The Norwalk Inn and Conference Center has reached an agreement with the town of Norwalk, and Norwalk Preservation Trust to restore the historic Grumman-St. John House. Unfortunately, the agreement still needs the approval of the town’s Zoning Commission.
The Norwalk Inn, which bought the adjacent house in 2001, planned to demolish to expand. But the Norwalk Preservation Trust opposed that idea and the effort has been tied up in legal actions the last several years while the house has continued to deteriorate.
With much fanfare, state Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) and Representative Lawrence Cafero (R-Norwalk), who were involved in the crafting of the compromise plan, plus Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia and representatives from both the Norwalk Inn and the Norwalk Preservation Trust announced the agreement.
Under the compromise plan announced, the Norwalk Inn will renovate the Grumman-St. John House at 93 East Ave., to use it for seven or eight long-term-stay hotel rooms. The inn would expand upward, adding a third story that would hold about 40 additional hotel rooms. That part needs Zoning Commission approval.
Duff told the Norwalk Hour that a public hearing before the Zoning Commission on the project would likely occur in October or November.
The Grumman-St. John House dates back to the Revolutionary War and was built by Samuel Grumman. It was severely damaged in the burning of Norwalk by the British in 1779 and was rebuilt in the 1780s. The house was expanded and its current roof was added in the 1870s. It has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1986 as part of the Norwalk Green Historic District.