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Date: Fri 11-Dec-1998

Date: Fri 11-Dec-1998

Publication: Bee

Author: JAN

Quick Words:

Raveis-Prindle-House

Full Text:

Raveis Is Refurbishing The Prindle House

(with cuts)

BY JAN HOWARD

The historic Ebenezer Prindle House at 48 South Main Street is undergoing a

renovation project that will continue throughout the winter and into the

spring.

The 18th Century house, located on the west side of South Main Street in a

commercial area, is the home of the Newtown offices of William Raveis Real

Estate.

The house is being totally redone by a team of contractors that is renovating

all the Raveis offices in the state, according to Raveis manager Jill

Wollowitz. "Beautification of the building has been needed for a while," she

said.

The three-bay, one-and-a-half story colonial cape, one of Newtown's oldest

houses, is thought to have been built as early as 1705. However, according to

the book Touring Newtown's Past The Settlement & Architecture of an Old

Connecticut Town by Mary Mitchell and Albert Goodrich, this date is doubtful

since the village was not laid out until 1709.

Its first owner, Ebenezer Prindle was certainly living in town shortly after

that date, since in the second, third and fourth pitches ("drawing of straws")

of 1710, 1711 and 1718, he had received land layouts all over western Newtown.

A carpenter, he helped build the Meeting House and also made coffins.

According to the book, his workshop's door, which was 40-inches wide, could

easily have accommodated his handiwork.

The renovation project began with a new roof, new gutters, and some new siding

on the exterior of the historic building.

The renovation process has now moved indoors where walls are being added or

moved and repainted, all in keeping with the age of the house. French doors

will be added for an office to keep the authentic look, Ms Wollowitz said.

"It's being carefully done to add to its authenticity," she said.

The structure is also being decorated with antiques in keeping with its

historic past, Ms Wollowitz said. They are in keeping with the rustic look of

the exposed beams overhead.

"It's becoming a showcase," she said. "It's beginning to look like an antique

shop."

Ms Wollowitz said no artifacts have been found outside the house because no

groundwork has been completed at this time. Once spring arrives, outdoor work

will begin again, she said, when gardens and a picket fence will be added. New

signs are also planned, she noted.

"Bill Raveis has had great pride in this building from the start," Ms

Wollowitz said.

A grand reopening is planned when the renovation project is completed.