Danbury should stand up for Richter House

Full story: NewsTimes.com

Christine Rotello was born in Danbury. She's lived her whole life in the city her ancestors helped found in the late 1600s.
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1 - 20 of 31 Comments Last updated Jun 29, 2008
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Lakeside

United States

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#1
Mar 14, 2008
 
Thank you Mrs Rotello for shedding some common sense on the project. The city always seems to spend more than it has to to fix something. Maybe because they don't shop around like the regular citizen who is paying for a project with hard earned money. They have all those tax dollars behind them and when they run out we just raise the assessments.

Maybe if I had a landscape architect build my house it would cost more too. Let them stick to planting trees and making pretty ponds.
Art

Burlington, VT

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#2
Mar 14, 2008
 
What ever happened to the city that fixed up the old jail, renovated the old library into a cultural center, put a beautiful brick walk on the old post office street, re-did Ives Street, got private investment to re-do the old fire house, supported a designer showcase to memodle the Tarrywyle mansion and the list goes on and on. Where are the city's priorities--more condos? Something is really wrong here. Is it a trick to say it will cost $1 million so people will give up and tear the Richter house down? Where's the leadership?
The Truth

Costa Mesa, CA

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#3
Mar 14, 2008
 
What history does the Richter House hold? Besides being an "old farmhouse," is it on the National or State register of historic places, is it any more valuable than the castle at Tarrywile. While I appreciate Mrs. Rotello's desire to save the house I don't think she is thinking about Danbury as a whole. The Ives house is in need of renovation, The Rider house needs more work and of course the castle should be "saved." All of those are historically listed buildings, the Richter house is not.
NFer

New York, NY

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#4
Mar 14, 2008
 
So she throws out a number of $400,000 and you just believe her? Try a little investigative reporting. ASK SOME QUESTIONS.

What exactly did she do for $400,000? What exactly needs to be done to the Richter House? I'll bet that what needs to be done to the Richter House is far more than what she had to do.

How much does Richter Arts pay to rent the facility? If the authority was to be responsible for the upkeep then they should have to charge appropriate user fees as well. Can Richter Arts afford $50,000 or more a year?
Logical

Danbury, CT

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#5
Mar 14, 2008
 
Mrs. Rotello doesn't seem to understand that the house needs a lot more than her residential properties if it's to be open to the public. Handicap accessibility, sprinklers, asbestos and mold remediation, etc.

Maybe it's time for the arts assoc. to start raising its own money. As a member, I just received my schedule of activities for Richter Arts and every event listed was free.

“"Hyman Roth always makes money”

Since: Feb 08

Havanna, Cuba

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#6
Mar 14, 2008
 
Logical is right. ADA capabilities and an elevator for the second floor to accomdate wheel chairs drive the cost. That is the impact of the ADA requirement. Private buildings like Ms. Rotello's are not held to the same regulations. Hence the lower cost for her.
Christine Rotello

Middletown, CT

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#7
Mar 14, 2008
 
Thanks for all the interest.The prices I mentioned are several thousand dollars higher than the $150,000 that Jane Didona quoted Wed. night from an architect`s estimate of what it would take just to make the house safe & usable, & many thousands less than the mayor`s quote of $1,000,000.
I felt that the first figure was too low for items like asbestos removal, which we`ve done in our houses,& handicap access.The reason I believe my figures are realistic is that we`ve restored our houses to a meticulous standard which is unnecessary with a nice old place that simply needs to be made safe & usable. We don`t need to put on architectural airs at the city`s expense.I`m a thrifty Yankee, especially with the public`s money!
Ted

Sacramento, CA

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#8
Mar 14, 2008
 
Mrs. Richter donated this property to the Danbury people. She is probable turning in her grave. Shame Shame!

$1 mil to fix NO Way. There’s very few if any houses in that area that are even worth a mil.
Sinbad

Costa Mesa, CA

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#9
Mar 14, 2008
 
Once you open a wall on a public building you must meet current ADA requirements. It's the law. That is what takes a $400,000 project and makes it 1 million. Handicap accessible everything costs big bucks..
The Truth

Costa Mesa, CA

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#10
Mar 14, 2008
 
Christine Rotello wrote:
Thanks for all the interest.The prices I mentioned are several thousand dollars higher than the $150,000 that Jane Didona quoted Wed. night from an architect`s estimate of what it would take just to make the house safe & usable, & many thousands less than the mayor`s quote of $1,000,000.
I felt that the first figure was too low for items like asbestos removal, which we`ve done in our houses,& handicap access.The reason I believe my figures are realistic is that we`ve restored our houses to a meticulous standard which is unnecessary with a nice old place that simply needs to be made safe & usable. We don`t need to put on architectural airs at the city`s expense.I`m a thrifty Yankee, especially with the public`s money!
What about the grounds Mrs. Rotello? Does your estimate include landscaping? Do you believe the Richter House should come before the Ives House or the Castle? The city has only so much money, I am not sure the Richter houses needs are greater than those landmarks.
I support McCain

Shelton, CT

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#11
Mar 14, 2008
 
NFer wrote:
So she throws out a number of $400,000 and you just believe her? Try a little investigative reporting. ASK SOME QUESTIONS.
What exactly did she do for $400,000? What exactly needs to be done to the Richter House? I'll bet that what needs to be done to the Richter House is far more than what she had to do.
How much does Richter Arts pay to rent the facility? If the authority was to be responsible for the upkeep then they should have to charge appropriate user fees as well. Can Richter Arts afford $50,000 or more a year?
Why don't you ask yourself where did the mayor get the figure of 1,000,000. Did he have someone go and do an estimate on the house? And if he did, where is the report?

I'll take the word of an individual who renovated some of the oldest hoes in Danbury over the word of a mayor who's master plan is to move the programs at Righter to his failing Ives Center (which the city never should have taken over in the first place).
I support McCain

Shelton, CT

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#12
Mar 14, 2008
 
Sinbad wrote:
Once you open a wall on a public building you must meet current ADA requirements. It's the law. That is what takes a $400,000 project and makes it 1 million. Handicap accessible everything costs big bucks..
Again, Jane DiDona knew this already and estimated that it would cost 150,000 thousand dollars to renovate the house...much lower than Rotello's estimate.

Again, did YOU go out and do an analysis on the house? Watching "Home Improvement" or DIY doesn't make you an expert so I'll trust someone who actually renovated homes similar in age in Danbury.

The city just bonded millions of dollars on a laundry list of silly projects (as well as paving roads) while giving away MILLIONS to BRT for a eyesore of a dormitory and you're worried about the cost to honor the principle behind the family donating their land to the city?

Talk to me when you really start keeping an eye on the waste of money from City Hall.
Ted

Sacramento, CA

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#13
Mar 14, 2008
 
Sinbad wrote:
Once you open a wall on a public building you must meet current ADA requirements. It's the law. That is what takes a $400,000 project and makes it 1 million. Handicap accessible everything costs big bucks..
Point taken. thanks
I support McCain

Shelton, CT

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#14
Mar 14, 2008
 
The Truth wrote:
<quoted text>
What about the grounds Mrs. Rotello? Does your estimate include landscaping? Do you believe the Richter House should come before the Ives House or the Castle? The city has only so much money, I am not sure the Richter houses needs are greater than those landmarks.
The Castle is a dump and YES Richter House is MUCH more important than that or Ives...my goodness, it's not even close.
What

Boston, MA

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#15
Mar 14, 2008
 
Start a private fund to fix the house. If No one puts their money where their mouth is, rip it down.
NFer

United States

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#16
Mar 14, 2008
 
Didona's $150,000 estimate is to SHORE UP THE HOUSE, not renovate it. It's just to do what's needed so it doesn't fall down.

Attempting to renovate a house in that condition and of that size will easily approach $1 million. You're better off tearing it down and putting up a building built for the purpose they want to use it for.
SusieQ

Costa Mesa, CA

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#17
Mar 14, 2008
 
Just for the record, I support McCain is Al. You can see his hatred pouring off of his posts. Get a job Al.
The Truth

Costa Mesa, CA

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#18
Mar 14, 2008
 
I support McCain wrote:
<quoted text>
The Castle is a dump and YES Richter House is MUCH more important than that or Ives...my goodness, it's not even close.
The Richter Authority doesn't think its very important do they? In addition to that its not on any kind of historical register. No one really cares about the house except and very small contingent of Arts people.
RPA is a joke

Norwalk, CT

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#19
Mar 14, 2008
 
The Truth wrote:
<quoted text>
The Richter Authority doesn't think its very important do they? In addition to that its not on any kind of historical register. No one really cares about the house except and very small contingent of Arts people.
The Richter Authority didn't think much about staying afloat period. If anything, the presentation reinforced the belief that the authority has been in dire need of management for years.

McCain is right, no one has done an analysis on the house and the 1,000,000 price tag is over-inflated. The house can be saved for a fraction of the price the city loss in Tax revenues to BRT.
Ted

Sacramento, CA

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#20
Mar 14, 2008
 
The Truth wrote:
<quoted text>
The Richter Authority doesn't think its very important do they? In addition to that its not on any kind of historical register. No one really cares about the house except and very small contingent of Arts people.
Thats not true, there is a steady flow of people into a production. Seems like they fill everyone.

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