(continued from above):
reducing it to splatters of bronze on the octagonal stone foundation 40 feet below. Onlookers had to face away from the fierce intensity of the inferno, so great were the temperatures. At times, even the firefighters had to keep their distance.
Originally part of the 300+ acre Chadbourne estate, the building's history included the survival of a suicide/murder attack by a disturbed individual who attempted to crash his light plane into the house, thus killing himself and his former girlfriend who lived there. Though the pilot succeeded in his suicide, fortunately the young lady was not home at the time, and the airplane crashed into the woods just behind the residence - sparing the home, clocktower and stables as well.
Time passed, the estate fell into disrepair, and eventually came to be owned by Robert H. Knight, who set to work on it. A year and a half long restoration was nearly complete when the disastrous blaze struck. On the afternoon of December 4, 1974, the unique magic of the old clocktower and its new-found beauty were lost forever.
The destruction of the structure reached far beyond its great monetary worth. For me, it was the tragic end to a fascinating and mysterious old building which I rode past on the school bus for what seemed like every day of my childhood. Most Greenwich residents of the time well remember how the building loomed so impressively upon approaching it in the sharp corner near the top of Stanwich Road.
An interesting side note: A friend's father, who was hired to bulldoze the debris at the site after the fire, mentioned that he had seen bricks with my name on them among the ruins. I realized that part of the foundation had been constructed of "Mayone" bricks, manufactured by my great-grandfather many decades earlier at his plant on the Hudson river. Before they were lost beneath the landscape, I retrieved 20 of the uncommon bricks; they now reside within a 90 pound, maple coffee table I built for my mother.
As a memorial to the clocktower (and within months of its demise), I created an acid etching of the structure during my senior year of high school. In the lower-right corner, you'll notice a "Mayone" brick by the road's edge.
Though a resident of the north Greenwich area for over 30 years, I have lived in Vermont since 1991. The edition of 25 prints was pulled in 1992, and there is presently a very limited number of available prints remaining.
Prints are also offered matted in various frames; prices range from $95 to $125, framed. Shipping and tax, if applicable, is additional.
The prints of "Stanwich Road Clocktower" were pulled by Danielle Rougeau of Red Water Press, Middlebury, VT