Oh My 06880 — Photo Challenge #34

Carissa Baker was the winner of last week’s photo challenge. She nailed Lynn U. Miller’s shot of the columns outside Town Hall. In Carissa’s day it was known as Bedford Elementary School. Either way — it’s a handsome building, and we congratulate Carissa! (To see the photo and comments, click here.)

Here is this week’s challenge:

Oh My 06880 - August 23, 2015

You know the drill. Click “Comments” if you know where in Westport this is — and add any back story you wish.

18 responses to “Oh My 06880 — Photo Challenge #34

  1. Fairfield County Hunt Club

  2. Hunt and Downs bldg Pitney Post rd and rt 33

  3. Barbara Sherburne '67

    Fairfield County Hunt Club

  4. I agree Hunt and downs build frieze at corner of route one and Wilton Rd

  5. Diane h silfen

    Yes I also think it is The Hunt & Downs building Riverside and Post Rd

  6. Rick, James and Diane — all correct. It is the Hunt & Downs building on the corner of the Post Road and Riverside Avenue. You have to look closely (while sitting at the light on Post Road West or Wilton Road) to see the frieze — but it’s there. Anyone know who Hunt and/or Downs was/were?

    • Leon Hunt and Morris Downs appear to have been two plumbers who built up a successful real estate construction/development company in Westport (at least from what I can piece together from a brief online search). Among other projects, they were apparently involved in the teardown of the building on the site of the intersection of the Post Road and Main Street to make way for the construction of the Y building donated by the Bedford family back in the early 1920s.

      • Nancy W Hunter

        Sorry, Fred, you’ve got it wrong. “Hunt” is my bro (actually both bros).
        Cheers to you! Great research!

  7. Hunt & Downs building is my guess too. As Diane notes it sits at the corner of the Post Road and Riverside Avenue (not Wilton Road) or at the south east corner of that intersection.

  8. Whoops — missed Dan’s confirmation by one minute!

  9. Historic Resources Inventory only gives historic and architectural information about the building. Nothing about Mr. Hunt or Mr. Downs (or is it Miss or Mrs. Hunt, Downs?!)

  10. Jacques Voris

    I can’t offer any insight into Downs or Hunt, but I can offer this….
    Around 1924 that intersection was known as Darrow’s corner. It was there on 22 November 1924 that Constable George W Mills was struck by an automobile while directing traffic after a football game. He died from his injuries four days later. George was the father of Woody Mills that everyone seems to know so well.
    Interesting, back in the 1970s my mother was part of some project documenting dangerous intersections in Connecticut, and us children we photographed as part of that. It was then, and has been for a very long time, one of the, if not the, most dangerous intersections in the whole state

    • Nancy W Hunter

      Fascinating story, Jacques. The more of these stories, whether written or told, the better! Keeping history alive.

  11. John F. (J-period) Wandres

    Hunt & Downs building, corner of Riverside Ave. and Post Road West.

  12. Wendy Crowther

    Based on Westport Directories for 1917 and 1921, Fred Cantor has it right. In 1917 Leon Hunt (first initial I. which he did not use) and Morris P. Downs had the Hunt & Downs company which did “plumbing, heating and tinning.” They were located on “State near bridge.” By 1921, Hunt and Downs had expanded with the addition of Sunderland. Victor L. Sunderland was Pres/Treas of Sunderland Construction Co. Hunt Downs & Sunderland was listed as an insurance and real estate business located at at 2 Riverside Ave.at corner of W. State. This partnership remained as is through at least 1929. However, by 1931, the company was listed in the directory as Downs & Sunderland, and it was still in the real estate and insurance business. Hunt was still living in Westport but there was no job listed for him.

    An article in the Bridgeport Telegram published Feb 4, 1928 reported that Hunt, Downs and Sunderland had just made “the biggest real estate deal in the history of Westport involving the largest amount of money” when they sold a block of five stores, three studios and a manufacturing plant, all in the center of Westport for $100,000. Hunt, Downs and Sunderland were described as real estate operators who were the largest owners of business blocks and other properties in the center of town. They were intending to “dispose of all of their holdings shortly” which were reportedly worth over half a million dollars at the time.

    This would explain why Hunt may have cashed out of the partnership by 1931.

    Lastly, A Bpt Telegram article published on Dec 28, 1923 may indicate when the actual Hunt & Down’s building was built. It says, “The new building on State St. for Hunt & Downs is expected to be ready for occupation about February first. It is a two-story brick building, 110 by 55 feet. The first floor will contain six stores, all of which have been rented, while the second floor will be finished off into nine apartments and two offices. They expect to have one store ready by February.”

  13. BEATUS, CARYL

    MISCELLANEOUS INFO – THE GOODWILL STORE WAS LOCATED IN “THE HUNT BLDG” IN THE 50’S/60’S. NOT EXACTLY SURE OF DATES BUT REMEMBER BUYING A BED AND A STANDING LAMP THERE WHEN I FIRST RENTED A COTTAGE AT 96 SOUTH COMPO FROM DR. WILLIAM PHILIP TEUSCHER IN THE LATE 50’S. BY THE WAY HE ALSO OWNED 142-144-146-148 MAIN STREET.