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...