A petition to stop a historic Wilton home from being demolished is gathering supporters, and now a special meeting has been called by the town’s Historic District and Historic Property Commission on Tuesday evening to discuss the property.
The property in question is 183 Ridgefield Rd., a 13.5-acre property that was sold to developer James Fieber on Aug. 21, 2015. Since then an “intent to demolish” sign has been posted on the property notifying the public that the current owner intends to raze buildings on the property.
In the last 10 days there has been an uptick in online conversation on social media (on Wilton CT 411 and 412) regarding the property. Many posters have criticized the plans to level the house and outbuildings. One resident, Victoria Mavis, organized a change.org petition in response to the demolition plans, hoping to stop the house from being destroyed.
The petition reads: “Now is the time to act to save this important home. The property’s current owner, real estate developer James A. Fieber has recently filed an application for demolition of the house, its adjacent barn and outbuildings. Please show him that there are people who value this history and want to preserve it for future generations by signing this petition. With your help, we can save a vital piece of Wilton’s history before it’s too late.”
According to Bob Russell‘s definitive book on Wilton’s history, the home was built on the property around 1865 by William Sturges after he married Minerva Olmstead. One of very few houses built in Wilton in the Victorian Italianate style, it is the last of its kind that survives today. Home to several other prominent figures in Wilton’s history, the house was purchased by the Schlichting family in 1902 and stayed in the family for many generations. The last Schlichting to live in the home was Anna Marie, who lived there for 40 years.
As of 7 p.m. Sunday evening, the petition has garnered 242 supporting signatures.
When GOOD Morning Wilton first reported the sale of the property, the realtor who represented the seller, Kevin O’Brien from O’Brien Premier Properties, LLC, said that the house was sold with no condition that it be preserved. “The buyer understands that the seller would like to see it preserved and hopefully he will preserve it,” O’Brien said at the time.
The Historic District and Property Commission will meet Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Old Town Hall (68 Ridgefield Rd.).