr. Abraham Hatfield lastly handed to his younger kids, who in remodel purchased it to the developer, George R. Platts who formulated the townhouses referred to as “Hatfield Mews”. The third family Mr. Abraham Hatfield constructed (he bought 4 adjoining acres from Richard B. Kelley’s in 1922) occupied two acres that grew to become the property of the Schribers on June 15, 1965.

In August 1975, the Holy Ghost Fathers put the mansion on {the marketplace}, citing that it was too high-priced to take care of. Architect Victor Christ-Janer, even supposing initially skeptical of the feasibility of turning the mansion into condominium models, is credited with its present-day inside format. Residents supported this technique, remembering different proposals as a result of the Sixties for the house which offered an organization headquarters for Image-mat, Inc, a college for autistic kids, and a personal membership (in accordance to a June 3, 1976 write-up within the New Canaan Advertiser Christ-Janer had revealed agreements with neighbors, assuring them that the outside of the creating would proceed to be unchanged, preserving the magnificence of the family and the gardens.In a Fairpress posting dated October 20, 1976 Christ-Janer remarked that the transformation would set 3 1 bed room residences on the primary flooring, and divide the following and third flooring into 4 duplexes of two and three bedrooms, utilizing current stairways (which embrace a 3 story spherical Italian marble and wrought iron stairway), and it was merely a topic of shifting bogs to kitchens and taking away some partitions.The kin chapel can be the eighth unit.A see from 1 terraced system gives a watch of the shut by metropolis.

“New Canaan Now & Then” is obtainable in partnerships with the New Canaan Museum & Historic Society.