Quick Work On Sharp Turn

In March, “06880” ran a story about Bill and Kathy Hemson’s home.

She’s a 3d-generation Westporter. They’d lived at 3 Sharp Turn Road — a small street off Whitney — since 1973. They were only the 2nd owners of the house.

3 Sharp Turn Road, in March. (Photo by Dave Matlow)

3 Sharp Turn Road, in March. (Photo by Dave Matlow)

The Hemsons were downsizing. They knew their home would be a teardown. Kathy matter-of-factly described her feelings about their 40 years in 1 house, and their beloved — but changing — neighborhood.

On Thursday, says photographer Dave Matlow, a demolition permit was issued.

He took the picture below at 9:35 a.m. yesterday — less than 24 hours later.

3 Sharp Turn Road, yesterday. (Photo by Dave Matlow)

3 Sharp Turn Road, yesterday. (Photo by Dave Matlow)

19 responses to “Quick Work On Sharp Turn

  1. Bruce Fernie

    As sad as this may be for the previous owners the house didn’t have any historical value. The tear down and the new build are good for the economy and tax base… Lets hope it’s not an ugly as sin McMansion designed by some no talent wannabe architect for some silly no-value-added bankster.

  2. Bobbie Herman

    All the new houses are “ugly as sin” McMansions. That’s what Westport is becoming. I won’t comment on their occupants.

  3. A few years ago after our regular summer drive through my old home town, and being somewhat aghast at the rate of tear downs, I had a burning interest to go through WestportNow’s tear down section from start to finish. I immediately loved the woman in Saugatuck Shores who put a sign on her lawn “Slow, Historic Pre-McMansion District.” What struck a painful chord was seeing my childhood best friend’s home torn down. Yes, some of the homes being torn down were possibly justified — little run down cottages or split levels. But many others??? Not in my book by a long shot. Even some of the well taken care of ordinary homes? Were all of those tear downs necessary? It just symbolizes that there is a different consciousness in Westport now than in other days. No use to argue.

    Perhaps it’s our age, we’re were truly the “Wonder Years” folks who lived in Westport at it’s golden zenith and it’s no longer. Those were days when the average workers of Westport, i.e. shopkeepers, teachers, truck drivers, bus drivers, etc. could also reside in Westport. It was a town family. Those days are long gone and so is that kind of town for Westport. I loved some of those smaller, cozy, classic New England homes tucked back off the road but they’re not big enough, or green enough or impressive enough to last in the Westport of today. It’s a town of the wealthy and it is what it is. Not sayin’ I’m loving it, I’m not but… Westport’s been taken over now and can’t stem that tide now. I applaud Dan for trying to keep some of the magical golden days alive in people’s hearts. It’s like the music of today vs. of yesteryear. I’m huge into Live at Daryl’s House online at the moment so check it out on line especially if you’re over 45 — Daryl Hall manages to preserve the old and great and merge with the new to make something better than the old and the new. Have a look —
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5B6lJPa1Wc. from “Abandoned Luncheonette.” Somehow he manages to make a gorgeous collage of old music and merge it with new artists, new music and it’s all incredibly soul stirring and moving. Not sure why Westport can’t do that. It has the bones to do so. But it takes some real thinking and planning. Forgive my long post but had to say it today.

  4. Bart Shuldman

    I congratulate the builders who are building homes in keeping with he New England ‘style’. Tastefully done and bringing new families to our town. It does become difficult to understand how some complain about changing a 50’s style split ranch to these new attractive homes. Memories aside, maybe someone can define a mcMansion.

    • Bobbie Herman

      Pretentious, ostentatious. And they all have multiple gables. Do people really need seven baths and 6000 SF?

  5. Gee, I wonder what the Wakemans thought when we built all the split levels in the 1950-60’s here in Westport? Get over yourselves and move on. Obviously there is a demand for such homes for they continue to sell. I would bet the Hemsons are crying all the way to the bank?

    • Eric William Buchroeder

      I’ll split the difference and say that most of the 1950’s houses in Westport that are being torn down were crap anyway. I mourn the many beautiful examples of pre-WWII residential architecture that are being torn down for no good reason that I can see. While its none of my business, I do think that some of these nouveaux Westporters are trying to cram 20 pounds of ground beef onto a quarter pounder bun but its their money, I guess.

      • I disagree, Senor Buchroeder. I think many of the houses of the 50’s and 60’s were split levels or Colonial. Hardly pre-WWII architecture and many built to last. I grew up in one and still live in one. Rock solid. As indicated above, if a builder has to buy land for 600,000$+ he is going to build a house for 1.8 to 2.0 million to make money. And, per our market, there are plenty of willing buyers. Whether they will realize the same appreciation of value as previous owners is doubtful, however. Perhaps, in a decade or so, they may be screaming “Where’s the beef” to coin your analogy but whoever said real estate is a good investment???

        • Eric William Buchroeder

          Monsieur Swanson #3 as usual you inject a valuable counterpoint that has been honed on the field of experience. I am on the outside of Wetspot looking in and wishing I had never left so I’ll let you have the last word on that.

          • Bruce Fernie

            Miss Buchroeder and Ms Swanson… Just like they said about porn we all know what a McMansion is when we see it.

            • Yet much like the SCOTUS’ justice who made such comment, Cousin Brucie, about pornography, he really couldn’t define it. That is why Thurgood had to watch some many films. McMansions, as is porn, is much here to stay.

              • Eric William Buchroeder

                I know what a McMansion is when I can see it but I can’t buy it.

  6. Bart Shuldman

    Although similar to the Greco-Roman classical roof styles, like the roof found on the Pantheon, a gable roof is a distinct roofing style altogether. The word “gable” has diverse origins, and the word is thought to originate from one of the ancient languages of Middle English, Old Norse, Norman French or Celtic.

    A traditional gable roof is a simple style; it is composed of two rectangular panels, which, when joined along a straight ridge, form a triangle on either the front or side. In the United States, the gable roof came in several forms. Builders created front-gabled houses, bungalow houses and Gable El houses. Many of these houses had front porches, which often came with their own gables.

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    Gable front houses were smaller, easy-to-construct homes first built in the United States during the late 1800s. When people starting living in urban settings, residential lots became more expensive, as well as smaller and narrower. City-dwellers built gable-front houses so they could maximize their house space on these lots. Gable front houses feature two gables, or triangles, that face the street and form the front of the house. These houses also usually featured a porch, and the houses could be one or one and a half stories high.

    American bungalow houses also featured multiple gables, usually with one to three side or front gables. These houses often featured a rectangular floor plan, and these long houses often featured low roofs.

    From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, Gable El houses were a common style for new houses. These one- or two-story houses featured floor plans with either an L or T shape. These houses featured ells, or side wings, that formed an integral part of the house design. Gable El houses provided more light and openness than other floor plans available at this time. The roofs of these houses often featured an intersecting gable. These houses were also known as gabled wing cottages.

    People still use the gable roof in modern architecture. The one-story “ranch” style house, which is common in many parts of the United States, is still used today. These houses use some elements of the Gable El houses, with the L or T floor plans and a low gabled roof. However, the interior space and room setup have changed over the years. Ranch houses may feature an attic, but it is quite small in comparison to the houses in the past, since the roof is quite low. In neo-traditional style homes, builders can use a higher roof line to provide more openness and space in area without building another floor.

  7. Martin O'Grady

    And so it goes !! The same is happening all around us over here at 150 Compo Rd — My mother who was born in 1907 – God rest her soul– remembered when South Compo was a ” rounded dirt road ” There is only one thing you can count on– Things are going to change–Martin O’Grady

  8. I’m nostalgic for simpler times of the Westport I grew up in in the 50s and 60s. Dan helps keep the flame alive for us all. Yet we still sort of have that in quiet and woodsy northern Wilton, from which Oscar’s is only 20 minutes away.

    I could not move back to Westport because it feels too crowded and aggressive for my taste. We also don’t have $3MM to spend on a house so I tend to regard McMansions as ostentatious, though that may be in part because I’m jealous. Yet I’ll bet there are plenty of good folks in those houses, and plenty f self-important and pretentious people in less expensive houses. Seems to me it’s more about how people treat each other.

  9. Vicki Nolley

    Westport tears down too many house’s. They’re what made Westport a quaint home town. It doesn’t look the same or have that same home town feel anymore. It’s sad.