Downtown Demolition

WestportNow’s popular “Teardown of the Day” often features nondescript, “Mad Men”-era homes on private roads and cul-de-sacs.  We’re sorry to see old homes torn down, but we don’t recognize many of them.

Monday’s teardown was different.

The 2-story Federal-style home and shed at 26-28 Church Lane — across the street from the YMCA — will be knocked down, following review by the Historic District Commission.  Built around 1820, according to, it was moved there from a previous Post Road location.  That must have been a long time ago — it looks like it’s stood there forever, a proud reminder of when downtown Westport was both residential and handsome.

But over the years the building has deteriorated.  It’s rotting and decrepit — perhaps an intentional move by the owners, WestportNow commenters have hinted, in order to be allowed to tear down a historic property.

Contrast 26-28 Church Lane with the building next door, #36.  Also once sagging, after the Red Cross departed, it’s been lovingly restored by real estate attorney Roger Leifer.

Meanwhile, catty corner to #36, an addition to Christ & Holy Trinity Church will soon rise.  Plans call for the new building to blend seamlessly with the 1863 stone structure.  Church leaders and members understand the importance of maintaining the downtown streetscape.

There is no word on the fate of the Victorian office building adjacent to the Y — #35.  It’s long provided dignity and balance to the Church Lane/Elm Street corner.  But it too is old, and no doubt difficult to maintain.  In Westport that can mean the kiss of death.

With the Y poised to move from downtown — the plan is to convert the property into retail, residential and restaurant complex — the little road that is Church Lane looks to be in for big changes in the months and years ahead.

10 responses to “Downtown Demolition

  1. mary ruggiero

    I am one of the commentors on the WN blog. It seems that 26-28 may be owned by the group that “bought” the Y building. The Church Lane house does not show up on the reval website, at least not that I can find! If so, it seems to be part of the Grand Plan for the Downtown – the Y building also retains YMCA ownership, according to Vision Associates. Not that I would like to Y to move out of the area,(quite the contrary) but what happens if they can’t get funding to build???

    • There is a meeting tonight (7 p.m., Room 309 of Town Hall) of the downtown plan subcommittee. I can’t be there — but feel free to attend, and report back!

  2. do wel all remember the historic house on sturges highway that had historic signifigance but no one wanted it- the towns people expressed their feelings and the house was saved and incorporated into a larger home built next to it. Come on – what the heck does the historic commission do- Save this house- don’t put history in a dumpster!

  3. I agree. Save it!

  4. Not only is the Christ & Holy Trinity addition planned so it will blend with the existing structure, but they will be planting over 40 new trees on the property to keep downtown beautiful! Can’t wait to see it completed!

    And, I agree, someone should rehab that beautiful Federal style house on Church Lane! Everytime I walk by it I think of how beautiful it COULD be.

  5. If you all think the building is worth of saving; then buy it and save it. Put your money where your whining is.

  6. Jeffxs always has a nasty comment that includes name-calling. He’s the joke that many people talk about. As my mother said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.” A polite exchange of DIVERGENT opinions is always welcome on the 06880 blog. (But we know how he feels about divergent thinking in our town.)

    • I offered the divergent thought. There was no name calling on my part, but there was on your part. Now, aside from your ad hominem arguments, do you have anything of substance to offer? I thought not. LOL

  7. Play Nice-
    I am sure if there were an option for someone to step in and save the house they would.

    I know who KH is and thanks for the C&HT comment.

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