100_1970Ann Tomei, owner of the handsome brick Italianate home at 547 Garden Street, Little Falls, has been nominated by Preserve Our Past’s Board of Directors to receive the spring 2015 Historic Preservation Award.  Ms. Tomei assumed ownership of the building in 1979 and has been moving carefully through a series of restorations aimed at preserving the historic integrity of the structure while insuring that the house was sound and livable.  She describes it as an on- going process with the front doors being her current project.

The builders of the home, Charles and Sarah Benedict, owned a very successful business manufacturing carriages and sleighs which were widely admired for sound construction and workmanship.   By 1859 they were financially able to buy two lots on the south side of Garden Street to construct an elegant Italianate home which was the height of fashion at the time.  Remnants of their carriage house can be seen adjacent to the residence.   Three children, A.Irving, Grace and Susan, completed the family group. Charles ‘ will gives us a clear picture of himself as a protective, caring patriarch of his family”:

“…It is my will and desire that all my children and grandchildren who may be without a home shall have a home in the homestead at any and all times when they are unable to have and maintain a home elsewhere…” A loving father and grandfather indeed

The property passed to Dr. and Mrs. Douglas in 1907, to John and Catherine Thomas in 1919, to Paul and Anna Wing in 1930, to Caroline Wing in 1974, and to Ann Tomei from 1979, the present owner..  The home has been admired since its construction and remains as one of Little Falls’ architectural gems through the loving care of all its owners.

Without a doubt, Ann Tomei deserves recognition for the care and restoration she has provided for her historic house.

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