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Terrain Drops Proposal To Raze Historic Westport House

The home located on the corner of Post Road East and Crescent Road is no longer being considered for demolition by the neighboring Terrain home and garden store.
The home located on the corner of Post Road East and Crescent Road is no longer being considered for demolition by the neighboring Terrain home and garden store. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari

WESTPORT, Conn. —  Early Tuesday morning, Terrain — a home and garden superstore at 561 Post Road E. in Westport — was seeking to demolish the historic home located on the corner of Crescent Road to make way for more customer parking.

But due to public outcry, Terrain withdrew its proposal by 11 a.m. Tuesday. The demolition proposal was slated to be heard at Tuesday night’s Historic District Commission meeting.

Faced with on-site parking constraints, Terrain wanted to tear down the home and create eight parking spaces in its place. In 2011, however, when the retailer was seeking proper approvals from the town, it agreed to preserve the 19th-century home — one of the last examples of a single-family home on the Post Road.

“They tried to pull a bait and switch,” Representative Town Meeting member Matthew Mandell said Tuesday. “Don’t create a plan and then not live by that plan.”

Outraged that a historic home could be knocked down for the sake of parking, Mandell created a video explaining the proposal. Since it was posted onto YouTube on Sunday, the video has been viewed nearly 700 times.

In the video, Mandell explains that Terrain — owned by Urban Outfitters Inc. — has 48 reserve parking spaces on site that it can use. This parking area is currently covered by a nursery and greenhouse. The retailer, he said, didn’t want to give up this retail space and use it for parking.

Now that the demolition proposal is off the table, Mandell said Terrain is working on a modified plan, which will likely be submitted this week. The modified plan would keep the house intact and would instead convert a portion of the nursery area into parking spaces.

Although the modified plan has not yet been formally submitted, Mandell said he was “very pleased” that Terrain reconsidered.

“This is a step in the right direction,” Mandell said. “Hopefully they will be good corporate citizens.”

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