Compo Pavilion Closed; New Roof Ahead

The Compo Beach pavilion — the brick structure next to the bathhouses and Joey’s by the Shore, popular with picnickers, people-watchers and photographers — is off-limits for a few days.

Westport’s Parks and Recreation Commission heeded the report of consultant Jim DeStefano that damage to the pavilion — from age and storms — made it unsafe.

It’s been blocked off with security tape. On Monday, work begins on a new roof. It’s expected to take 5 days — just in time for the surge of July 4th weekend beachgoers.

The Compo Beach pavilion roof is a favorite home for seagulls…

“We’re sensitive that the pavilion is in a historic district,” says Parks and Rec Commission chair Charlie Haberstroh.

He noted that there will be no changes to the structure itself. The roof was last replaced in 1988.

“We’re being very careful not to touch any walls,” Haberstroh says.

Parks and Rec may provide canopies or umbrellas for shade during the project.

Joey’s (and the lockers and restrooms) will remain open throughout.

… and a favorite too of photographers, who love to frame shots through it. (Photo/Susan Woog Wagner)

11 responses to “Compo Pavilion Closed; New Roof Ahead

  1. Glad to learn that P&R is “sensitive” to the building’s historic status. So sorry to learn that it threw away all the original brick from the two Sandy-damaged walls.

  2. Bonnie Bradley

    Good to hear that this iconic Compo beach structure is being carefully repaired and maintained. But, when did the “brick bathhouse” become the “pavilion”? I all the years I lived in Westport, from earliest memory in the 40s, the “Pavilion” was the open, roofed structure (which was two-stories when I was a child) still located at the Soundview area of the beach. Just asking….

    • Yes, Bonnie is right. The pavilion was the “open, roofed structure.” Mike Calise knows about its early history. It was two stories until the 1950 hurricane when the second story and roof dropped to the ground. I remember talking to some town official who was looking at the damage a day or so after the storm and he said “all this will have to be cleared away.” I said “the roof doesn’t look too bad, maybe you could just prop it up.” I doubt if he paid any attention to my comment but that’s what they did.

      • A further memory – I think the term “pavilion” was actually what we called the beach restaurant that was all the way out to the road, and at one time, before Joey, was run by Chubby Lane.

  3. Is the consultant’s report a public document? I think the timing here, like the recent closing of the Cribari Bridge at 4:30 p m on a Friday a couple of weeks ago, is curious.

    • What’s “curious” about fixing a dangerous roof in the days before the biggest crowds of the year? Am I missing something?

      • There were some rather unfortunate comments made by the consulting engineer at a recent (recorded) public hearing regarding the pavilion’s roof. I imagine that he possibly regrets some of the words he chose to describe the the soundness of the pavilion’s roof, but it’s hard to un-ring that bell.

  4. This is another example of why these ‘buildings’ should not be renovated, and instead, replaced. The older crowd who have moved on and are hanging on to memories, they want to keep them, which is nostalgic and cute. However, throwing money at failing construction is just putting a band-aid on these issues. Tear them down and start over.

    • Yeah, those old people are cute but they smell funny and ruin everything with their stupid memories. We’re the ones that we’ve been waiting for. Let’s put the Pavilion in the landfill. I’m sure we’ll have no problem justifying the 4 million dollar replacement cost in this environment.

  5. What’s “curious” about it is that the report was delivered about 4 weeks ago, but Parks & Rec waited until just before the biggest weekend of the summer to do anything. Just like closing the Cribari Bridge late on a Friday afternoon in June is “curious.”

  6. Today, as I drove by the pavillion, I noticed several workers on top of the roof. If it was in such bad shape, how did it support them, or should they have taken extra precautions?

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