Property Overview Inventory List District Map

Birdcraft Sanctuary

LHD boundaries as described are approximate and subject to change. Consult the LHD Study Report on file with the relevant local district commission or municipal authority to verify district boundaries and whether a specific property, particularly one in proximity of a boundary line, is within the district. Also note that LHD boundaries may differ from those of State or National Register Districts.

Year of Establishment:
Property Authority:
Fairfield Historic District Commission
Link to Commission or Municipal Website:
Building, Sanctuary, Lake, Others- stone walls
Architectural Style:
20th Century

This wildlife sanctuary was established in 1914 through the driving interest of Mabel Osgood Wright, the first (1898) president of the Connecticut Audubon Society, and through the philanthropy of Annie Burr Jennings. The museum, bungalow and lake were all built at that time and all subsequently have been enlarged. The chimneys, for chimney swifts, was built after Mrs. Wright died in 1934. The original acreage has been reduced by government taking of 4.3 acres in 1957 for the Turnpike. In general, the appearance and atmosphere of the Sanctuary today are much the same as they were in 1914 when Birdcraft was opened. Birdcraft Sanctuary is approached from Unquowa Road up a driveway through a stone fence. There is a gateway consisting of two square stone piers and a two-leaf, wrought-iron gate. The right-hand pier is taller than the other and has nesting holes for birds near the top. Inside the gate, the first building, on the left, is the bungalow while the museum is a few feet further along on the right. The one-story, frame- bungalow with gable roof and shingled siding is inthe rustic style. [NR]

Conservation, Education: The Connecticut Audubon Society's Birdcraft Sanctuary is an early and successful example of wildlife conservation coupled from the start with an education and public awareness program that in recent years has burgeoned into the wide-spread conservation movement. (Criterion A.) The founder of the Sanctuary, Mabel Osgood Wright, and the Sanctuary's first and long-time curator, Frank J. Movak, were pioneers in the field whose work has had lasting influence in Audubon programs generally. (Criterion B)[NR]

[1] District information retrieved from the town website
[2] Fairfield Historic Properties Study Committee Report, 1999, SHPO Library, Hartford.
Assessors information retrieved from the website
[NR] Ramsom David F., Birdcraft Sanctuary, National Register Nomination Number- 82004371 NRIS, National Park Service, 1982.;
[NHL] Mesirow Jill S., Miller Dr. Page Putnam, Birdcraft Sanctuary, National Historic Landmark Nomination Number- 82004371 NRIS, National Park Service.;

Date of Compilation:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation