Terrain Property Owner Opposes Teardown

It doesn’t get starker than this:

One of the owners of the property leased by Terrain opposes the store’s request to demolish the 1900-era house, and replace it with parking.

The house on Terrain's Post Road property, at the corner of Crescent Road.

The house on Terrain’s Post Road property, at the corner of Crescent Road.

Earlier today, Tom Curran wrote to the Historic District Commission:

I am one of the owners of this property.

I strongly oppose this application for the following reasons:

  •  (According to attached Court proceedings), the entire lease of Terrain is in question, as well as who is authorized to act for the property in granting Terrain permission to do any renovations.
  • The combination of 535,541 and 561 Post Road that was done to satisfy the zoning footprint for the original Terrain application is also in question, as well as the (legal) action in doing it.
  • My family has made numerous commitments to the Town of Westport over the years to not tear down the old “Dress Barn.” Curran Cadillac may still be standing if we were able to expand to meet General Motors’ requirements.
  • That property has had and will continue to have parking concerns forever.
  • The Terrain lease is only guaranteed for another 9 years, while the demolition of this building is permanent.
  • The tax rolls will be reduced.
  • Since the parking is wanted for the restaurant of Terrain, would the original application have been granted if it were for a restaurant and not a nursery?

14 responses to “Terrain Property Owner Opposes Teardown

  1. Bart Shuldman

    Am I reading this right? Someone who leased a building wants to knock down a historic house, but does not have approval from the lessor to do just that?

  2. Jamie Walsh

    That seems to be the issue! Well, glad the Currans have spoken! Seems like there will be a major flag on the play regarding this application!

  3. Bart, not only do they lack permission from the lessor, but my information is that they promised not to tear this down when they first got permission to construct the current store.

    • Bart Shuldman

      John. Thanks. Does not look like a multiple choice question or answer.

    • Bobbie Herman

      As I recall, they stated that they were going to use it for offices.

      • Bart Shuldman

        Offices? How about classrooms to teach a course in ethics and commitments

  4. I sent the email, Dan. P&Z should stick to their more than fair original approval deal. I went by this morning and you’re right. The entire reserve are for parking is lavishly covered with pretentious garden objects d’art!

  5. Janice Beecher

    Why would the P&Z even consider such an application? What a waste of time and energy!

  6. Cathy Smith Barnett '66

    Why can’t Terrain save the building, turn it into a restaurant and decorate it with the objects they sell?

  7. Quite some time before they opened, a designer friend interested in Terrain went to their Pennsylvania location to see what they were all about. She was favorably impressed, and when I heard that they planned to keep the little farmhouse “Dress Barn” building, I thought “terrific.” I had initially thought that their plan’s style was to be more in keeping with that building, a more New England-y approach. That part didn’t quite happen—perhaps it was just a rumor. In any case, I was there early on for lunch, and heard that they would be starting to serve dinner that night. I asked to see their menu, and in the spirit of a welcoming gesture, I offered to proofread it, gratis. (As part of that evening’s offerings I had noticed “Liver Pate of Mouse” and was optimistic they’d want to make a change.) I hope they were happy with all the errors I found. And now I hope they will realize the error of their ways, and find a useful purpose for the building that is one of the few “houses” left on our Post Road. Or else, I think we might be smelling a rat after all…

  8. Victoria Sicilian

    How long do we think Terrain will remain in business????? Frankly, I thought Smith and Hawken was a much nicer store than Terrain and it only lasted a few years in Westport. That said, I see no reason to go outside their original contract which did not permit any changes to the house on the property. And prospect of parking on the opposite side of the street: If you want this configuration – please, go back to New York. We don’t need your cars clogging our highways.

  9. Kitty Graves

    The parking lot at adjacent Kowalsky property (Fresh Food etc) never seems full. Why can’t they strike a deal with them the way Shack Shack has done with the Walpole Fences property. We don’t need more asphalt.

  10. Jane Costello

    I have been to the Glen Mills Terrain store. It was originally a tree/plant nursery. Terrain kept the small out buildings and incorporated them into the Terrain “look”. I remember one little building had a “It’s a Wonderful Life” concept, fire burning in a wood stove, large couch , table and even a hole in the roof, windows open and twinkle lights hanging from the mantle.

    The Westport Terrain is a bit stiff and unwelcoming..valet really?

  11. David Stalling

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I have a vague recollection of stopping by this building on my bike, when I was a kid when it served as a local GOP campaign office. Does anyone else remember that?