It is gratifying to observe the strong private and public support for the planned renovation of the Levitt Pavilion site. It was not always so. Originally, there was strong resistance to the idea of a "band shell" on the former landfill site. Critics said nothing could grow there, others worried that methane gas would explode and that noise would disturb the neighbors.

The Westport Young Women's League and Kiwanis Club had a vision for the site, which received strong support from Selectman John Kemish. You could say that this was a true public-private partnership. When the clubs approached the Levitts for a financial contribution, they enthusiastically supported the project. The clubs raised $50,000 which was a huge sum in the early `70s, to purchase the original pavilion. Other civic groups pitched in to provide trees, benches and lighting.

For more than 35 years, the original pavilion served the town well. The new $6.7 million dollar pavilion will be a magnificent addition to the downtown area and a testament to the vision of the leaders who were bold in their vision many years ago.

Warren P. Joblin


The writer was co-chair of the former Band Shell Committee, which worked to develop the pavilion site.