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Monday, February 18, 2013

The American Legion building in Wallingford: A timeline

As published in the Record Journal on Monday February 18, 2013

1890s: House at 41 S. Main St. is built, owned by Roger Austin, Wallingford’s tax collector.

1920: American Legion takes over building.

1988: Town begins talks with American Legion Post 73 to buy building. Post eventually rejects offer.

December 1994: Dime Savings Bank forecloses on building’s mortgage. Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. makes the winning bid on the property at $190,000, outbidding five others.

June 1995: Town Council turns down offer from New Haven firm Paul Pizzo Architects to lease the building.

May 2002: Town Council votes to raze the building.

August 2002: Then-Attorney General Richard Blumenthal files injunction on behalf of Connecticut Historical Commission to stop the town from demolishing the structure.

2008: Town Council rejects bids by Wallingford Public Access Association to buy the building for $10,000 and Gouveia Vineyards owner Joseph Gouveia, who offered $65,000 to turn it to office and residential use.

April 2010: Testimony begins in trial over whether town can raze the building.

February 2011: A New Haven Superior Court judge rules the town cannot demolish the building.

March 2011: Town Council votes to sell the building.

June 2011: Joseph Gouveia rescinds two bids on the property, one for $100,000 to turn the house into a wine and coffee lounge, and one for $45,000 to build offices and apartments.

July 2011: Town Council votes to sell American Legion Building to Rick Termini for $125,000.

October 2011: Termini rescinds his bid.

November 2011: Council accepts Jeanine Connelly’s bid for $125,000 to turn the building into a bed and breakfast called The Hitching Post Inn.

July 2012: Connelly tells Council she won’t go forward with arrangement due to loss of a backer and anticipated employee.

November 2012: Council awards Joe Gouveia bid for $75,000 to turn building into first floor office with second- and third-floor apartments.

February 2013: Gouveia rescinds bid because an issue with the building’s sewer hookup could not be resolved.