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Friday, February 25, 2005

Judge Issues Injunction Prohibiting Demolition of Bradley House Until March 7

Eleanor Dickey: “Very, very pleased.” File photo
Preservationists trying to save the 200-year-old Abel Bradley House on the Westport-Fairfield town line have won a Superior Court injunction prohibiting its destruction at least until March 7, the head of a neighborhood coalition said today.

Eleanor Dickey, a neighbor and head of the Coalition for the Preservation of the Bradley House, said the injunction was issued Thursday by Judge Julia Dewey of Superior Court in Bridgeport. She said a hearing will be held by the court on March 7.

A 90-day delay in approval of a demolition permit had been scheduled to run out March 3, after which the owners, developers Mark J. Iuraduri and Mike Horvath, would have been free to begin the demolition process.

They have set a $1.2 million price for the property, which they bought in October for $600,000.

“We are very, very pleased,” said Dickey, who has said her group has raised about $850,000 toward purchase of the property. The group said Tuesday that talks with the developers appeared to have broken down over the purchase price. (See WestportNow Feb. 22, 2005)

She said Austin K. Wolf, a Bridgeport attorney, filed a request for the injunction Thursday afternoon on the basis that the property was being considered for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

The injunction imposes a $1,000 a day fine for violation of the order prohibiting “demolishing, destroying, damaging, or removing the building known as 131 Sturges Highway.”


Posted 02/25/05 at 03:56 PM  Permalink


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What about Moving the house itself?? Just taking it off the property and moving to another. I think that would be a great alternative to the wrecking ball.

Posted by Just a Thought on February 25, 2005 at 05:48 PM | #

I mean.. the Land is what the owner really wants anyway right???

Posted by Just a thought on February 25, 2005 at 05:51 PM | #

No private property owner should have their property considered for the National Register of Historic Places against his/her will!

Posted by John J. Franklin on February 25, 2005 at 06:00 PM | #

Here is a quote from the NRHP about how the process works:
“Owners of private property are given an opportunity to concur in or object to the nomination. If the owner of a private property, or the majority of private property owners for a property or district with multiple owners, objects to the nomination, the historic property cannot be listed in the National Register.”

Sounds to me that the owner can just say no and it is no.

Posted by Owner Veto on February 25, 2005 at 06:36 PM | #

Veto, thanks for the information. It looks like this injunction is merely another hoop that the developer needs to jump through. I’ll bet that Mark Iuraduri never imagined how much of an uproar there would be over this little, old house.

Posted by John J. Franklin on February 25, 2005 at 09:31 PM | #

Historical societies, classics professors, wetland conservation, documentaries, injunctions, Diane Farrell, brown-baggers, demonstrations, chained martyrs, secret plans, editorials… This issue has gone to far. I say tear down that old house just to show that you cannot control the property rights of others!

Posted by Joe P. on February 25, 2005 at 11:31 PM | #

An only in Westport story…...

Posted by J Watson on February 26, 2005 at 01:15 AM | #

The only language that these developers cum builders understand is the economic one. They are aided and abetted by realtors. Boycott, shun, shame…all these tools can have a cumulative effect. I would like to see the Westport/Weston realtors adopt a superior code of ethics that says they will not list or show properties that have been maxed out on coverage on small lots or are replacing historically significant buildings. It’s unfortunate that bad taste is too often directly related to money.

Posted by Arthur Atichess on February 26, 2005 at 02:01 AM | #

It’s a great thought, but they’re motivated by the same money as everyone else. Maxed out houses = maxed out commissions. As in all situations, the crash is coming. Only that will slow down the construction of these monsters.

Posted by observer on February 26, 2005 at 02:31 PM | #

I can’t help but wonder who the attorney for the estate is? Have they met their fiduciary duty for the estate? The 2.7 acre property was sold for $600,00 in the fall, not listed on the market or open to the public, yet the new owners now want $1.2 million for property that has no improvements? The town appraisal of $875,000 shows this should have sold for about $1 million or more, so who is benefiting from the sale? The estate? The attorney? Certainly the builders.

Posted by Mary Ann West on February 26, 2005 at 09:26 PM | #


Great point. Time to call the State’s attorney in. How can the land have doubled in price w/o any improvement. Sounds like a scam has been committed and needs to be investigated. The estate might have been taken. Certainly higher conveyance taxes are owed.

Time to take this idea to the developers and say, sell it now for a reasonable price or we’ll bring in the state. 750K would bring them 25% in less than a year.

Posted by callinthestate on February 26, 2005 at 11:37 PM | #

Mary Ann - I couldn’t agree more!

Posted by Tracy Flood on February 28, 2005 at 04:19 PM | #