An Open Letter To Mr. William Farrell:
If you truly had been motivated by a desire to rescue and restore the Thomas Sanford/ David Bristol House, at 111-113 North Street, Milford, Connecticut, when you’d purchased it this past January, as you’d recently claimed before the Milford Historic District Commission, then I respectfully implore you to honor your original intentions, and not demolish this unique historic home.
As an owner and restorer of two 18th century homes, each likewise suffering from damage and varying degrees of deferred maintenance, I fully understand how daunting and resource-intensive this process can be. But you’re certainly not alone in this, and there are many of us in the local preservation community who’d be more than willing to listen, and even assist where possible, if you’d only reach out to us.
On the other hand, if you’re unable or unwilling to restore the home, then I request you still remain true to your intentions by seeking out a new owner for the Sanford/Bristol House who’s indeed willing to pursue this path. Once again, there are many of us who could assist you in this process. And, if that seems unacceptable to you, then at the very least, consider an alternative to outright demolition, such as possibly donating the home to a nonprofit willing to relocate it elsewhere. There’s no doubt that finding an alternative to demolition takes time and determination, but a good many others have accomplished this before.
As the great William Morris once observed: “These old buildings do not belong to us only…they have belonged to our forefathers and they will belong to our descendants, unless we play them false. They are not in any sense our property, to do as we like with. We are only trustees for those that come after us”. More than anything else, I want my personal legacy to someday reflect that I’d been a worthy trustee of my built heritage. And I’m quite sure you want precisely the same for yourself, as well.