Hopes to open dialogue to save Barton House

[Editor's Note: The following is an open letter to Marc Daigle, CEO, and Roberto Arista, president of Dakota Partners LLC, from Robert Burkhart, president of the New Milford Trust for Historic Preservation.]

Dear Sirs:

The Barton House at 34 East Street in New Milford, Conn. is on the endangered list of historic properties of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

It is slated for eventual demolition to become the site of two multi-story, 36-unit apartment buildings.

The demolition of the Barton House would be another loss to the New Milford center National Historic District. The district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

The house, built in the 1890s, was the home of state Sen. Andrew Mygatt. It served as a day care and kindergarten, attended by many citizens of New Milford. Many a visitor to town stayed here when it was a bed and breakfast.

Diagonally across the street from 34 East Street is another historic property, the Hungerford House, owned by Union Savings Bank. It, too, was once slated to be demolished.

In its place a modern copy of a prominent building on Main Street was planned. Union Savings is known as a neighborhood bank.

They were invited to our neighborhood and we met in my living room. We reviewed the plans with their CEO and lawyer and asked if the plans could be changed to incorporate and renovate the existing historic building.

Much thought went into the project by Union Savings and they said yes, we could save the building.

They came back with new plans that included an addition and renovation of the old building.

The architect won a national award for the project. Union Savings was lauded by the Trust and the community.

It stands today as a testament to the cooperation that businesses and preservationists can work hand in hand to preserve the architecture of New Milford's village for generations to come.

From your own website you say that: "Dakota Partners is committed to improving the lives of the people who live in our communities. We integrate a high level of design with green building technologies and traditional craftsmanship to create vibrant and desirable projects. We partner with the cities and towns where we work to respond to the needs of each community."

Come to our neighborhood and be true to your mission statement. Incorporate the existing historic home into your plans.

Be a part of the preservation of our town, our history and truly partner with us to meet the needs and wants of our community.

We would be happy to meet and talk with you.

Robert Burkhart


New Milford Trust

for Historic Preservation