Changing Of The Guard

As he promised, David Waldman retained the facade of the old Westport YMCA Bedford building.

But as his Bedford Square project nears completion — it’s slated to open this spring — changes are evident.

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

After 94 years, the lintel no longer says “YMCA.”

Welcome to 2017.

23 responses to “Changing Of The Guard

  1. That has got to be one of the worst mismatches of signage for that building style.

  2. Well, I just learned a new word – lintel, tho I’m not sure that’s what that is. Even with quality lettering and properly spaced, I’m not sure that works. It’s too long and still looks added on, because it covers some architectural detail that is still visible behind it.

  3. Athena Ploumis Bradley

    I agree with Mr. Blau. ! It is out of place in this lovely building!

  4. Worst looking sign ever! Ruins look of a beautiful restored building. The YMCA sign could have remained just as many old buildings have continued with original historic sign, old library etc.

  5. If you Google “Anthropologie” and
    select “images,” you’ll see numerous other branches of this chain store on old buildings where designers did a decent job.

  6. That building has historic status. How much can they change the facade????

  7. David A. Waldman

    The sign you are seeing was debated and discussed with the ARB and HDC for a long time and while some may think it is out of place, not appropriate and/ or disrespectful to its building,I ask that you please take a closer look. In doing so, you will see that the new sign sits proud of the lintel and therefore allowed for the retention of the original YMCA lettering behind it (which is visible as you walk under it).

    I personally think Anthropoligie & Co did an exceptional job marrying the need for their own identity while respecting the buildings history and original sign.

    • I think you’re doing a terrific job and look forward to seeing the completed project.

    • Bobbie Herman

      It’s totally inappropriate and UGLY! And ruins the character of a magnificent historic building.

  8. David-thanks for investing in Westport. The building looks great and this project will be a financial benefit to Westport. While the state of CT continues the financial death spiral and we learn of more and more taxes (and potential higher property taxes) your development will help drive much needed additional revenue to Westport.

  9. At first I thought this was a joke….then I realized it was the actual sign. Aside from what anyone thinks of the ‘new’ downtown (for/against) this sign is truly an embarrassment. It’s a major black eye to our towns history, its character, and to one of the most iconic buildings we have in Westport. It sums up everything quite quickly as to what the power of new money and ‘development’ has over true class, integrity and commitment to character.

  10. Lisa Marie Alter

    I feel like I need a “meme” of the Minuteman Statue burying his face in his hands (a la Statue of Liberty post-election)… Miggs, can you help me out ??!

  11. Well, let’s be realistic – there IS going to be some signage on the front of the building, it’s unreasonable to hope or believe that the building facade would be kept 100% as it was before, as if the YMCA could still be found inside unless you were in on the secret that they had left years ago – the commercial tenant is entitled to some indication of their presence. This sign appears to be pretty low-impact, and David knows I’m not easy 😉

  12. The sign is perfectly fine; it left the original fabric of the entry facade intact. And David knows I’m not easy either.

  13. Bonnie Bradley

    Sure sounds like some elite Westport whining here: Jack & Morley have it right.

  14. Perhaps it is the best design a committee could agree upon, but I can’t help but think the Anthropologie folks felt it necessary to obscure that lintel because of the plebeian image of the YMCA, and its association with things like “Christian” and, yes, that song by the Village People. Methinks if the lintel bore a more upscale brand, like “The Union League” or even “The Westport Women’s Club.” the chain store’s signage would be in a different place.

  15. Why worry so? History tells us this is only temporary.

  16. Aesthetically horrific, but the Y has a new home designed for the 21st century and the Town of Westport has a huge addition to its Grand List.

  17. So, let the dissenters come up with a better sign.
    For a new sign, not carved into the facade, this one seems about perfect.

  18. Lynne Betts Baker

    Dan, can you find out where the Y lintel went to. As you know my Mother and Father’s Staples High School lintel now welcomes students and visitors each day. Thanks to Ann Sheffer’s Mom who saved it from the garbage. The old building Y lintel would make another nice welcome for the new Y. Thks for all you do.