Renewed idea for tower a winning notion for Rock
Anyone passing by Savin Rock has to be impressed with the clean-up that was done in April. Over the decades the landmark had become overgrown and was far from the way it was depicted in bygone era postcards.
With the new look comes the reincarnation of an old idea. The West Haven Carousel Committee, formed more than a decade ago to bring a carousel to the area, has rekindled the idea of putting a look-out – or belvedere – on the crest of the Rock. Chairman Michael Mercuriano, a longtime supporter of having attractions along the city’s shorefront, introduced the idea several years ago.
The belvedere is shown in a drawing Mercuriano’s group had done when it was introduced in the early 2000s. Like its predecessors in the early 1900s, the look-out would be a gazebo-type construction allowing those who use it to see out onto Long Island Sound as well as the surrounding area.
The idea would include telescopes that would bring the harbor into closer view as well as the area around the breakwaters and the area toward Milford. The approach could be by a staircase or conforming the natural formations in the landmark to allow visitors to climb up to the attraction.
The belvedere would – and should – be built with private donations, but maintained by the city once it is in place. Of course, the Land Trust of West Haven, Inc. would have to give its imprimatur on the project, but the fact it is enhancing the passive park that is the Boardwalk, we see no reason why there should be objection.
Mayor Nancy Rossi has given tacit approval of the idea, as long as city funds are not used to construct it, and she said she was willing to work with groups who are behind it. That is all positive.
What we hope does not happen, however, is that the idea stalls and becomes just another “possibility” without seeing fruition. It has been many years since the Carousel Committee has proposed the carousel for the area near the Savin Rock Museum. That idea has stalled.
We understand part of the problem is location, but it cannot be disputed that very little has actually happened with the carousel in years. Originally planned as a large-scale carousel similar to the one that was at the former amusement park, the project has been scaled back to a one size down attraction.
Regardless, the fundraising for the project, estimated at $3 million when it was first announced 15 or more years ago, has virtually ceased. We hope the carousel comes to the area, but we don’t hold out much hope since there seems to be little or no progress in the matter.
We don’t want to see the same thing happen with the look-out. It is a fine idea and one that the committee should take and get other organizations involved. The West Haven Historical Society, and other civic and fraternal groups, should be part of the effort.
In order for the belvedere to become realized, it will take more than fine talk and bright ideas. It will take action, and that action has to be serious and unrelenting.
Savin Rock now looks similar to those depictions of many decades ago. It is part of the city’s “jewel in the crown” that is the shorefront. Making it more attractive is something we should all strive to achieve. We support the effort. Now let’s see it become reality.