Teardown With A Twist

Compo Beach is a true “neighborhood.” Many homes on Soundview and its side streets have been in the same family for decades.

One of the those old, familiar houses was 8 Danbury Avenue. Teri Klein grew up in the magical cottage — and so did her children and grandchildren. They held weddings and parties there, ran on the beach, and admired the spectacular views.

8 Danbury Avenue.

8 Danbury Avenue.

Unfortunately, the house sat level with the ground. Hurricane Sandy damaged it beyond repair.

Today it was demolished.

(Photos by Betsy Phillips)

(Photos by Betsy Phillips)

But this is not a typical Westport tear-down-a-small-old-house-and-throw-up-a-huge-new-one story.

Two couples living nearby — Dan Kahn and Betsy Phillips,  and Peter Wormser and Liz Milwe — bought the house from Teri. Peter — a very talented architect and artist — incorporated much of the quaint and magical details of the old home into a new design.

The next 8 Danbury Avenue house will be built on a higher foundation than the previous one — new FEMA and local regulations have made sure of that. But there will still be a rocking-chair front porch, a similar look, the same Low Country southern charm.

The new home will be something increasingly rare in Westport: a new but familiar house.

“We’re beach people,” Betsy explains simply.

3 responses to “Teardown With A Twist

  1. Diane Cady

    if anyone can preserve the feeling of Compo, it is these 2 couples!

  2. teri Klein

    Change is Life
    Life is change.
    My parents Albert and Ruth Youngman , owners of the infamous Pottery Corner lived at 8 Danbury for decades. They also enjoyed early morning swims and late sunsets.
    When a house comes down, the “magic” is in the memories. that is what remains.

  3. My name is Victoria Marshall-Clegg and I live in Greensboro, North Carolina. I have known Betsy Phillips Kahn for years and watched her weave her magic in my own neighborhood for over 20 years. To this day her signature in Westerwood and other charming Greensboro neighborhoods is unmistakable. I always smile when I hear someone say that is a “Betsy” house. Westport, consider yourself blessed to have this magical/mystical being in your presence. I promise you, she will not only leave her keen aesthetic sense and creative mark on your community, but she’ll also leave an indelible mark on your hearts. Whatever she touches will be better after she has passed that way. She is missed terribly around these parts.