Emma Morano died on Saturday, in Italy. The world’s oldest woman — and the last person on earth known to have lived in the 1800s — she was 117 years old.
Here in Westport, a demolition permit has been issued for 233 Hillspoint Road. The notice affixed to the side of the building puts its age at 117 years.
It too has a link to Italy: Most recently, it was the site of Positano. That restaurant closed at the end of 2014. It reopened several months later at its present location, next to the Westport Country Playhouse.
Positano was the last in a storied line of restaurants at 233 Hillspoint. Perhaps its most popular predecessor was Cafe de la Plage.
In between, it was (briefly) the Beach House:
In the mid-1900s, Westporters knew it as Leo Williams’ Old Mill Restaurant:
Before that, it was both the Beach Food Mart, and Joe’s:
In its 117 years, #233 Hillspoint has seen a lot. The neighborhood has changed — many times. Old Mill Beach has thrived, eroded, and come back to life.
Of course, there were floods, like Hurricane Carol in 1954 …
… and SuperStorm Sandy 59 years later:
From these photos, it’s likely the property started out as a private home.
Once demolition as complete, that’s probably what it will become again.
But this is 2017. Not 1899.
Odds are good it will not look the same.