First Selectman Mike Tetreau proudly announced today that Fairfield was one of 13 communities in Connecticut to receive a Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant in the amount of $500,000 to make improvements and updates to the historic Burr Homestead. First Selectman Tetreau said, “The Town is so pleased to receive this generous state grant that will allow for much needed improvements at one of Fairfield’s iconic sites where John Hancock got married and George Washington and Sam Adams visited. It is important that we take care of our historic structures to not only preserve our Town’s rich history, but to also create a safer and more user-friendly environment for the public to enjoy the many wonderful programs, activities and weddings that are held at this historic site. I want to thank the State for selecting Fairfield as one of a handful of grant recipients and also give special thanks for the help and efforts made by our Fairfield State Delegation who include State Senator Tony Hwang, State Representative Laura Devlin, State Representative Brenda Kupchick, and State Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey."
The funding will be used to remove lead paint and asbestos in the basement; upgrade the building’s electrical and fire alarm systems to current code; upgrade the building’s plumbing; add new bathrooms, which will be handicapped accessible; and install a new, up-to-code kitchen.
The work is being designed by David Scott Parker Architects of Southport, which is an experienced historic preservation firm that previously designed the restoration of The Sun Tavern which is situated on the historic Town Green. Work will begin this winter and will continue through the following winter of 2017. The Burr Mansion’s regular rental season will not be disrupted by the planned work.
Mike Jehle, Executive Director of the Fairfield Museum and History Center which manages the Town’s historic properties said, “Burr Mansion has served as one of Fairfield’s most cherished event facilities for more than 35 years, and this generous funding award from the State will support crucial upgrades to the building’s electrical, plumbing and safety features as part of a multi-phased plan to make Burr Mansion a safer and more enjoyable event facility for the next generation.”
About Burr Homestead: Thaddeus and Eunice Dennie Burr lived in what is now the Burr Homestead during the American Revolution era. This well-known and widely-respected Fairfield couple contributed to Fairfield in many ways.
Thaddeus Burr served the Town of Fairfield as First Selectman, Sheriff, and Justice of the Peace. He also was a Commissioner to New York and New Jersey, a member of the Council of Safety, and a delegate to the State's convention to ratify the Constitution.
Eunice Dennie Burr helped build the Fairfield Academy, a private school for girls and boys, in the early 1800s. The Fairfield Academy is now known as the Old Academy which is run by the Eunice Dennie Burr Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Both the Old Academy and the Burr Homestead are located in the heart of Fairfield’s historic Town Green.
The photo shows State Representative Brenda Kupchick and Fairfield Museum and History Center Executive Director Mike Jehle on the bottom step at the historic Burr Homestead along with State Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey, State Representative Laura Devlin and Selectman Sheila Marmion standing on the top step.