Tag Archives: Rick Hoag

Compo Shopping Center: Behind The Reveal

Rick Hoag has always liked the “quirky, ’50s-’60s feel” of Compo Shopping Center.

So when his Frederick William Hoag Architects firm got the chance to redesign the façade of one of Westport’s first strip malls, he was eager to help.

The west (CVS, Planet Pizza) side was built in 1957. The east (Gold’s, Little Kitchen) portion followed shortly after.

Compo Shopping Center’s west (top) and east sides, before renovation.

It’s really, really long. It’s home to a diverse array of different-sized tenants. And regulatory challenges constricted the type of changes Hoag could do.

But he’s nothing if not resourceful.

“The existing architecture exudes a playful mid-century vibe with sweeping fascias and inclined façades, retro forms, and language to be celebrated within a contemporary architectural skin,” he says.

“The existing sloped cornice seems to put the whole building façade in motion, emulating the automobiles traveling the Post Road.”

That reminded him of “Norman Rockwell-like images of happy American families shopping. before whisking off in their Chris-Craft on Long Island Sound.”

Mid-20th century Chris-Craft.

That classic speedboat concept inspired his design.

The new west side …

By applying finishes as a rain screen, he and his firm maintained the existing weather tightness of the building.

… and the east.

LED lights are a 21st-century thing. But Hoag designed them in a way that, he says, embraces both the spirit of the retro façade, and the feel of today.

The result — with help from Bill Achilles, earlier in the process — is emerging now. A.V. Tuchy — the Norwalk builders doing the renovation — should be finished in March.

Then, the scaffolds will come down. The “new” Compo Shopping Center will sparkle by day, and shine by night.

Dusk view.

That may attract more shoppers and restaurant-goers than ever.

Drive safely!

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Roundup: Business & Arts, Tom Kretsch, Glass Recycling …


Two of our town’s most powerful engines are business and the arts.

The Westport Library brings both together on Wednesday, March 9 (7 p.m., in-person and Zoom). The event is called “Exploring the Intersection of Arts and Business.”

First Selectwoman Jen Tooker leads a discussion with commercial developer David Waldman, architect Rick Hoag and business owner Andrea Pecoriello. Click here for details, and to register.

Bedford Square — built by David Waldman — is home to many businesses, including permanent and pop-up art galleries. This is Sorelle.


Admit it: We’re all stressed. We’d love to go to Maine to relax — or even cherished local spots, like the beach.

We can’t always do that. But if you’ve got even a bit of free time, head over to Gordon Fine Arts (1701 Post Road East, across from Goodwill).

The gallery features “A Symphony of Sea and Sand,” Westport photographer Tom Kretsch’s soothing shots from here and Maine.

And if you can’t get there, click here for Tom’s equally soothing website.

(Photo/Tom Kretsch)


The transfer station on the Sherwood Island Connector has a new recycling container.

It’s for glass — specifically beverage and condiment bottles, and juice and fruit jars. Glass should be rinsed, and lids removed.

Unacceptable items include mirrors, drinking glasses, ceramic cups and plates, clay flower pots, crystal, light bulbs, window glass and ovenware.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)


Howard Maynard died Sunday in Westport. He had lived here for 62 years.

After serving with the military in Korea for almost 2 years, Howard graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. He worked for Westinghouse in Bridgeport, then for 3 decades for Exxon in New York, in computer applications. He spent 4 years in London, where he developed an email system for the company.

After Exxon, he applied his knowledge and skills to Young & Rubicam in New York.

Howard was a skilled craftsman in his wood shop and darkroom. He loved chamber music and cars.

He served on many boards, including Human Services, the Westport Weston Health Department and Westport Library. He was proud of assisting with the library’s renovation.

His family says that Howard “lived a long and peaceful life. He was spare with his words and logical with his thinking. He fervently expressed gratitude for all he was given and obtained during his life — proud of his career and his post-retirement volunteer work for Westport.

“What really mattered to Howard, however, was his family, especially Mary, his wife of 65 years. They made the most of their time together, traveling often and widely.

Mary survives him, as do their children Douglass Maynard, Mallory McGrath and Allison deVaux and 7 grandchildren.

He donated his body to Yale Medical School. No services are planned. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Regional Hospice in Danbury.

Howard Maynard


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows a scene any cat owner knows well: Michael Catarevas’ Licorice stuck inside, watching a squirrel chipmunk race by outdoors.

“If only…!” the cat is thinking. The squirrel chipmunk, of course, is oblivious.

(Photo/Michael Catarevas)


And finally … Gary Brooker died Saturday, at 76, after battling cancer.

He was Procol Harum’s singer, pianist and composerin . The British band’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” is one of the most memorable from the 1967 Summer of Love. It’s #57 on Rolling Stones “500 Greatest Songs of All Time,” and is in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

But Procol Harum was much more than just that Bach-derived song with haunting, mystical lyrics. They played and toured for 50 years. And in 2003 — in recognition of his charitable service — Queen Elizabeth made Gary Brooker a Member of the Order of the British Empire. Click here for a wonderful obituary.


Norwalk Art Space: Alexandra Korry’s Lasting Legacy

When Alexandra Korry died at her Westport home last September of ovarian cancer, the New York Times honored her life with a long obituary.

Alexandra Korry (Photo by Dick Duane, for Sullivan & Cromwell LLP)

The 61-year-old was “a trailblazing Wall Street lawyer whose potent legal and moral rebuke as head of a civil rights panel helped spur the abolition of solitary confinement for juvenile inmates in New York City.”

She was one of the first women elected partner in Sullivan & Cromwell’s mergers and acquisitions department — and one of the first women editors at the Harvard Crimson.

Korry spent nearly a decade as head of the New York State Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights.

The great-granddaughter of former New York governor Nathan Miller, and a descendant of Ben Franklin, she worked for consumer advocate Ralph Nader and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

But the Times never mentioned one of her greatest accomplishments: chair of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund. The non-profit serves 300 people a year, changing lives from middle school through college and beyond, with academic enrichment, social and cultural exposure, and individual attention.

Korry was a constant presence there, even teaching classes.

That commitment sparked another project: the Norwalk Art Space. She envisioned it before her diagnosis, and shepherded it along while sick.

Alexandra Korry died before the space opened, in June. But her vision and guidance can be seen and felt throughout the magical space, a converted church on West Avenue, just off I-95 exit 15.

The Norwalk Art Space (Photo/Patrick Sikes)

Korry found the property — near the old Loehmann’s plaza — and realized it was perfect for an art gallery, studios and classrooms. Three museums — Stepping Stones, the Center for Contemporary Printmaking and Lockwood-Mathews Mansion — are nearby. All embrace their new neighbor.

Working with Westport architect Rick Hoag, she planned several complementary uses for the Norwalk Art Space.

The upstairs includes an airy gallery, where local artists exhibit for free. In exchange, they teach art to children — for free. Upcoming classes include acrylic painting, mixed media and collage, drawing and sculpture.

A dynamic café — run by Bill Taibe of The Whelk, Kawa Ni and Don Memo fame — looks out over the gallery.

Bill Taibe’s cafe, adjacent to the gallery space.

Downstairs are 4 studios — free to artists — along with well-appointed classrooms, and a student lounge.

One of several well-equipped classrooms.

A sculpture garden helps link the Norwalk Art Space to the neighborhood, and nearby museums.

“Alexandra was all about closing gaps,” says her husband, Robin Panovka. Since her death, he’s taken up her torch.

“She kept hearing women artists, and people of color, complain about how hard it is to get into galleries.” Now, a great gallery welcomes them.

And, in the spirit of giving back, student artists — who otherwise would not have a chance to develop their talents — are being mentored by 4 resident artists, in their 20s. They, in turn, will be mentored by 5 older “fellows” in the Art Space.

And, Panovka says, even more established artists are mentoring the fellows.

Norwalk students flock to the Art Space.

Alexandra Korry died before the Norwalk Art Space was completed.

She never saw the first show, or knew that her classrooms were full this summer.

But her husband smiles as he describes the enthusiasm the community has shown, since the doors opened in June.

The spirit of the Norwalk Art Space — Korry’s spirit — is very much alive.

(To learn more about the Norwalk Art Space, click here.)