About Us

What we do

The Norwalk Preservation Trust's mission is to protect our irreplaceable historic buildings and neighborhoods, landscapes and streetscapes, by raising awareness, partnering with other organizations, and taking appropriate action when necessary. These actions include education, advocacy, and public awareness.

We aim to identify, retain, and enhance Norwalk's historic buildings, sites, and neighborhoods. We believe that Norwalk's architectural heritage should be a living part of the community. We are working to become a resource for property owners, businesses, developers, and government. Together, we can save, reuse, and revitalize the structures that remain as visible reminders of our area's rich and vibrant history.

Why we do it

Historic sites and structures provide important information about people and events. Physical places provide positive links to the past that can never be replaced. Historic preservation works to save buildings, structures, sites, and other objects so these vital links will not be lost. These places tell us where, how, and why people lived. They help define who we are as a community. They are Norwalk's visible history. This identity provides knowledge and insight for the future.

Protecting Norwalk's historic places, however, accomplishes more than just preserving the past. It has real, tangible benefits for our city in the here and now:

Community

  • Historic places serve as community landmarks and sources of civic pride. Modern buildings lack the variety of materials and details that went into older structures. Learning, working, and living in historic buildings adds to our quality of life.

Economics

  • Well-preserved architecture enhances a community's appearance and sense of well being. Healthy and productive communities, in turn, draw and sustain new businesses and residents. Tourism increases as a result. Saving old places helps Norwalk's economy prosper.

Environment

  • Historic preservation is good for the environment. Tearing down an old building wastes the materials and energy that went into constructing the building in the first place. Our finite resources are saved through preservation.

Our Story

The current Norwalk Preservation Trust grew out of the work of the Norwalk Green Historic Alliance, a grass-roots group organized in 2001. As the NGHA, we mobilized the community to protect the Grumman-St. John House at 93 East Avenue, an important 18th-century home in danger of being demolished for the expansion of a hotel. We collected over 1,100 petition signatures, received in-depth media coverage from newspapers and television, brought such a large number of people to Zoning Commission hearings that the hearings needed to be extended to three sessions, and raised awareness of historic preservation in Norwalk in general.

The level of interest in our efforts and public support was so encouraging that it called for the formation of a permanent preservation group in Norwalk. There had been no such organization in Norwalk since the disbanding of the original Norwalk Preservation Trust more than 25 years ago. That organization was the driving force behind Historic South Norwalk and the Norwalk Green Historic District, as well as other preservation achievements in the city. Today's Norwalk Preservation Trust builds on that legacy.

The current NPT was founded on March 2, 2003 by Tod Bryant, Marija Bryant, Frank DeMilo, Lynn Friedman, Bill Kraus, and Gail Wall. One year later, we became a public charity with 501(c)(3) status, making your membership and donations tax-deductible. We organize two series of fundraising events, the Valle Weber Fay Preservation Leadership Awards, named for the founder and President of the original NPT, and our Norwalk's Living History Tours, along with a variety of other events.

Many of our officers and board members have been individually active in historic-preservation efforts for years. We have also built networks of professionals who can provide advice and assistance, as needed, as we continue to serve as advocates and as a resource for property owners to accomplish more of the preservation that is so important to Norwalk.

The current President of the Norwalk Preservation Trust is Tod Bryant. The Vice President is Lee Levey, with Chris Potts seving as Treasurer and Marija Bryant as Secretary. The Board of Directors is comprised of Georgette Blau, Randy Briggs, Carol Ann Falasca, Charles Harris, David R. McCarthy, Wendye Pardue, and Eric Rasmussen.