A proud history
30 Bridge Street added to National Registry of Historic Places
Published 8:45 pm, Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Historic property owners Jack and John Farley have cause to celebrate.
Their restored, three-story, Italianate, brick building in New Milford known as 30 Bridge Street has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
"It's been a labor of love," Jack Farley said of restoring the former Merritt Beach & Son building.
"My son and I started six years ago, did the first go-round and got distracted," he said. "Then several months ago, we spruced up the building to show it off. It was at that time we learned of the National Registry designation."
The Farleys invested about $2 million to buy and restore the downtown property west of the village center railroad tracks.
They did the renovation to preserve and expose the red brick beauty.
"The designation from the national registry is as a landmark piece of history on the outside of the building," Mr. Farley said.
"When we added the annex on the back of the building for the elevator, we were worried we'd lost that possibility," he said.
"But were told that we'd complied with current regulations for handicap accessibility so the annex didn't affect the designation."
A large 1900s iron safe sits in the lobby. It once belonged to the C.M. Beach Co.
An Open House was held May 20, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the building.
A special guest was the local resident Charles Beach Barlow.
"It's a great addition to New Milford, the best project I've seen in a long, long time," said Charlie Barlow, a great grandson of Merritt Beach.
Mr. Barlow donated historic pictures now hanging at 30 Bridge St.
They hearken back to a time when the building was originally a tobacco warehouse and houseware store in 1873.
Today, the building houses a mix of 11 professional, medical and public offices.
Pat Greenspan, vice president of the New Milford Trust for Historic Preservation, discovered the building was listed on the National Register.
"It really and truly is wonderful how they've preserved the exterior," Mrs. Greenspan said. "It's nice when you get a wonderful building with a wonderful owner."