Redding’s first “Resource Day for Historic Property Owners” was held on January 21st, 2007 at the Redding Community Center and was attended by over 150 people. The following is a summary of the information presented.
Historic Preservation in Redding
Protecting the Key Features of Your Historic House in Redding
With An Historic Preservation Easement
So, you’ve made your home in one of Redding’s wonderful examples of Federal-era architecture. You have spent years coping with powder-post beetles, leaky windows, and a collection of pipes and wires that look like they belong in the Smithsonian Institution. You’ve explained for the fifteenth time to your children why it’s ok if the floors in their house are "all slanty", and you have stories to tell your friends about the patient search involved in the restoration work you have done.
Not all of this has been easy, but there have been compensations in the questions people ask about your house, the ties you have sustained to a long history, the drivers who slow down or stop to appreciate your home as one of those that make Redding a special kind of place.
But what comes next? Having poured love and treasure into the task of burnishing this historical gem, perhaps you are concerned that those who follow will not continue this task. Throughout Fairfield County, and increasingly right here in Redding, a 'For Sale" sign on an historic house is also a "Farewell" sign as historic homes are demolished and we risk losing our longstanding continuity as a place with a living history.
Perhaps you have asked yourself, "What can I do to foster the preservation of my historic house, without damaging its value as a key asset and its continuing utility as a house and home?"
One way to accomplish this is through the placement of an historic preservation easement on all or part of the structure and property. An easement of this type represents a partnership – established in perpetuity - with another party who will promise to sustain the ground rules that you set for the preservation and restoration of your historic home.
The placement of an historic preservation easement is an act of stewardship that can have a notable and noble effect on the future of Redding as an historic place, while tailoring the scope of the preservation effort at your house to those things that you know to be of real and documented historic value. In many cases this is a more flexible and more precisely targeted approach than would come from additional town regulations.
A Pilot Program for Encouraging Historic Easements
The Town of Redding, in combination with the Redding Preservation Society and the Redding
Historical Society, has created a pilot program aimed at encouraging the placement of historic preservation easements. This program builds upon an already-growing use of this concept in town, and is designed to make it easy for the owner of an historic house to establish an easement at a minimal expenditure of cost or effort. Also, by having the Town itself become the recipient of multiple easements there is the potential to establish uniform procedures and standards that can become institutionalized and tailored to Redding’s special history and its inventory of historic structures.
Sample application form for listing of house on State Historic Resource Inventory