Danbury created the Hearthstone Castle Committee in 2013 to figure out what the city could do with the castle, which sits in downtown Danbury in Tarrywile Park.
Danbury bought the Hearthstone Castle in 1985 with its purchase of Tarrywile Park, a 700 acre park for passive recreation downtown.
E. Starr Sanford built the castle from field stones and rocks quarried nearby between 1896 and 1899. He sold it in 1902 to Victor Buck, a New York City industrialist, who in turn sold it in 1923 to Charles Darling Parks, president of the American Hatters & Furriers Co.Mark Nolan and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said on Monday the study committee has several options before it, including a $9 million plan to create a school inside the dilapidated building, but that is too expensive. Another option that would cost between $5 million and $7 million is to make it a multi-purpose facility with a roof, no roof or a retractable roof. A third option is to spend $1.9 million, stabilize some walls and plant gardens around it.
"The cost to retain it as a building isn't something we can do," Boughton said. He said the fantasy idea of someone with a lot of money stepping in to save the building is just that, a fantasy. "We're going to apply for an engineering grant to figure out the next step."
Both Boughton and Nolan said the next step may be as simple as make the walls safe to passing hikers, and leave it as a stone ruin in the woods.
The castle is likely to appear as an agenda item on the City Council's November meeting.