New Owner For Sanford-Bristol House

A long (and anxiously) awaited press release has just been issued by the Connecticut Trust For Historic Preservation identifying the new owner of Milford’s historic Sanford-Bristol House. Sources say the new owner, Lesley Mills, owner and director of Griswold Home Care in New Haven, Connecticut, has purchased the home strictly for residential use.

Milford's Sanford-Bristol House, under a cover of fresh snow, December 18th, 2013.

Milford’s Sanford-Bristol House, under a cover of fresh snow, December 18th, 2013.

As I’d mentioned in my post of last month, Best Christmas Present Ever, the Connecticut Trust had exercised its option, under a court agreement, to purchase the Sanford-Bristol House from its previous owners, who were intent on demolishing it and replacing it with a modern “replica” home. In this case, the Connecticut Trust had apparently been acting as a straw buyer for the new owner, to whom they would eventually transfer the home.

Rather than attempt to paraphrase further, here’s the press release published yesterday by the Connecticut Trust, in its entirety:


Hope Springs Eternal for the Sanford- Bristol House in Milford, CT
Contact: Erin Marchitto
Phone: 203-562-6312
Milford– A new owner has saved the Sanford-Bristol house on North Street from demolition, giving it a promising future. In October, the Milford Trust for Historic Preservation joined by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation as co-plantiff, sued under the Connecticut Environmental Protect Act (CEPA) to prevent the demolition of the 1790 house. The CEPA act allows citizens to challenge unreasonable destruction of historic buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In November, the two Trusts reached a settlement with property owners William P. Farrell Sr. and Gwendolyn Farrell allowing the property to be sold to another party. Resolving the third in a recent string of CEPA cases, the sale of the Sanford-Bristol house confirms that selling a historic property to a new owner is a reasonable alternative to demolition.
Connecticut based Griswold Home Care has purchased the Sanford-Bristol House. A press conference will be held at the house located on 111-113 North Street in Milford at 3PM on Friday, January 17, 2014. The new owner, Lesley Mills, will be present to speak about future plans for the property and the house will be open to walk through.
Please confirm your attendance by phone at 203-562-6312 or by email at
Erin Marchitto
Communications Manager
Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation

940 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06517

Tel: 203-562-6312
Cell: 860-884-5003

Twitter: CT_Trust
### End of Press Release ###


As I’d mentioned in several of my previous articles, the Milford Preservation Trust has incurred considerable legal costs in their fight to save this landmark home from demolition. You can help ensure that the Milford Preservation Trust can continue with their important work by making them a donation, and perhaps even joining them as a member and ongoing supporter. To do so, simply visit the Milford Preservation Trust’s home page, or their membership page, where you can easily donate, or sign-up as a member online.

Image of the John Downs House, Milford, Connecticut.

“In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy.” – John Sawhill




About John Poole

My interests include historic homes, architectural preservation and restoration, improving the energy performance of old houses, and traditional timber frames.
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6 Responses to New Owner For Sanford-Bristol House

  1. So exciting!!! 2014 is going to be a good year :-)

  2. Paul Marlowe says:

    Thanks John for keeping us informed about the fight to save this building. This is great news!

  3. Juliana Inman says:

    I am so happy for this outcome. It gives hope to people fighting the good fight in all parts of the country.

    • John Poole says:

      Thank you, Cousin Elinor. Even more than that…had this fight gone the other way, it would’ve completely undermined the whole concept of a listed/protected historic resource, not just here in Connecticut, but nationally as well. If a home listed at local, state, and national levels, and situated in two overlapping historic districts could’ve been so easily sacrificed, then a terrible precedent would’ve been established. This fight had to be fought, and we’re all very fortunate the preservationists won this one.

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