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

“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”