1913 Library Renovation Estimates

Below is the Construction Cost Estimate for the 1913 Library renovation developed by the Architectural Preservation Studio, DCP which specializes in Architecture, Historic Preservation and Building Envelope Consulting.  The revised April 29, 2022 estimate totals $1,152,000 which now includes an approximately 20% in contingency allowances.

Obtained through the Freedom of Information Act,  we are also including Dharam Consulting Work To Existing "Legacy" Building estimate, contracted by the New Canaan Library on March 24, 2020.  Dharam has estimated costs of $3,034,603 for the 1913 library renovation.

Architectural Preservation Studio, DCP’s estimate of $1.152,000 conflicts with the New Canaan Library’s estimate of $3,034,603 for the 1913 library renovation.

Carl Rothbart, Assoc. AIA, a Partner at Architectural Preservation Studio, with almost forty years of preservation experience working on historic structures, reviewed the Dharam estimate in light of the Original 1913 Library Conditions Report and concluded that there was much unnecessary work.  Our preservation experts’ conditions report was based on visual inspections during two site visits. We have no confirmation that site visits were made by Dharam Consulting in preparation of this estimate. The following items included in the Dharam estimate are in conflict with the Original 1913 Library Conditions Report:

  1. 40 percent of the basement does not need to repaired;
  2. Upper floors and roof need no work;
  3. A new slate roof is not needed;
  4. No new windows are needed;
  5. Only minor masonry work is needed;
  6. Wood trim is in excellent condition...and it is wood;
  7. Interior finishes are in excellent condition;
  8. Stair to basement needs no repair;
  9. Plumbing work needed but less than Dharam estimate;
  10. Electrical work needed is $15,000 not $195,250 per Dharam;
  11. Site prep cost is $50,000 not $200,000 per Dharam;
  12. No gut interior demolition is needed saving $32,750;
  13. Typically a 20% contingency would be considered generous, the Dharam Estimate includes a 45% contingency which totals $1,113,028 on a $1,921,575 budget estimate! (Not a real confidence booster.)

A significant difference of $1,882,603 separates these two estimates. The preservation architectural firm, Architectural Preservation Studio,  commissioned by the NCPA and Friends of Our 1913 Committee, has offices in Manhattan and right here in New Canaan.   The Dharam Consulting estimate was commissioned by the New Canaan Library.  Was there a similar estimate for the new library? That might be a helpful pricing comparison.

Here are links to the two estimates: Please note that the Friends of the 1913 Library are only in favor of keeping the 1913 Library “in situ” so review Option 2 of the Dharam estimate.



The following is Carl Rothbart’s letter discussing the discrepancies:


For background, here are links to the two firms:

Architectural Preservation Studio, DPC

Dharam Consulting

Carl Rothbart Bio