To the Editor:
I awoke this morning (March 30, 2004) to the sound of bulldozers and backhoes cranking up their engines to begin the demolition of Allens Clam House. This is a very sad moment for all Westporters җ past, present and future.
With each demolition of a historic property, another small piece of the charm, the character and the soulӔ that makes our community so special is chipped away.
Over the last decade or more, we have lost dozens of historically significant buildings to demolition.
Its not that the newly constructed homes that replace them are so bad, or even that every older building is worth saving. But we only have one New England, one Connecticut and one Westport.
When the buildings and homes that defined this unique part of our heritage are gone, what will there be for future generations to touch and feel and understand how it was here in our past?
Sadly, it comes down to politics. Many of our local politicians have decided that demolition is often the first course of action when, in fact, it should be the other way around.
All other options should be fully explored before destroying any historically significant building.
What happened to AllenҒs and to so many other unique buildings and homes in Westport is acceptable under our current set of rules and ordinances. But this doesnt have to keep happening.
Laws are made to be changed and amended.
I invite you to join us in our efforts (www.fairfieldcountypreservation.org) to change the mindset of politicians throughout Fairfield County.
The 23 communities that call this region home can benefit tremendously by their leaders giving historic preservation the attention it so desperately needs. Keep in mind, once our historic places are gone, they’re lost forever.
John M. Lupton, Westport native
The Fairfield County Preservation Trust