Former Hobby Horse Farm Owner: Step up to the Plate Greenwich, Fight Demolition

Lisa and Mark Jennings

Screen shot from YouTube Jennings’ video of 56 Clapboard Ridge Rd.

“People have no respect for history,” said Lisa Jennings. Reached by phone Tuesday night, Mrs. Jennings said she never dreamed the  the family who bought her 175-year-old house at 56 Clapboard Ridge Rd would demolish it.

“I poured my entire heart into this home, but I never felt like that was my house,” she said of the house that was known as the Hobby Horse Farm, and alternately as the Benjamin Reynolds House, built c 1840.

” I felt it was a privilege to live inside its walls,” Jennings continued, adding that she left behind an antique hope chest she filled with mementos of the years her family lived there. “My intention was for every family in the future to add their photos and memorabilia too.”

Mrs. Jennings described feeling stunned to learn the buyers of the home that she painstakingly restored over the course of many years, and at great expense, would fathom demolishing it.

The inside of the Benjamin Reynolds House is extraordinary, according to Jennings, who said that she and her husband removed a poorly constructed addition at the back of the house and created a more appropriate addition. She said the stone portion of the home was added in 1920.

“It was ready for the next 100 years,” Jennings said. “I don’t think they even cooked a single meal in the kitchen.”

Lisa and her husband Mark, who raised four children at 56 Clapboard Ridge said they suffered from “renovation creep” over the years, renovating it to the tune of $3 million.

“The money is not even the point,” she said. “I could understand if it was dilapidated beyond repair. But that house is a rock. It’s significant – with its slate roof and original crown moldings and not even a single bit of chipped paint.”

Jennings said she hopes residents fight against the demolition. “People in Greenwich need to step up to the plate,” she said. “This house is everyone’s shared history.”

Original story: Next for the Wrecking Ball in Greenwich: c1840 “Hobby Horse Farm”


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  • Gary

    What a fantastic property! Anyone moving to Greenwich and wanting to tear it down should be ridden out of town and tarred and feathered! They obviously have no taste and too much money!

  • We cannot keep up with demolitions of our historic landmarks no matter how hard we try to stop them. That is why the Greenwich Preservation Trust is working with Planning and Zoning to create the incentives to keep historic buildings. In creating new incentives buyers of historic buildings may reconsider tearinging down Greenwich’s history.

    Join us in the struggle to save our landmarks.

    Jo Conboy
    Greenwich Preservation Trust
    PO Box 4719
    Greenwich, Ct. 06831

  • Tom

    Shame on these people but also shame on the town of Greenwich. How many terrible homes with no history, unused space and disgusting facades need to be built before the town realizes they have lost their soul and any sense of style and decorum. Every day this town becomes more of a heartless building space for hedge fund jerks and foreigners. Please find a way to stop this. Incentives won’t work in the face of stupid wealth. We need controls implemented by people with honor and taste. Not many of them left in Greenwich I guess.