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Time Will Tell

Photography by Stacy Bass

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The feud between preservationists and developers has been raging in our community for years —does the economy have the last word?

The chilly winds of the economic cool-down have blown from Manhattan to Fairfield County, leaving the once blazing home construction market with a smoky haze over it. When financial heavy hitters hold tightly to their wallets, the pace of massively sized new construction homes slows — as does the rate of teardowns of historically significant homes. These days, with cooler heads, preservationists and developers are discovering that both sides of the argument have valid points: Some antique homes are too important, too beautiful to lose; and some antique homes have long passed their prime and should give way to a new, yet still architecturally meaningful home. There also is room for a home that embodies compromise — one that combines all the amenities and upgrades of new construction while preserving the original home’s irreplaceable charm and character (such as antique pine flooring and beams, a 200-year-old stone hearth or a hideaway crawl space once used by a Revolutionary soldier).