This Old House #14

The main clue to last week’s mystery house was its former location: “on the present site of the Fine Arts Theater in State Street.” That identification, of course, dates from the 1930s, when WPA photographers took shots of a number of already-very-old Westport houses.

Dan Herman, Jill Turner Odice and Morley Boyd said that its current location is 23 Jesup Road. Westport Historical Society house historian Bob Weingarten confirms the site. (Click here to see a photo of the house, and read comments about it.)

It was not easy to do. Boyd says that a 2005 renovation — illegal, because the house sits in a historic district — “drained it of its historic integrity.”

Here is this week’s unidentified home:

This Old House - May 20, 2015

All we know is that it’s somewhere in Green’s Farms.

If you know its whereabouts, click “Comments” below. The WHS is seeking info on this and other “mystery houses,” in preparation for an upcoming exhibit on the changing face of Westport.

9 responses to “This Old House #14

  1. I think Boyd did not say that the renovation was illegal but rather that the variances should not have been approved because of the location and historical district. Once approved, the modifications were legal. Here is a picture of Ship’s Corner prior to the renovation:

    This week’s house looks oddly familiar…

  2. Bob Weingarten

    Evan, thanks for the Ship’s Corner. This photo certainly confirms the identity of last weeks unknown photo.

  3. C’mon Dan. Even you haven’t been in Westport long enough to remember the house the theater replaced.

  4. Seth Schacter

    Could this weeks house be 21 Bridge Street? I know its not in “Greens Farms” but if you extend Greens Farms Road it turns into Bridge Street. I have a few pics of the house I can email Dan. At the very least, has very similar lines.

  5. Bob Weingarten

    over the weekend, I will look at 21 Bridge Street to determine if this is the house. But again this is not Green’s Farms area.

    • Seth Schacter

      Ok– The house is close to Imperial (between Compo and Imperial). I realize its not “Greens Farms” but thought that since Bridge Street is an extension of “Greens Farms” Road maybe it could be the house. But…. that might be a stretch of thinking on my part.

  6. Bob Weingarten

    I’ve looked at the house and the only feature which is in both houses is the lattice work but not in the same place. Also the WPA 1930s photo has three chimney stacks and looks like three different houses were placed together. From the road the 21 Bridge Street looks like it only has 1 chimney stack and looks more like an integrated house then separate houses placed together. Keep on looking.

  7. This house is (was) at the corner of Greens Farms and Clapboard Hill. It was torn nearly completely down save for a bit of foundation and chimney to appease the zoning people. The view shown in the picture did not face the street, making it tough to identify. I spent much of my childhood in this house, as I lived further down the same driveway. Thanks for the memories!

  8. Wendy Crowther

    Don Kubie, you’re right. Here is a link to this house on the CT State Library’s archives – it identifies it as at the corner of Greens Farms Road and Clapboard Hill.

    What a shame that it was nearly all torn down. Now that I know where it was, I remember it too. Sigh.