Home News Destruction Of Historic House ‘A Huge Loss’ For Norwalk: Former Owners

Destruction Of Historic House ‘A Huge Loss’ For Norwalk: Former Owners

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NORWALK, Connecticut — Growing up, Jenna Garry loved eating with her family next door to her grandmother’s house on Willow Street.

According to Garry, her grandmother, Kathleen Morrow, has lived at 21 Willow Street since at least the early ’60s and was always welcoming people for meals and tours.

“She was the ultimate host,” Garry said. “She entertained everyone from local politicians to historians.”

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Morrow had a deep love for Norwalk’s history and took great pride in her home, also known as the Thomas Hyatt House, built in 1677.

A beloved elementary school teacher at the Tracy Magnet School, Morrow was drawn to the home for its historical significance and often showed school children around it.

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“She loved everything about it,” Garry said.

Morrow lived in the home until 2010 and was family property until it was sold to new owners around 2015.

A piece of Norwalk and Morrow’s family history collapsed after city officials unveiled a historic home at 21 Willow Street over the weekend. was illegally demolished.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Mayor Harry Rilling said the city received a call on Saturday seeking information about a home being demolished.

In response, Bill Ireland’s chief executive, Bill Ireland, went to the property to assess the situation and found an illegal demolition in progress, Rilling said. You have issued an immediate stop order that is still in effect at this time.

See also Historic Norwalk home illegally demolished: mayor

Rilling said the contractor working at the home had a permit to renovate the second floor, but no demolition permit was issued.

A building permit application obtained by Patch shows that the contractor was the current owner of the home.

Planned work described in the permit includes construction to add a second floor above the existing footprint and renovation of the kitchen, laundry and bathroom interiors on the ground floor. The permit was signed by city building officials on October 21.

“I am disgusted with this contractor’s actions and want him to know that if anyone violates the city’s requirement to issue a demolition permit or obtain a proper demolition permit, there will be consequences. “What he took away from us was more than just a building, it was an integral part of Norwalk’s history. We intend to pursue this matter to the fullest extent of civil and criminal penalties.”

Rilling said the contractor is not a licensed demolition contractor and the incident is being investigated by the city’s legal department with plans to pursue “the toughest penalties possible.”

Gary said her family had trouble selling the house at first because they were restricted from working in the home due to the historic preservation aspect of the property.

“I know it didn’t look historic at the end because it had vinyl siding and the additions were made,” Garry said.It was the logs that supported the house. “

According to town clerk Rick McQuaid, the property was still called “Morrow House” by many residents who were given a tour by their beloved teacher a year ago.

“Thousands of children passed through that house…I’m kind of surprised it’s gone,” McQuade said.

McQuaid said he was upset that the house was gone, but hoped it would rekindle conversations about the property’s history and what it means for the city.

“Unfortunately, we can’t see it here,” McQuade said. people start talking about all history again now that we’ve moved away from history for a bit. “

For Garry, losing his home also means losing an important part of his family history, which he spent nearly every day visiting his grandmother’s house for years while growing up in Norwalk.

“I think it’s a huge loss for the city and for our family, especially knowing that my grandmother spent years trying to preserve it,” Garry said. “The amount of tours she’s held for school kids and the amount of historic home tours she’s been involved with, knowing it will never happen again, is a no-brainer for us.” It’s a loss for Walk.

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