In one corner, we have a 6-story, 48-unit apartment complex proposed for a 1.16-acre parcel of land on the corner of Wilton Road and Kings Highway North.
Right next to it, we have an 1,800-square foot home, on 1.8 acres. In 1988, it won a House Beautiful contest for the “Best Small House in America.”
That home — being cited by opponents of the planned apartments as much more in keeping with the streetscape, scale and marshland environment of the heavily trafficked area — was featured in a March 13, 1988 New York Times story.
The house is 42 feet at its highest point. There’s a 30-foot high cathedral, plus 3 bedrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, office, 3 full baths, 2 half-baths, sauna, exercise room and family room, Not too shabby — or small, really.
Architect Bruce Beinfield’s “whimsical” design, blended modern and traditional architecture. The view from the rear looks across the Taylortown salt marsh and Saugatuck River, to downtown Westport.
The Times said the land — purchased in April 1987 for $213,000 — passed through a number of owners over the years. During construction, workers found evidence of a house from a half century ago.
Asked why no one had developed the site since then, builder James A. Olson Sr. said, “Apparently people didn’t realize the potential of the property.”
The owners of the proposed 48 apartment complex next door sure do.
Bonus fun fact: The home was listed originally for $990,000. A William Pitt broker said, “I guess some people felt that because it’s small, it would sell for about $200,000.”