Danbury Preservation Trust, Board Meeting audio, 1995-05

Dublin Core


31:14; 1 microcassette


This is an audio recording of the Danbury Preservation Trust's meeting in May of 1995. The meeting led by Paulette Pepin is informal and discussion centers on recent developments on preservation projects including: opening of Danbury Railway Museum, restoration on St. Peter's Cathedral Rectory, setting up committee for Danbury Flood Exhibit's storyboard, and the advertising campaign announcing sale of Hearthstone Castle in magazines or other publications. Elizabeth Winthrop Montgomery from Antiques & the Arts Weekly is announced as new board member.



Oral History Item Type Metadata

Time Summary

Announcement about new board member: Elizabeth Winthrop Montgomery; she is currently the editor for Antiques & the Arts Weekly (Newtown, CT); will be doing newsletter for Land Trust and offered to help; is the ninth and final board member.

Connecticut Preservation Action’s annual meeting/Spring Celebration on Tuesday June 13th in Suffield, CT at the Hatheway House & Garden; Tours will be given of 18th century house with original french period wallpaper throughout; question posed on who is willing to attend.

Financial report given; Debbie reads off specific amounts from bank statements; Checking: Balance is now at $47.17. A payment was made to attorney for providing certification of appropriation and then $42.85 for new checks for checkbook; Discuss amounts and what to transfer from what checking account to the next; Keeping $500 in checking to pay bills; Holding off on getting phone until there is more financial backing; Starting ad-Hoc committee with Lucy and Debbie to check about non-profit status and get tax identification number; Check with Tony Diperrio (Attorney) on non-profit status at 57 North Street Suite 301 in Danbury, CT for more information about this; has telephone number in office; Motion to accept financial report; Motion carries; All board members checked and looked over minutes for approval; Motion carries.

Senator Pete Domenici indirectly has caused some ramifications with new state budget; Senator Christopher Dudd (D:1981-2011) had to cancel everything and because President Bill Clinton wanted him; So proposal with Land Trust has been put on back burner; Mayor’s office called and was apologetic; Willing to meet and come again; Discussion raised at what time is best to reschedule; possible date that could work was opening of the Railway Museum; However, concern with what time in the year restoration and opening of museum will occur due to setbacks with construction, D.O.T., money, and delayed approval from city; Fall may be a better date due to Dodd being in town for mayor’s re-election; Question discussed: May be able to piggy-back off of that event and his time here? One board member added: Mayor’s office said not enough time for Railroad Museum to have a large exhibit or opening at the date in Fall, but date still stands, just scaled back to a soft opening with preview of small exhibits at the end of October; Larger opening with vendors, trains coming in from all over, with vendors and such will happen in the following Spring; Dodd is not up for re-election this year.

New board member list given out with Elizabeth’s contact information added; Terry’s asked for her phone number at Railroad Museum to be included because she is there a great deal and can reached there for further information on opening.

Tim Devore from St. Peter’s Cathedral Rectory called to question why Trust’s support for Louis’s Design; He did not write a formal letter but had concerns about fourth floor and windows restoration; Wooden ones were not chosen because of future costs to repair and maintenance; however willing to Trust or Board is willing to write letter to support change; these are believed to be detrimental to the building’s value by Tim; Discussion from board on building’s value without the restoration of fourth floor; and further discussion if building proposal does not go through and Diocese of Bridgeport will likely tear it down; Land Trust is willing to write letter of support for windows to CT Preservation Action or whomever for different window and fourth floor design to help protect building; Reminded by board member that building does not have much value without the restoration of fourth floor; one board member (Lewis ) mentions that windows in original design were wooden but had different installation; Tim made another call to investigate and spoke with CT Conservation and another member Historical Commission about design.

Lou then made a call made to Washington, DC to Connecticut Preservation Action office himself; spoke with secretary at office; Lou asked about Tim’s calls to investigate in relation to preservation designs; confirmation that Frank supports project so no issue there; Found out from secretary that project is not being held-up by preservation items and nothing to do with history, but was rather HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) which have concerns with the number of mixed use of rooms to energy efficiency issues; Needs to be evenly distributed; Had about 40 units and 19 efficiencies originally proposed in design; Willing to compromise with 24 one-bedrooms which has been in place for over a year; however HUD has created new rules within the time of proposal about distribution of rooms and energy efficiencies; Cannot get enough units in there, and Trust’s board member Lou does not want throw away proposal; so is fighting these new energy efficiency rules; Put best offer on table to HUD of 13 efficiencies and 20 bedrooms as a solution; HUD did not approve; same Trust’s board member Lou made call to Danbury mayor’s office and said they will take care of it, hold up on 3 units should not be an issue; They called Bernie Fitzpatrick's office and wrote letter that claims 340 people on a waiting list that can use rooms in Danbury and sent to HUD; used this need in area as leverage to get approval by HUD for rooms at St. Peters; letter was faxed over to HUD;

May lose entire project though and need to start all over; project is 75% finished too; many calls have been made to Washington, DC; Others on Land Trust board asked Lou if senators could help push through; response was: “No, HUD has enough information”; Bishop has already sent letters to state representatives and senators; If all is solved with energy efficiencies and rooms with HUD then project will move forth; Letter sent from HUD to CT Preservation where only three issues in letter from in relation to restoration were mentioned and yes, one was the windows but not really fourth floor other thing that was asked for by this board were photos of other buildings on street; Then the National Preservation Advisory board can then approve; then will be sent back to state for CT Preservation to approve inquires involving the windows and fourth floor.

Other Announcement: Heather has put together wonderful advertisement for sale of the Hearthstone castle; One has gone out to a Bed and Breakfast publication (confusion from announcer on the exact name) but has over 1,000 subscribers; This $125 advertisement slot got approved by city; Best part is that it is on the Internet where 20 million may see it.

Land Trust board member is not sure how it happened but free advertisement in current issue of Connecticut Historical Preservation magazine within Newsletter Bulletin talking about three major properties endangered, Hearthstone castle was one featured; bulletin included information about Tarrywile and photo which is great; Would have cost the city $350.
After no call back from mayor’s office, main conductor of meeting (Paulette?) and Heather will be sending over advertising campaign proposal, which is a little over $5,000; Lou (again one of the Trust’s board member) came up with concept to talk to resturants within the county about advertising; more expensive, but may be worth it; Tom Divens has not answered call yet, but Paulette may run over to Two Steps after meeting to ask about publications and if interested in preserving castle; Hopes that there is more circulation of advertisement; Mentioned that bid packages have been mailed out to those who were initially interested in development and restoration; Noted that the $5,000 advertisement campaign comes out of contingency budget. Heather highlighted certain ones (publications?) on proposal to mayor’s office that would gain the most demographic pull. Others could be eliminated to decrease budget amount.

Bid packages are put together can be picked up in the first of July; board hopes to have developer in Fall and start up in the Spring. Brief discussion on poor condition and hopes for mild winter; specifically worried about porch and are in agreeance that castle may only have one more winter left before conditions get worse; Motion made at last meeting about restoration on interior; Not in initial announcement of sale of castle or document, however will be when bidding packages are turned in or asked by developer; Largest discussion was in concerns to the announcement’s description and with amount of acreage in that last meeting; Denis (no last name mentioned) may set up point system where certain points are gained with restoring interior on distinct items; overall great progress in the past six months on this project and advertising thus far; Main narrator Paulette brought up that castle’s committee meetings and the committee itself still exists- next committee meeting will not be formed until bid packages come in; probably meet in the Fall next; Dennis Elpern Planning Director, Richard Gogdat (?), and Danbury mayor they will be meeting to create formal document for castle’s sale and meet with Tarrywile Park committee.

Discussion on “Flood exhibit” with setup and starting a storyboard; committee for this and next meeting will be the following Wednesday at 3 pm (May 31st); Put together evening meetings for future; Board member (Lou?) reminds the rest of board talking to of man whose father used to own three story building/business on White Street, which he worked in growing up he worked in; Rozanski Danbury Paper Co; Was previously interviewed for Flood Exhibit and is willing to be a part of the walking tour; he is retired now so has time; discussion on where best to find contact information; his telephone number on previous Flood Exhibit contact list.


Trust, Danbury Preservation. “Danbury Preservation Trust, Board Meeting audio, 1995-05.” Danbury Preservation Trust Records, MS 039. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 22 Feb. 2020.


Copy the code below into your web page

Item Relations

This item has no relations.