Klaff's lighting left downtown Westport after the last super high tide of Hurricane Sandy flooded their entire basement which is where the repair shop used to be. The new tenant is a national chain clothing store called South Moon Under. This is their first Connecticut location.
Few days ago I spoke with the store manager. She didn't know the previous tenant was flooded. Their entire inventory is in the basement. I showed her how low the opening to the river was, the water often reaches right up to the edge. Isn't time the town decided to build up the wall at that spot to deflect the next rising tides.
Once upon a time the little park on the corner of Main Street and Post Road East in the heart of downtown Westport used to be an inviting little place to sit, eat a bag lunch, watch traffic, as described by Dan Woog with photos of how it used to look before the new owners of the old library ripped it all apart to replace it with this frigid slab of a concrete!
Tell me, you call that a bench? And check it out, the bench on the left isn't even level with the ground, which is an old trick used by developers to discourage loitering.
Might be time to restore the charm and character of this little corner.
"In 1936, Alice DeLamar and Jacques deWolfe converted the building to a country inn and fine dining establishment. Among their many improvements were the two fine mahogany and pewter bars rescued from the cruise ship “Normandie”, which can be seen today in the Tavern Room. In the 20th Century, Cobb’s Mill Inn was host to five U.S. Presidents and numerous celebrities." (From Weston Historical Society)
Developer David Waldman, new owner of the historical old Westport YMCA building in Connecticut, finally did it. He managed in an instant to destroy whatever good local residents thought he might be doing in the downtown shopping district. An offense so egregious, it's reminiscent of the destruction of Gorham Island in the 80s.
Even though Mr Waldman promised us he would do whatever he could to preserve the beautiful ivy crawling the sides of the building, a vision of wonder every spring, summer and fall, for decades... He went ahead and pulled it all down anyway, making him out to be a liar, probably worse in the hearts and minds of all long time residents in our community.
So sad. So unnecessary. The destruction of the last vestige of Westport's cultural heritage, the annihilation of our beloved picture postcard ivy, an image used for generations to represent Westport to visitors and tourists, this senseless act shows complete lack of design, architectural and planning acumen.
It's as much a failure of the Westport Historical Society, the Westport Town Hall and the Westport Downtown Merchants Association, probably in cahoot with each other, allowing such a blatant disregard for Main Street, in a bargain basement effort to make everything safe for shopping. It's with grave chagrin that I post these sickening photographs.
Even the workers, when I expressed my dismay, acknowledged knowingly taking part in such an ungodly act. Thanks Mr. Waldman for imposing your narrow minded perception of stripped down aesthetic on our once charming New England community. I'm being kind and polite. This deserves expletives!
Now the corner of Main Street and the Post Road will look like communist East Berlin... May just as well tear the entire building down if you're not going to preserve its character, build something fresh and current, a great green building. This is half ass, doesn't please anyone. It's redevelopment by compromise. It can only yield mediocrity.
The cutting down of the ivy was approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Conservation Commission, the Architectural Review Board, the Flood and Erosion Control Board and the Historic District Commission. Centerbrook Architects is handling the landscaping design. Engineering and Environmental Services are provided by Langan Engineering and Environmental Services.
The amazing thing is that if Walkman had waited a couple more weeks to do his dirty deed, nobody would have noticed. The leaves would have fallen to the ground. He chose to cut it down at its most beautiful, just as the leaves were turning red...
My friend and blogger colleague Todd Tracy shot this scandalous photograph during a street fashion in Greenwich last September.
Love the contrast between the Virgin Mary in the background, with the one piece red swimsuit and pumps out shopping Greenwich Avenue. I wonder if the model was even conscious of the paradox. Oh, and the two guys with dark sunglasses, they look like a couple of Euro pervs! This is a classic, I'd buy a print.
Another photographer I knew few years ago was hired to shoot all the churches in Fairfield County, for a privately published book. Imagine if he'd also shot bikini girls on the side in front of each one! The uproar that would have caused?
You can see the rest of Todd's photographs from the event on the Greenwich Time website.