UPDATE: Disassembly of the barn is scheduled to begin Monday, Jan. 15.
The disassembly of the historic barn on the former Young’s Nurseries property at 211 Danbury Road is slated to begin in the next week or two, as part of an agreement reached between the Wilton Historical Society and Sunrise Senior Living in September.
Commercial real estate developer Senior Living Development purchased the 3.8-acre site in 2016 with plans to convert it into a 90-unit senior living facility and sell it to Sunrise Senior Living.
This past August, the Historic District and Historic Property Commission imposed a 90-day demolition delay in hope of saving the barn. Before the delay expired, Sunrise and the Wilton Historical Society came to an agreement on the barn’s fate — Sunrise would not only donate the barn to the historical society but also cover the cost of disassembling and storing it for future restoration.
Although the historic barn has been altered over the years, its timber frame is from the 1800s — possibly earlier — and its roof framing is 20th Century.
According to the historic commission, the property at 211 Danbury Road was previously part of the 26-acre parcel at 213 Danbury Road, purchased in 1920 by Charles Orem with a house dating from about 1875. The land was used for Orem’s dairy farm and for a baseball field where the Wilton Farmers team played.
Sunrise Senior Living marketing communications coordinator Kevin Culligan told The Bulletin the disassembly of the historic barn will take “about two to three weeks” and construction on the new senior living facility will begin this year.
The facility is intended for older seniors who need assistance daily and will be the third for-profit assisted-living center in Wilton.
According to a July 2016 Wilton Bulletin poll that asked if an assisted living facility should be built at 211 Danbury Road, 74% of respondents said no, 21% said yes and 5% were undecided.