Renovate Or Replace Compo Bathhouse And Pavilion? Public Meeting Next Week

The press release is simple:

The Parks and Recreation Commission will hold a Special Public Meeting on Thursday, May 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium.  The purpose of the meeting is to determine whether to repair and renovate the current Compo Beach bathhouse and pavilion structure or replace the structure with a new facility.

Knowing Westport — and the history of the beach — the debate is certain to be lively.

The Compo Beach bathhouse … (Photo/Pat Gold)

… and pavilion. (Painting by Matthew Levine)


23 responses to “Renovate Or Replace Compo Bathhouse And Pavilion? Public Meeting Next Week

  1. Martha Deegan

    The bathhouse and pavilion are rundown, smelly, seedy. The bathhouse, in particular looks like the kind of place where a creep would lurk. Private money should pay for a re-do, with naming rights, not the Town of Westport. Put tax money into the schools. Not that many people use the beach.

  2. Susan Huppi

    I hope they vote to repair/renovate but retain the style of the buildings. ..they are a part of Westport history!

  3. Jimmy Franco

    As the postcard illustrates so well, they are historic and have a charm that cannot be replaced. I am all for re-furbishing them but it would be a shame to tear them down. Compo Beach would never be the same without them.

  4. Michael Krein

    Renovations were in order in the 1960-70 era. Fifty years later it should be NEW! However, it should not overpower the needs of the Senior Center where the expansion is critical.

  5. Nancy Hunter

    Such an emotional issue. Difficult to imagine Compo without the original buildings. Maybe combine the old with new if need be.

  6. Kelly Asbury


  7. Morley Boyd

    The Parks & Rec.Commission doesn’t know it (preservationists finally gave up trying to reach the PRC Chair and Director) but the pavilion is actually listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Owing to a special historic provision in the law, this prestigious listing could potentially be quite useful in restoring the structure as it offers a potential path around some of the most burdensome and expensive aspects of the FEMA regs – whose compliance would otherwise destroy the structure’s principle character defining details.

  8. Matthew Levine

    There is a captivating beauty to the existing structures that would be forever lost if replaced with new builds. Renovate, and preserve the connection to Westport’s past that is part of this town’s charm. Plus, there are so many more paintings to be made there!

  9. Bobbie Herman

    What would be the difference in costs? There are so many more important things on which to spend money.

  10. Hanne Jeppesen

    Renovate and preserve the historic look of the buildings. I grew up in Denmark, spend a few years in Westport as an au pair, remember Compo and the buildings there well. Denmark has done a great job of preserving the outside of building some from 1700 hundred, and renovating the inside. That provide a certain continuity and ties to the past which I think is important.

  11. Sally Kellogg

    I’m on the short side of 70 years old and grew up down at Compo. Every day after school it was Outward Bound…many adventures climbing the brick (and the long-gone wooden) bath houses off season. Why we didn’t get seriously hurt, I’ll never know. Somewhere, my family has photos of my mom as a little girl at the Wakeman summer picnics with those very bath houses in the background. I don’t have a vote in this issue since I live in Naples, FL., but it would be sad to scrape the structure.

  12. Alan Phillips

    This is a nice vestige of the past. I can’t see the town spending $$$ so that a limited number of people can have a storage locker.
    Why not re-imagine this space and the existing covered pavilion.
    Imagine a big outdoor space with tables and umbrellas as well as some of the area protected by a roof so all can sit eat, read and enjoy the beach protected from the sun and rain.

  13. Morley Boyd

    The PRC isn’t interested in anything mere residents have to say. If you don’t believe me just try to contact the PRC Director or PRC Chair with a concern. Trust me, you’re in for rude surprise. You’ll be made to feel about as welcome as a Walmart.

  14. Renovate………and for those that say “not
    many use the beach, etc” perhaps they should take a ride by. In all the places I have lived….Compo is the most used beach all year I have ever seen.

  15. Bart Shuldman

    Should we not get the facts first before giving any opinion? What is the cost to refurbish? What is the cost to replace? we should solicit estimates from local contractors that will give a range of the cos differences.

    This type of ’emotionally’ meeting would be better served by having more details for the Westport taxpayers to make a reasonable judgement.

  16. JP Vellotti

    Figures. It took me 7 years on a waiting list to get a locker….

    I paid my $65 for the year, site unseen, and went down to stow some beach gear. I wouldn’t say the area is a crack alley or where creeps would hang out, but the lockers are pretty dingy. Point being, $65/year is the max I would spend to keep my stuff at the beach and I wouldn’t pay for a surcharge to improve them. A volunteer weekend with some paint, plywood and saws, maybe, would make sense and could go a long way in helping the space.

  17. Tracy Flood

    I hope they restore them. They are beautifully designed and have such history. If you amortize the investment over the next 20-30 years, it will be money well spent. And I agree, I think the beach is used by MANY!!!

  18. It’s due for improvements but the brick and foot wash off area needs to stay the same. Add around the outer areas if it’s needed and shore things up but the look should remain the same. Lets keep something the same from our childhood memories.

  19. I remember the structure of the pavilion, which in the 1950s was referred to as the stand. That predates the current buildings! Spent many a summer there and even wrote about it in my novel Sherry and and the Unseen World which takes place in Westport during three summers in the late 1950s.

  20. Michele Lamothe

    Anyone know if this meeting will be televised?