Public hearing set to discuss future of abandoned factory, homes in Stamford's South End

A public hearing is set for next week on what's next for an old abandoned factory and neighboring homes in Stamford's South End.

News 12 Staff

Oct 3, 2020, 4:48 PM

Updated 1,348 days ago

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A public hearing is set for next week on what's next for an old abandoned factory and neighboring homes in Stamford's South End.
The Historic Preservation Council will hear from developers of the site and advocates who want to save the buildings on that property.
The world's first portable typewriter was invented by George Blickensderfer in Stamford. It was manufactured at the old Blickensderfer Typewriter Factory on Atlantic Street from 1896 to 1919.
"If these buildings are torn down, and many of them have already been torn down, we lose that connection to the past, that important history," said Judy Norinsky, president of the Historic Neighborhood Preservation.
Now it's an abandoned industrial site with multiple buildings all on the National Register of Historic Places.
The property is right near the train station and slated for redevelopment by local developer Building and Land Technology, which is responsible for the Harbor Point District in the South End.
Building and Land Technology has permits to redevelop the property, including the demolition of some of the buildings. But a group called Historic Neighborhood Preservation is trying to stop that. It's a nonprofit that champions saving historic buildings and neighborhoods. The group wants Building and Land Technology to commit to restoring the whole property.
"They don't need this building to do what they want to do to develop the site," said Norinsky.
Now both sides will bring their cases before the state's Historic Preservation Council Wednesday. After the hearing, the commission will make a recommendation to the attorney general on whether to stop the demolition.
Ted Ferrarone, the co-president of Building and Land Technology, released a statement saying it does commit to preserving and rehabbing the Blickensderfer Factory.

"We recognize the importance of safely preserving historic buildings, like the Blickensderfer Typewriter Factory, as they are part of our unique community fabric. We have preserved hundreds of thousands of square feet of historic structures in the South End, including the Lofts at Yale & Towne, Seven Market Street, 711 Canal Street, 845 Canal Street, and the Pacific Street Firehouse. At 650 Atlantic Street, we have worked in collaboration with the City of Stamford, the State of Connecticut, and our neighbors to create a redevelopment plan that balances historic preservation, environmental remediation, health and safety, and economic development – and includes the preservation and rehabilitation of the Blicksenderfer Factory building. For more than 10 years, BLT has been remediating and transforming this formerly industrial area located adjacent to the busiest train station in Connecticut to usher in economic growth opportunities for our city, as well as developments that focus on the health and safety of our community such as wider and well-lit streets, two-way bike lanes, and new affordable housing for low-income families. It is our hope that we can use this space to better serve all constituents in the community, while preserving Stamford's historic assets."



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