April 29 eEdition

Sentinel Greenwich

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G l e n v i l l e

O l d G r e e n w i c h

R i v e r s i d e

Celebrating an Elevator’s Next Hundred Years

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SPORTS S Varsity Schedules. GHS Soars in Final Minutes: A Packed House at Cardinal Stadium Witnesses Big Red Stun Xavier 34-29; Cards Walk OffWith Key FCIACWin Over THS; YWCA Dolphins Second at Junior-Senior Championship Meet; Memberships Now Being Accepted fromGreenwich Residents for The Griff. PAGES 16 & 17. LIVING SECTION S Bringing out the ‘Green’ in Greenwich, By Rich Granoff. S Real Estate Spotlight: 3 Little Cove Place, Old Greenwich. This is Nantucket in Old Greenwich. L1 S What to Consider When Building a Wine Cellar, By Evan Goldenberg. S Real Estate Spotlight: Max Wiesen, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Greenwich, is active in art-related organizations. MAIN SECTION S PHOTOS. Anselmo Party; Earth Day; Cos Cob Fire Patrol Benefit, the YWCA Ball. PAGE 2 S Our Neighborhoods has moved! What’s happening in yours. PAGE 3 S Container Gardens: A Bright Option for a Fickle Spring, By Stephen Grant. PAGE 4 S Hightlighted Open Houses. PAGE 5 S Movies, Events & deadlines calendar. PAGE 5 S EDITORIAL: Happy Birthday, Arch Street! PAGE 6 S It’s Budget Time for the RTM by Edward Dadakis. PAGE 6 S Letters to the Editor: A Tale of Two Budgets by Joseph G. Solari III; A Call to Light Up Greenwich by Ted Smith. PAGE 7 S Obituaries: Edward L. Setterberg, Johanna Sarica Covino, Antoinette Garceau. PAGE 7 S Teacher-Coach Jim Stephens To Receive Lifetime Leadership Award. PAGE 7 S The Long Walk of Faith, By DrewWilliams. PAGE 8 S Schedule of worship services. PAGE 8 S The World’s First Bionic Pastor by DrewWilliams. PAGE 9 S For Popular Pet Store, Pet Pantry, Compassion Is a Key Ingredient. PAGE 11 S Stock chart of local companies. PAGE 11 S Clinton and Trump Win Convincingly in Town; Good Showing for Kasich. PAGE 11 S Cos Cob Fire Patrol Honors Paul Hicks. PAGE 11 S Leora Levy Up for Leadership Post on Republican National Committee. PAGE 13 S Soares Captures Wildlife in Paintings at Downing Yudain. PAGE 13 S Around Town: Press Releases and Information from around town. PAGE 12 REAL ESTATE DASHBOARD: PAGE 16 S McKersie Named Finalist for Weston Superintendent Job. PAGE 18

Posing along the grand staircase of Reverge Anselmo’s home a group from the University of Connecticut including adjunct engineering professor TomMealy; engineering students Dave Nelson, Monica Duva, and Simon Moore; and the head of Mechanical Engineering Senior Design Program, Vito Moreno. At right, the elevator party took place under a large tented enclosure just outside the front entrance to Mr. Anselmo’s home. (photos by John Ferris Robben)

working order would be no easy task. The company that made the original elevator had stopped returning calls about 1959. Anselmo reached out to two mechanical contractors to repair the 95-pound, three-quarter-horsepower motor. Neither wanted any part of the project. If only he cou ld get the motor working again, his problem would be solved without incurring the wrath of a code inspector. But as time passed, it appeared more and more to be the kind of if that would have flummoxed MacGyver. With nowhere else to go, Anselmo turned to three engineering undergraduates from the University of Connecticut: Monica Duva, Simon Moore, and Dave Nelson. The trio, guided by adjunct professor Tom Mealy and the head of UConn’s Mechanical Engineering Senior Design Program, Vito Moreno, spent most of a year on the problem as part of their senior-year coursework. According to Moreno, the Senior Design Program takes on dozens of projects, often for bigtime corporations l i ke Genera l Elec t r ic and United Technologies. Even the U.S. Army has been a client. Anselmo’s reclamation project represented new territory, and the kind of challenge one doesn’t find in a textbook. “We didn’t know the cause and effect,” Mealy noted. Anselmo expected to pay as much as a couple million to get his beloved elevator restored to working order. But the standard fee for all clients of the Senior Design Program is $10,000. “I can’t guarantee we’ll solve the problem,” Moreno told Anselmo at the outset. “I can guarantee you we’ll work really hard on it.”

That was good enough for Anselmo. Years ago, a building-code problem came up with a ranch house he owned in California, and Anselmo found himself adrift in a seven-year tort- law limbo. The experience resulted in his eventually leaving California and impressed upon him a sharp lesson: “You don’t trifle with code.” He told Moreno if his kids could revive his dead motor without code issues, he would reward them with a party at his house. He even promised samba dancers. Week after week, Mealy’s students examined diagrams of phenolic plates and spring-loading mechanisms, trying to reverse-engineer the inner workings of a motor built by people who had likely passed on long before their grandparents had even met one another. “You rea lly came to appreciate the craftsmanship involved in older engineering designs working on this,” Nelson said. “To think it was done 100 years ago, without computers, is unbelievable.” Their challenge deepened after an internet search for the original equipment diagrams came up empty. It was clear something in the motor had burned out. How deep did the problem go? Anselmo was clear in his direction: Keep t he origina l par ts wherever possible. He didn’t want to risk any code issues by adding new features to the original machine. The question was would the engine work again without a complete rehab. “We met twice a week, ta lk ing out fabrication, the design work, risk management,” Duva recalled. “We just laid it all out.” As Moore re c a l led , a c r it ic a l breakthrough came when the trio

happened upon the inspired solution of replacing the motor’s burnt-out starter relays with car-engine ignition poi nt s . “ The y we re sma l le r a nd better functioning than the original equipment,” he said. “We determined that most of the motor was good, it was the antique relay mechanism that was at fault.” The refitted, but still largely original eng i ne wa s brought back to t he Anselmo house in March. As Nelson recalled, the elevator ran on the first try. It hasn’t stopped running since. For Anselmo, the result not only saved him money, but made his elevator work better than ever. “Before, when it ran, you could hear it rattle throughout the house,” he said. “It’s quieter now. It’s a better elevator because it’s resurrected. It survived its natural death point and now it’s ready to run another hundred years.” To celebrate, Anselmo decided to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the students, Moreno, and Mealy as guests of honor. Last weekend, it all came together as he threw a party with over a hundred guests, including family, friends, neighbors, even some of Anselmo’s old service buddies from the U.S. Marine Corps. Anselmo even hired the promised s amba d a nc e r s , smoo t h- l imb ed women who wore exquisite feathered headdresses they made themselves and very little else. For him, it was another small victory to celebrate against Father Time, in the house his family has owned since 1967 and where only one other tenant, original owner Laura Robinson, has lived since its construction. “ She d i ed i n t h i s hou s e , a nd someday I will, too,” Anselmo said.

By Bill Slocum Contributing Editor

W hat started over a year a g o w i t h a g r e a s y spark and a loud clang concluded last weekend with an outdoor soirée complete with catered food and drink, poolside jazz, and Brazilian samba dancers sinuously gyrating under the stars of a cool spring night. It all began in March, 2015, when the elevator motor in Reverge Anselmo’s midcountry home suddenly conked out. How to get it running again without opening a Pandora’s Box of building- code issues? “Right now, the elevator pre-dates code, but if anything changes, the code applies,” Anselmo noted. “The elevator shaft is the throat of this entire house. The entire middle of the house might have had to have been torn out and gutted if I had to have a new elevator installed.” That would have been a problem for any house, but especially his. Modeled on a famous French château, Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon, it was built in 1908 by an heir to the Goodyear Tires fortune and stands today as one of Greenwich’s last Great Estates, a masterpiece of balanced proportion inside and out. From its parquet floors to its 16-foot- high ceilings to the vintage pipe organ a few yards from the elevator on the other side of a winding marble staircase in the front hall, the house provides ample testament to its owner’s fierce devotion to aesthetics. “To me, it’s important that the house remains timeless,” Anselmo said. “There is no time factor here.” Ge t t i ng t he e l e v a t or ba c k i n

Young Voters Make Their Voices Heard in Primaries By Evan Triantafilidis Sentinel Reporter J ust over half of registered voter s i n Gre enw ich went to the polls to cast unbureaucratic, I guess. I came in the middle of the day hoping there wouldn’t be too many people there.” Baund said he would have participated in past elections had the voting age been lower. “I think economic issues are affair as he brought his three kids with him to vote at Julian Curtiss Elementary School. He stressed the importance of Election Day as a teachable moment for his family. “It’s good that voting is

politicians, whom people over 18 are electing, are affecting and will affect those who are under 18,” said Negrea moments after voting at Greenwich High School. “They [the youth] will have to deal with it. It doesn’t matter what side you are on, there is going to be some issue that depends on the future.” Negrea, who is involved on many student-led boards and is president of the Greenwich Safe Rides program, says the voting age should be lowered to 16 to allow the younger generation to have a s ay. He c ited a s particular issues of concern the environment, the national debt, and foreign policy; what we do in each of these areas now, he said, will affect future generations.

“These are serious issues that everyone can agree will affect our future generations,” said Negrea. “To say someone at 16 is too young to vote, that is a poor excuse. If their reasoning is that they aren’t intelligent enough, well, that’s the same reason why they said blacks and women can’t vote.” Meanwhile at Town Hall, Henry Baund recorded his vote with ease as a workers from the Registrar of Voters helped residents through the process. The only concern coming out of Town Hall was the limited parking, but Baund voted in the middle of the day when the polls were less crowded. “ The pro c e s s wa s ve r y ea s y,” sa id Baund . “It wa s

their vote in our Presidential Primary. By the time the polls closed, 10,749 votes had been cast, making for a high turnout of 51.73%. Among that number was a batch of voters who took part in their first-ever election. For Peter Negrea, 18, and Henry Baund, also 18, it took all of three minutes to submit their ballot at their respective polling stations. But they say the day was a long time coming. “The things that are being de c ided r i g ht now by t he

done in the schools because so many kids get to come by and see how important the process is,” said Lopez. “We all come vote as a family because it’s our civic duty. We watch and read a lot of politics at home and we have discussions about it. They understand as they grow up that they have a responsibility to come out and vote to have their voices heard. “It’s always a smooth process and I’m exc ited to get my sticker.”

extremely important now,” said Baund. “I also believe the voting age should be lowered, because when you’re 16, you are able to make a good decision. I don’t think there is a big difference in maturity between 16-year-olds and 18-year-olds.” As turnout at the polls picked up around between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., Anthony Lopez, a special education aide at GHS and a former candidate for the DTC chair, made the event a family

Brunswick School goalie Jack Stephenson makes the save on the ball during a recent game at Cosby Field. Leading 5-4 in the third quarter during Saturday’s game against No. 18 Haverford School, the Bruins went on a 5-1 run en route to a 12-6 win at the Katie Samson Festival in Radnor, Pa. Alex Buckanavage led the way with three goals and three assists, while Reilly Walsh led all scorers with four goals. Jack DeNaut added two goals and John Fox finished with one goal and one assist. Ryan Staffor and McKinley Frantz each added a goal. With the victory, Brunswick, ranked 24th in the latest Inside Lacrosse poll, improved to 8-2 overall. (John Ferris Robben photo)

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