More Post Road Changes: Kowalsky Out, Assisted Living In

In the 1940s, Joe, Paul and Ed started Kowalsky Brothers Construction Company. Their headquarters was on the Post Road, where Westport Hardware is today.

In the 1960s they moved across the street, to the former site of Patio.com in the Fresh Market shopping center.

A decade later they moved again: down the Post Road, just east of what was then Parsell’s Garden Mart (and later, Geiger’s).

Kowalsky Brothers headquarters, 1141 Post Road East.

Kowalsky Construction — now owned by Jay and Edward, the 2nd generation — is once again relocating.

This time, it’s much further: to Stratford. They need more room than their current 5.4 acres. A spot near I-95 exit 30 is perfect.

Kowalsky — you don’t need the rest of the company name — has been part of the Westport community for nearly 80 years.

They built Parker Harding Plaza, behind Main Street. (Evan Harding — who helped plan the project — was friends with Joe Kowalsky.)

The company dredged and built Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club. Every year, they provide the trucks and manpower to prepare Compo Beach for the summer.

After Hurricane Sandy slammed Westport in 2012, CL&P trucks were scarce. But Kowalsky Brothers was out early, clearing Compo Beach and environs.

“We’ve done literally hundreds of projects — parking lots, roadways, you name it,” Jay says.

Kowalsky gives back plenty too. They provide many of the flatbed trucks that serve as floats in the Memorial Day parade. When floats were a thing at Staples High School Homecoming, they donated those too.

“We’ll still bid on jobs here,” Jay promises.

Right now, they’re excavating the new apartment complex across from Greens Farms Elementary School — next door to their soon-to-be-vacated headquarters.

Those apartments are a visible symbol of a changing Westport.

So is what will move in when Kowalsky moves out.

The new owner — LCB Senior Living of Boston — is building an assisted living facility.

It will be 3 stories high, 97,194 square feet, and have 96 rooms.

If you think this fills a need in Westport: You’re right. The most recent senior facility in town is Westport Rehabilitation Complex next to Kings Highway Elementary School, clear across town.

Originally called Mediplex, it opened in 1964.

Kowalsky Construction has always been a good neighbor. For years, they’ve maintained the handsome garden at the Sherwood Island Connector, around the corner from their headquarters.

9 responses to “More Post Road Changes: Kowalsky Out, Assisted Living In

  1. There is no business – nor family – that has been more “Westport” than the Kowalsky’s. Besides literally building the actual, physical town in more ways than you could possibly list (every single citizen uses the infrastructure they built multiple times a day), their large family, and their employees, built the social fabric of the community by enthusiastically contributing to literally thousands of causes, groups and social events over they years, from veterans to preschoolers, parades to picnics, ball fields to beaches. You could run a year of “Unsung Hero” posts and still not cover them all. Westport wouldn’t be anywhere near what it is without the Kowalsky’s, they literally built the town, and more importantly, they built our community. – Chris Woods

  2. We lived across the street from Paul and Mary Kowalsky, at 114 So. Morningside Drive. Mary was an avid bowler. Paul was in the Seabees, during World War II, and when the war ended, he started the construction company with his brothers. At least this was the story that was told to me.

  3. There are no more brothers in the buisness it is kowalsky const. The other brothers have retired

  4. It’s a bittersweet end of an era!

  5. I did a real estate deal with Paul. We agreed on on terms and later I asked his broker if we needed to get everything in writing.
    “No…if Paul shakes your hand, you have a deal.”
    Big supporter of VFW POST 399🇺🇸✝️

    • That’s the way it used to be back then. My uncle did a handshake, or Gentlemen’s Agreement, when they rented out the basement of the bowling lanes, to the gym. It might even have been an agreement with Paul Lane. This was old time Westporters doing business.

  6. Several years ago I started a new job on January 2. As I drove down South Morningside Drive towards I-95 I was behind a station wagon with 2 sheep in the cargo area. They were being transported back to “Kowalsky Farm” near Clapboard Hill Road from the annual Christmas manger scene at Kowalsky Brothers headquarters on the Post Road. I was delighted to see them, but I couldn’t help but wonder what it must have smelled like in that station wagon.

  7. My dad worked for 2 summers for the Kowalsky Bros. in the early ’60’s. He was a school teacher and needed summer employment. I remember taking rides in the huge red dump truck with him and it was always a highlight of a summer’s night. Still remember the smell of the oil and fuel of those trucks!!

  8. Mary Cookman Schmerker SHS '58

    A wonderful family and a wonderful business. Time marches on but I wish them all the best, even if it is now Kowalsky Construction and not “Brothers”. There is a fine heritage of devotion to a job well done attached to the name and business.

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