Milford needs to maintain its historic homes

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter as a Milford citizen who wishes to maintain the historical character of our town, not as a representative of any organization I belong to in Milford.

The Sanford/Bristol House at 111-113 North St. should be restored, not demolished. It is probably the 4th oldest house in the Milford Historic District after the Buckingham, Durand and Downs Houses. What is a Historic District without its historic houses?

According to a letter dated May 18 and addressed to Mr. Farrell, architect Raffaele Aschettino admits that he performed a “cursory” structural review of the house.

The home needs to have a thorough inspection by a person who is qualified to evaluate historic homes.

The Sanford/Bristol House is described as the Samuel Sanford House on page 167 with a picture on the opposite page in the “History of Milford Connecticut, 1639-1939.” To quote: One group of later houses belongs to a definite type with two variations, characteristic of Milford…..The other variation, probably somewhat earlier has a stone central chimney. The Jonah Clark House on Governor's Lane and the Samuel Sanford House on North St., later extended and given a second chimney are of this type. The Downes House (1785) was originally in this style. The Durand House (c1725) is similar, but has a straight roof in the front.”

The November, 1899 copy of “The Connecticut Magazine” has an article on “The Old Houses of Milford” by M. Louise Greene on pages 570-584. Sadly many of the houses described and pictured have been lost to “progress.” On page 582 is the following paragraph: “A number of these ancient dwellings group themselves about North St. Some of them bear the decay of ages; others, well preserved, testify to the veneration for the family homestead, such as the Sanford and two Downes houses.” These two articles show that the Sanford/Bristol House has long been considered an important architectural structure.

The veneration of the historic houses of Milford should continue or all that will be left are a few poor imitations of old homes, and buildings that overwhelm the land they sit on. Milford is the 5th oldest town in Connecticut. We need to maintain its historical character by preserving the few unique old homes that have not already been destroyed.

Ardienne Damicis