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Is there a roof railing being added to Ridgefield’s Town Hall?



Photo by Deborah Hayn

Why, yes, there is. Long before anyone alive today was around, an elegant, white widow’s walk topped the current Town Hall. “Most people forgot there was one ever there,” says carpenter Mike Wise. “It needs to be put back up there.” Armed with historic photos, Wise approached First Selectman Rudy Marconi and offered to restore the railing. 

The craftsman next contacted historical architect Dave Scott, who soon began producing sketches. Most interesting to Wise is the type of material he plans to employ. “Cellular PVC is a natural material that does not need maintenance,” he says. “It’s injection-molded foam and shaped into boards. When painted, it’s indistinguishable from wood. This is important given how much the rail will be exposed to the weather.”

Wise used a similar material to add a roof railing at the Lounsbury House. That Main Street building sits in the historic district and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and therefore approval to use this material was required. No such approval is needed for its use on Town Hall. 

The roof walk at the Lounsbury House can be accessed. “They have on occasion had wine-and-cheese parties up there,” says Wise. “I’ve never been to one, but would love to. People will not be able to go up on the roof of Town Hall. There is a hatchway, but it is covered up.”

The cost to the town? “I am donating my services, but I hope to get private help for the materials and to lease the lift to get me up there,” he says. The two phases of work begin in September. 

 

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