Save St. Andrew's rectory, a Stamford...

Save St. Andrew's rectory, a Stamford icon

There are 22 comments on the Stamford Advocate story from Jul 17, 2009, titled Save St. Andrew's rectory, a Stamford icon. In it, Stamford Advocate reports that:

There isn't a history book about Stamford that doesn't have a picture in it of Saint Andrew's Church Rectory on Washington Boulevard.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Stamford Advocate.

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History buff

North Brunswick, NJ

#1 Jul 18, 2009
I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Russell's observations about the loss the rectory would be to the Washington Blvd. landscape -- and the Stamford Community.

However, it seems that the most powerful forces in the city are backing its demolition in the name of progress. But, there must be an alternative. Perhaps its future could be tied to the Mill River project, where plans call for constructing a museum. Why not move the rectory to an appropriate location along the Mill River Park and make *it* the museum? The city of Stamford could become part of a solution for saving the rectory and creating a win-win for the church and the community.
LVTfan

Morristown, NJ

#2 Jul 18, 2009
I'm sure the building is quite lovely and important. We've been exempting that property from taxes for centuries, but I doubt that any of us would have been welcome there except as the personal guests of whatever priest was in residence.

Stamford needs housing, downtown, where people can use existing public transportation and other infrastructure.

I hope that there will be housing affordable and desirable to people of all ages and stages built there.

It would be a shame for a tax-exempt entity to reap a windfall from the building of luxury housing on this valuable site, no matter how much service they provide to the larger community as a house of worship.

The land is what is valuable.

If someone thinks the house valuable, let them move it to a site they can afford!
Publius

AOL

#3 Jul 18, 2009
History buff wrote:
I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Russell's observations about the loss the rectory would be to the Washington Blvd. landscape -- and the Stamford Community.
However, it seems that the most powerful forces in the city are backing its demolition in the name of progress. But, there must be an alternative. Perhaps its future could be tied to the Mill River project, where plans call for constructing a museum. Why not move the rectory to an appropriate location along the Mill River Park and make *it* the museum? The city of Stamford could become part of a solution for saving the rectory and creating a win-win for the church and the community.
There may be a question about whether the rectory is moveable.
History buff

North Brunswick, NJ

#4 Jul 18, 2009
Just a year ago a development plan for the site called for moving the building and the church, developer, and others said that it was moveable. Recently, a letter was submitted to the Zoning Board from Nicholas Brothers, www.nicholasbros.com , certifying that it's moveable. Looks like the company has moved much more challenging buildings!
Stamford Pedestrian

Middle Haddam, CT

#5 Jul 19, 2009
Yeah, save the Mill River dam so you can look at it from your SUV. Obviously, that's more important than allowing Long Island fish to be able to access the lower 5 miles of the river; that's more important than the quality of the water in the Mill River and the Long Island Sound; more important than the quality of life of the people and animals who live along the river; more important than downtown getting flooding in the 50- and 100-year storms.

Historical artifact dating back to the 1600's? Stamford's first business enterprise? Yeah right. Check the facts, jack.
Steve Lindsey

Keene, NH

#6 Jul 19, 2009
Bravo!
It's not often a journalist takes a stand... This is what a columnist should be. I tip my hat to you, sir!
Rep. Steven Lindsey
Ches-3
Keene, NH
Vox Pop

Niantic, CT

#7 Jul 20, 2009
The parishoners' thinking has been clouded by the prospect of the developer's money. Had they been willing to listen to what local preservationist Renee Kahn was telling them at that recent hearing, they would have heard where and how funding is available.
The building could and should be saved.

The dam, too, but its fate has been sealed by the Mill River "consortium.
Frijoles

Shelton, CT

#8 Jul 20, 2009
Vox Pop wrote:
The parishoners' thinking has been clouded by the prospect of the developer's money. Had they been willing to listen to what local preservationist Renee Kahn was telling them at that recent hearing, they would have heard where and how funding is available.
The building could and should be saved.
The dam, too, but its fate has been sealed by the Mill River "consortium.
Why in heavens would you want to "save" the dam? What is historic about it? There may be other arguments for keeping the dam in place, but saving it for the sake of history is certainly not one of them.
Vox Pop

Niantic, CT

#9 Jul 20, 2009
Frijoles wrote:
<quoted text>
Why in heavens would you want to "save" the dam? What is historic about it? There may be other arguments for keeping the dam in place, but saving it for the sake of history is certainly not one of them.
I don't give a damn about the dam's history. Its function is my concern.
Removal of barriers to tidal surge - the Pulaski Street (gone) and Main Street (going) dams - adds to flood risk.
They'd better carve out a very large basin for Mill River Park. Heavy rains and a high tide coastal storm surge - of let's say 15-feet, which is very possible - will offer much of downtown an unexpected opportunity for a swim.
Publius

AOL

#11 Jul 20, 2009
Vox Pop wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't give a damn about the dam's history. Its function is my concern.
Removal of barriers to tidal surge - the Pulaski Street (gone) and Main Street (going) dams - adds to flood risk.
They'd better carve out a very large basin for Mill River Park. Heavy rains and a high tide coastal storm surge - of let's say 15-feet, which is very possible - will offer much of downtown an unexpected opportunity for a swim.
You'll have to explain this one to me. The dam is lower than the land around it, isn't it?. If there is a storm surge, the water comes up the river channel with or without the dam, doesn't it? And if it is high enough to flood downtown, isn't it also high enough to go over the dam?

My recollection of the flood of '55 is that it came mostly from river flow and not from tidal flow.
Vox Pop

Niantic, CT

#12 Jul 20, 2009
Publius wrote:
<quoted text>
You'll have to explain this one to me. The dam is lower than the land around it, isn't it?. If there is a storm surge, the water comes up the river channel with or without the dam, doesn't it? And if it is high enough to flood downtown, isn't it also high enough to go over the dam?
My recollection of the flood of '55 is that it came mostly from river flow and not from tidal flow.
The dam is higher than the riverbed below it. So was the Pulaski Street dam. Both impeded storm surge backing up the river. When they're gone, the Mill River Park will still have the same problem - narrow riverbed above - and a new one - increased backflow from extreme storm tides.

The Army Engineers did draw a real solution plan when Wilensky was Mayor - a major drainage culvert under the riverbed force pumped out into the harbor. Wonder where that idea went?
'55 flooding was the perfect combination of heavy rain, and a storm surge at high tide.
KAL

Garnerville, NY

#13 Jul 20, 2009
Vox Pop wrote:
<quoted text>
The dam is higher than the riverbed below it. So was the Pulaski Street dam. Both impeded storm surge backing up the river. When they're gone, the Mill River Park will still have the same problem - narrow riverbed above - and a new one - increased backflow from extreme storm tides.
The Army Engineers did draw a real solution plan when Wilensky was Mayor - a major drainage culvert under the riverbed force pumped out into the harbor. Wonder where that idea went?
'55 flooding was the perfect combination of heavy rain, and a storm surge at high tide.
Vox, I remember when Hurricane Gloria hit...it was suggested that residents evacuate Schuyler Ave and up. lol
I didn't understand why THEN...but I guess the Mill River flooded at one time.
Frijoles

Shelton, CT

#14 Jul 20, 2009
Vox Pop wrote:
<quoted text>
The dam is higher than the riverbed below it. So was the Pulaski Street dam. Both impeded storm surge backing up the river. When they're gone, the Mill River Park will still have the same problem - narrow riverbed above - and a new one - increased backflow from extreme storm tides.
The Army Engineers did draw a real solution plan when Wilensky was Mayor - a major drainage culvert under the riverbed force pumped out into the harbor. Wonder where that idea went?
'55 flooding was the perfect combination of heavy rain, and a storm surge at high tide.
Vox, potential flooding can be easily modeled with software. ALmost every engineer in business has access to a version. I would bet my tushy that the Army Corp modeled all the scenarios before they approved demolition. This stuff, unlike Publius's cell towers, is not rocket science.
Frijoles

Shelton, CT

#15 Jul 20, 2009
Why is tushy not censored, but c*r a c k e r s is?

(I know I am now guilty of referencing three separate threads in two posts - sorry to the uninitiated)
Publius

AOL

#17 Jul 20, 2009
Vox Pop wrote:
<quoted text>
The dam is higher than the riverbed below it. So was the Pulaski Street dam. Both impeded storm surge backing up the river. When they're gone, the Mill River Park will still have the same problem - narrow riverbed above - and a new one - increased backflow from extreme storm tides.
The Army Engineers did draw a real solution plan when Wilensky was Mayor - a major drainage culvert under the riverbed force pumped out into the harbor. Wonder where that idea went?
'55 flooding was the perfect combination of heavy rain, and a storm surge at high tide.
The dam is higher than the riverbed but i believe lower than the surrounding land. I'll have to check that tonight by driving by. Water generally levels out, so unless it is higher than the land (not the riverbed) it will not flood downtown (not gonna guarantee basements and lower level garages).

I liked the Corp solution. My recollection is that it was considered too expensive to implement.

My recollection of '55 is that the Broad St and Bridge St bridges were blocked by debris (including a Volkswagen)and the water went over and around them rather than through the river channel. But that wasn't a tidal issue.

I also know that tidal flooding was a factor because i recall the high water marker on the PB bldg at Pacific St., but i am unclear on to what extent tidal flooding affected downtown compared to river swelling from upriver.
Publius

AOL

#18 Jul 20, 2009
KAL wrote:
<quoted text>
Vox, I remember when Hurricane Gloria hit...it was suggested that residents evacuate Schuyler Ave and up. lol
I didn't understand why THEN...but I guess the Mill River flooded at one time.
That's putting it mildly. About two to three feet of water along what is now Washington Blvd (was then River St., appropriately), and throughout most of downtown business area.

Many of the bridges in town were wiped out or severely damaged, and were rebuilt after that.

Stamford fared better than most cities because the business area was away from the river. Norwalk lost a good part of its downtown.
Stamford is dead

Port Chester, NY

#19 Jul 20, 2009
I must say it is sad to see what has happened to Stamford over the years...I grew up there in the 70's and 80's an it seems that the character of the town is dead. I moved to Fairfield years ago and am glad of it. Stamford is way overcrowded. There is very little left of the town I grew up in. Saving the church from the relentless condo building would be nice but on the other hand, churches are outdated and somewhat silly. The turn of the century -1950's Stamford is gone forever and a very ugly city has replaced it.
Vox Pop

Niantic, CT

#20 Jul 20, 2009
Publius wrote:
<quoted text>
That's putting it mildly. About two to three feet of water along what is now Washington Blvd (was then River St., appropriately), and throughout most of downtown business area.....
That's accurate. As I recall the water was at the front door of the First Congregational Church. It was worse over towards Woodside, and many other low lying parts of town.
Remember, much of downtown is actually below sea level. The mid-60's saw the answer to tidal storm flooding - the Huricane Barrier. It stops tidal storm surges and pumps out storm water drainage.
The two places left for those forces to compete are the Mill(Rippowam) and Noroton Rivers, neither of which drain into the barrier/pump protected area.
So, when the coastal storm tidal surges meet the river stormwater, touble is likely.
Mill River is impeded above the Finch floodplain on Long Ridge. It narrows and turns away from Stillwater and hits another bottleneck at the Scalzi Park footbridge, and remains constrained down to Broad Street. Look at the damage in those areas from that sudden heavy rainfall a few years ago, absent tidal issues.
Pulaski and Main Street dams were more impediments to tidal surge than to river drainage, even though Main Street is below the retaining wall level. No walls and no dams will make the Mill River Park a place for interesting future hydrology.
You were right - cost was the killer of the underground drainage proposal. But, doesn't that just make you wonder how good an answer is being developed now? The approach removing walls and dams might work - if it ran the length of the riverbed up to the Parkway. It doesn't. It won't. That's why I, like Clearwater (no pun intended),I see a "bad moon rising" for people in its way.
Frijoles

Shelton, CT

#21 Jul 20, 2009
Vox Pop wrote:
<quoted text>
The approach removing walls and dams might work - if it ran the length of the riverbed up to the Parkway. It doesn't. It won't. That's why I, like Clearwater (no pun intended),I see a "bad moon rising" for people in its way.
Vox, you make the assertion that you need unwalled area "clear up to the parkway". But you have no data to back that up, only impressions. My guess is that you can model the flood under several circumstances, and compute exactly how far off bank the flooding will go under each circumstance. I would wager that with, or without the dams, the upstream would flood under most of those circumstances.
Vox Pop

Niantic, CT

#22 Jul 20, 2009
Frijoles wrote:
<quoted text>
Vox, you make the assertion that you need unwalled area "clear up to the parkway". But you have no data to back that up, only impressions. My guess is that you can model the flood under several circumstances, and compute exactly how far off bank the flooding will go under each circumstance. I would wager that with, or without the dams, the upstream would flood under most of those circumstances.
Having enjoyed extensive communication with the Army Engineers who developed the never pursued riverbed culvert solution, I will tell you I saw plenty of data.
Some work was done - where possible - on the riverbed. Sure, it has lots of bottlenecks. The Finch floodplain northeast of Long Ridge Road and the Mill River Park area are the only two places south of the Parkway that have accomodation.
Remember, all downtown is toast if the storm surge exceeds 17 feet. That's the maximum protective level of the barrier.
But the Mill riverbed only had two impediments to
storm surge conflict with drainage - Pulaski and Main Streets. It wouldn't take 17 feet to make downtown awash from the river.
Yes, computer modeling can show scenarios.
They can get interesting.
Try the idea of storm tidal surge flooding downtown.
All that drainage system funnels to ONE point, the Dyke Lane pumping station by Brewer's Yacht Haven.
A pump can only move so many GPM, unimpeded. Forcing that through a surge nearly cresting the barrier could be devastating when accompanied by rainfall like the one that caused the last flood. It could well reach a point of decreasingly efficient recycling.
Were I consulting the developer, I'd espouse some pumping redundancy, in a big way, by the barrier gate.
Remember, there are only two other pump stations, at West Beach and in the Cummings boat lagoon. Things could get very wet in the rest of the city.

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