Next for the Wrecking Ball in Greenwich: Lockwood House, circa 1875

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-9-18-21-pmAfter returning twice before the Planning & Zoning commission, Robert Stone’s application for a final subdivision of property at 50 Lockwood was approved unanimously on August 2.

The approval means two lots of .3522 acres each are created, plus in addition to 15% open space preserved. Subsequently the historic Lockwood House, built in 1875, will be demolished.

Despite pleas from the Historic District Commission and the Greenwich Preservation Trust, the applicant’s attorney, Thomas Heagney said, “This is the reality of the market as it exists. New houses sell quickly, old houses take longer.”

On Sept. 30 a demolition sign was posted, though several readers contacted GFP to say the sign, posted on a wall inside the front porch, is not visible from the street.

Also, on September 30, the following three transfers were recorded in the Assessor’s office at Greenwich Town Hall:

52 Lockwood Avenue from Robert SE Stone to 50 Y Lockwood Avenue LLC on Sept 30, 2016 for $1,625,000

Parcel “X” 50 Lockwood Avenue from Robert SE Stone to 50 X Lockwood Avenue LLC on Sept 30, 2016 for $1,625,000

50 Lockwood Avenue (open space) from Robert SE Stone to 50 Lockwood Association Inc. on Sept 30, 2016 for $0 (quitclaim)

A map in the town clerk’s office shows two parcels, X and Y, side by side, plus a third parcel consisting of 5,415 sq ft (.1243 acres) of “open space,” which represents 15% of the original parcel, that runs across the rear of both lots. Beyond the open space is Innis Arden Golf Course.

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-9-20-23-pm

Lockwood House at 50 Lockwood is posted for demolition, though the demolition sigh is difficult to see from the road. Credit: Leslie Yager

Ever wonder what’s involved in getting permission to demolish an old house in Greenwich? The applicant fills out a pink application form indicating the demolition contractor, a list of utilities supplied to the structure and names of adjoining property owners, and pays a fee.

The applicant must also fill out and have notarized a short affidavit swearing he or she is the owner and the demolition contractor is licensed and authorized.

For buildings built before 1940, applicants fill out an additional checklist which includes getting sign-off by the Health Dept, notifying adjoining property owners by certified mail, and notifying both Amy Braitsch at the Greenwich Historical Society and Fifi Sheridan of the Town’s Historic District Commission, also by certified mail. Further, applicants must notify the public by placing a notice in a newspaper with a “general” circulation.

With homes constructed prior to 1940, the permit fee has a 5% fee tacked on.

Lastly applicants are required to post a demolition sign when they file the application and affidavit.

Once both the application and affidavit are complete, with notifications sent, “Demolition” sign posted, and newspaper notice published, then a 45 day waiting period commences. During that period any objections sent in writing to the town’s Bulding Dept attention of Bill Marr will trigger an additional 45 days wait.

See also: Greenwich’s Historic 1875 Lockwood House May Vanish

Next for the Wrecking Ball: 1889 Greenwich Landmark, William W Richards House in Belle Haven

MK Designs’ Mantra: Less is More, Old is New in Central Greenwich

Next for the Wrecking Ball in Old Greenwich: 184 Shore Rd

Next for the Wrecking Ball in Greenwich? Sun-Dial Apartments, Formerly Silleck House

Ouch! A Big Bite out of John Knapp House


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Email news tips to Greenwich Free Press editor Leslie.Yager@GreenwichFreePress.com
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  • Terrible. A widow’s watch heritage house. I always considered this a landmark in Greenwich. So few of these homes and architectural style left in America. Not just a Greenwich treasure. It’s a national treasure. Not just a building and parcel to be demolished and sold. No one will ever remember whatever they replace Lockwood House with 250 years from now. The wives of sea captains would sit there watching and waiting for their men and sea captains to return from whaling and other seafaring expeditions.

    • Diane Doepke Voigt

      You are so right. It is heartbreaking. My parents purchased this beautiful house in 1960 and lovingly cared for and maintained it for over thirteen years. People always admired the house and our family felt privileged to be stewards of the house and property, as did the owners after my parents. It is a travesty that the house, has fallen into disrepair and overgrowth from neglect in recent years. A little TLC would have gone a long way toward keeping this home desirable to a prospective buyer. Even so, it is not beyond repair or renovation. It’s just that the property is more valuable, divided into two lots, than the house with the .82 acres. Greed is why this house is scheduled for the wrecking ball. We are quickly losing the homes that gave Old Greenwich its charm and character. Too many homes are being overbuilt on small lots, with little care or attention to the balance of house size to lot size. It’s time for a moratorium on demolitions, particularly for historic houses, and for a concerted effort to adopt deed or tax strategies to ensure that beautiful, historic homes such as 50 Lockwood Avenue do not continue to be destroyed. If it had been in my power, I’d have done anything to save this home (original section, by the way, built closer to 1806). It is a travesty and it should be a crime to destroy such gems that inform our town history. If you agree, write to The Greenwich Historical Society, P&Z, or any of the other agencies in the article.

  • Linda L. Lockwood

    It’s a real shame that the Lockwood house at 50 Lockwood Lane is slated for demo. My husband is the 10th great grandchild of Robert Lockwood. We plan to visit in spring of 2017. I hope it’s still standing!