Tag Archives: Save the Children property

Roundup: Volleyball Court; “Big Dogs”; More

They saw a concrete slab at the site of what used to be Save the Children headquarters on Wilton Road.

So they — whoever “they” are — did the natural thing.

They put up a volleyball net.

Who needs the beach when you’ve got all this other space?!

(Photo/Tracy Yost)

It’s taken a few years. But Westport entertainment lawyer Alan Neigher is about to see “Big Dogs” — a project he helped create — reach millions of homes.

The 8-part series — about an elite team of New York City detectives and a ruthless European crime syndicate, based on a trilogy by Adam Dunn — debuts July 1 on Amazon Prime Direct.

IMDB describes the New York of the show: “Businesses are shuttered, crime is rampant, black markets thrive.”

Neigher was first involved when he helped Dunn get his books published, copywritten and distributed. When the pair realized they would make a great TV series, they formed a production company and got to work.

You could say Neigher had a “hand” in nearly every aspect of “Big Dogs.” A jazz pianist in his spare time, he wrote 2 pieces that are heard in the show.

And finally … “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was written in 1900 as a poem by James Weldon Johnson. His brother John Rosamond Johnson put it to music in 1905. Today it is called “the black national anthem.” Many singers and choirs have recorded it. This version is one of my favorites.


A Bridge To Somewhere

The other evening, KMS Partners threw a fundraiser for Food Rescue US.

Food trucks and a band filled the site of the former Save the Children building, on Wilton Road. Next to the real estate firm’s new headquarters, it’s the future site of an architecturally intriguing 12-unit condo complex.

As I sat next to the Saugatuck River — the sun setting, and downtown beckoning just across the way — I thought, “It’s so close. Wouldn’t it be nice to walk there?”

Parker Harding Plaza, from the west bank of the Saugatuck River. (Photo/Dan Woog)

I could have used the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, of course. But the Post Road span is not pedestrian friendly. And it deposits you at the dicey, traffic-filled intersection with Parker Harding Plaza.

Once upon a time, there was discussion of fora pedestrian-only bridge. It was part of David Waldman’s plan to develop that Save the Children site.

Working with Roger Ferris + Partners architects, he wanted to move the house — at that point, a former yarn shop — at Wilton Road/Post Road West — to the Save the Children property. That would provide room for a turning lane at one of the state’s worst intersections.

As part of the plan, Waldman offered $100,000 toward the engineering and design of a pedestrian-only pontoon bridge.

The town rejected the idea. The developer reworked certain aspects of his design. The office portion has now been built. The condos are next.

But the landing area on the Wilton Road side is still available. A bridge could still be built, providing relaxing access from another point between the river’s west bank, and downtown. It could connect to Gorham Island, or perhaps the walkway near Rye Ridge Deli.

The walkway near Rye Ridge Deli could be one end of a pedestrian bridge across the Saugatuck River.

It’s not a novel concept. The Westport Arts Center once proposed a bridge from its then-headquarters on Riverside Avenue, to the library and Levitt Pavilion on the other side.

There are great spots to eat and shop on both sides of the river. But Westporters and visitors tend to think of them as 2 separate places.

A pedestrian bridge between Wilton Road and Parker Harding would probably cost $500,000 to $1 million.

Is the idea worth pursuing? If not, what’s another way to tie the energy and attractions of the quickly growing west bank to the close-but-sometimes-seems-so-far “downtown”?

What do you think? Click “Comments” below. We want your thoughts!