A push to demolish a historic New Canaan building constructed by Standard Oil as a fuel depot for then-rural Connecticut has been put on hold for 90 days.
New Canaan’s Historical Review Committee voted 3-2 on Thursday night to delay the destruction of the Standard Oil Co. Carriage Barn, more commonly known locally as the “Mead Park Brick Barn,” after member Ed Vollmer switched his vote in favor of a delay. The delay halts a town council decision in May to keep $65,000 in a bonding resolution set aside to tear down the structure; First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, who supports the razing of the building, cast a tie-breaking vote during that meeting to fund its demise.
Located at 64 Richmond Hill Road, the Standard Oil Co. Carriage Barn was built in 1901 in a brick barn structure; it is one of three surviving brick barns in the state. The barn was originally designed with four stalls for two teams of horses plus an additional stall for grain and a sixth stall used as a tack room. During the early part of the 20th century, Standard Oil shipped kerosene from its refineries by rail to bulk stations, and horse-drawn tank wagons distributed the fuel to rural stores that sold the fuel to consumers. The horses were replaced by trucks after World War I and the New Canaan structure was converted into a garage, with its hayloft turned into offices and a meeting room.
The Standard Oil Co. Carriage Barn has been vacant since 1998 and was added to the Connecticut Registry of Historic Places in 2010. An effort is underway to add the building to the National Register of Historic Places, although placement on the state and national registers will not protect it from demolition.