Westport’s New Skyline

Westporters watch warily, as the Bedford Square crane towers over downtown.

But — as Robert Eckman’s photo shows — there is a certain beauty at the busy construction site, too.

Crane - Bedford Square


14 responses to “Westport’s New Skyline

  1. I don’t recall seeing a crane like that for any construction around here — even the big school projects. Makes a statement about what big business downtown Westport has become — now that it’s been turned into an outdoor mall of national chain stores, ringed by hedge fund office buildings. Too bad it’s now devoid of local merchants, anywhere to buy basic necessities, or any activity at all once the chain stores close up at 6 o’clock. You have to go to Fairfield for that!

    • The reason the crane is that big is that it is a very tight site. A “normal” crane of roughly equal height has been used on other large projects in town, but those sites had space outside the confines of the building itself in which to park the crane. Here that can’t be done, so the crane has to be built inside the site and extend far enough beyond the perimeter to be able to pick up materials.

  2. I have seen a crane that large !!!!! WOW The cute small town of Westport with the unique Mom Pop stores in Main street is definitely gone!! It’s just another mall – sad. Hopefully, the library will remain lovely with Jessup green there and not built upon!!!!!

  3. should be “I have Never ” seen a crane that large

  4. Come to Fairfield. We’re very friendly, and have nice restaurants!

  5. I lament much of what has been lost in Westport – especially downtown where I live. Setting that aside, I’ll admit to being fascinated by the crane. For one thing, it’s utterly silent when operating. The other thing is that when the boom is swinging, it’s so large that one feels it is actually stationary – and that it’s the ground beneath your feet that’s moving instead. I guess the fact that somebody had the nerve to dream up something that extreme – and then summoned engineering muscle to make it actually work so elegantly is kind of inspiring.

  6. The crane is quite large, and perhaps there hasn’t been one quite that tall in downtown before. The Bedford Square encompasses a number of buildings, although (and don’t let the crane fool you) it’s no taller than what was there before.

    And forgive me but it’s not true that one has to go to Fairfield (no offense) to find things to do in a downtown setting after 6 – Westport has 9 great restaurants in the downtown area (12 f you count the portion of downtown in the eastern side of the River, which you should) and they are all vibrant and busy after 6 pm. And yet, we haven’t caved in and lost our small town character with too tall or too large buildings, as surrounding towns have done.

  7. Re Jack’s comments: you need to walk around downtown Fairfield maybe 830 pm and compare the pedestrian scene to downtown Westport at the same hour. That’s around the time when the folks leaving Westport’s restaurants walk only as far as their cars in the adjacent parking lot and drive home.

    Fairfield’s full of pedestrians walking to and from a lot more places than just sit-down restaurants: e.g. the FTC music venue, coffee and dessert places, a big bookstore (absent from downtown Westport for decades at this point) — plus a bunch of casual dining bar/cafes where you can pop-in for a snack without planning to spend $25+ a head.

    Yes, Fairfield is a bigger town, and has the benefit of two colleges, but I also believe their local developers/landlords/town boards deserve some credit for turning their downtown into something that’s quite attractive over the past 20 years.

    • Ok, you mentioned music – I should have also mentioned the Levitt Pavilion programming all summer long.

      But wait there’s more going on in Westport at night – our second downtown, Saugatuck, is in full swing with many restaurants, bars, and an ice cream shop well into the night, well away from the Post Road corridor. And lots of pedestrians walking around, if that’s your thing. Keep trying Fairfield, but Westport’s got it going on.

      • Except that the Levitt is now closed for the next 8 months, and the closest thing we have to entertainment is Toquet Hall. Why can’t the playhouse bring in musical acts like they do in Ridgefield and make it more of a diverse entertainment destination?

    • Fairfield needs to get its act together and re-open the Penfield Pavilion!

  8. At least, there is the Black Duck (open ’til 2am)
    Once upon a time there was the Bridge Grille…

  9. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    At least when I come back home to visit I can do all my shopping in one place. And I can show my friends from out of town the street where I grew up (and forget to tell them that the McMansions weren’t there at the time).