by John McKenna | Dec 9, 2020

If all goes according plan, the doors of the former Litchfield County courthouse will be welcoming guests of a boutique hotel in the future. BZ photos

Two years after Litchfield voters rejected the idea of the former Litchfield County courthouse being transformed into a town hall, the potential future use of the landmark building is beginning to take shape.

By the end of the month, the Greater Litchfield Preservation Trust, which bought the building from the state in 2017, will have a clear idea of the plan for the building and whether it would be feasible to carry it out. The GLPT by Dec. 28 will consider a proposal by Lexington Partners of Hartford to turn the granite landmark into a boutique hotel with 15 or so rooms.

Lexington Partners is a developer and one of the firms that responded to the GLPT’s Request for Qualifications last spring. The trust chose Lexington Partners over two others firms and has entered into a contract with the company, GLPT President Perley H. Grimes Jr. said during the trust’s annual meeting on Monday.

A plan submitted by Lexington Partners will be considered by the trust, Grimes said. Support of the plan would allow Lexington Partners to begin work on the building. It is not yet known if Lexington Partners would buy the building or would enter into a partnership with the GLPT.

A hotel, Grimes said, would generate an economic boost for businesses in the center of town by providing accommodations for tourists and other visitors to town.

The GLPT in 2018 offered to give the building to the town provided it would be used as a town hall. Voters in a December 2018 referendum, however, shot down the proposal. That’s when the trust turned to Crosskey Architects of Hartford and the planning firm Camoin 310 of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., for an analysis of the old courthouse to determine best possible uses.

Use as a hotel was the preferred recommendation. Apartments or condominiums was secondary recommendation.

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