Library’s “River Of Names”: 21st-Century Update

The Westport Library’s Transformation Project is exciting and dynamic. When the official opening takes place June 23, users will enjoy an entirely new experience. Space, usage, programs — all have been reimagined.

But the 2-year renovation has brought changes to some old favorites. More than 150 works of art were removed, reappraised, cleaned, photographed and stored professionally. Some will be back on the “new” library walls.

Others found homes in various town buildings. For example, Robert Lambdin’s 1935 WPA mural “Pageant of History” was relocated to Staples High School.

But what about the River of Names?

That was the 26-foot long, 6-foot high tile work that hung on the lower level, just outside the McManus meeting room.

The River of Names, in the lower level of the Westport Library.

Conceived by Betty Lou Cummings, shepherded along by Dorothy Curran, and commissioned in 1997 as part of a capital campaign, it raised $300,000. All 1,162 tiles were individually created and drawn by artist Marion Grebow.

Some portray historical events, like the founding of Westport, onion farming and the arrival of the railroad.

Others feature favorite places around town: the Compo Beach cannons, Minute Man monument and Staples High School. Some cite local organizations and businesses.

Most show the names of nearly 1,000 families. They honor parents, children and pets. They note when the families came to town, and where they lived.

One of the tiles shows Stevan Dohanos’ Saturday Evening Post cover of the World War II memorial outside the old Town Hall.

Tile donors were promised the River of Names would exist in perpetuity.

Yet finding a new home in the transformed library was difficult.

Fortunately, the library has a 21st-century solution.

An interactive River of Names will be an innovative feature of the new building.

A 43-inch touch-screen digital mural will be on view — and very accessible — on the upper level.

The new River of Names will link historic depictions in the mural to additional information about Westport’s 350-year past.

Another tile shows the YMCA’s Bedford building, constructed in 1923. It’s now the site of Bedford Square.

Iain Bruce — president of the library’s board of trustees — acknowledges the challenge of finding an appropriate location for the mural in the renovated space.

However, he says, the mural — and the entire Transformation Project — has forced the library to reassess how to make its collections and materials more accessible and engaging for everyone.

The new digital mural offers “maximum accessibility, interactivity, and continuity for our community today and for generations to come.” It includes descriptions, narratives, maps and photos. Audio and video clips will be added in the future.

Before the original mural was taken down, Miggs Burroughs photographed and documented each tile. It was removed and stored by a specialized company.

The River of Names includes tiles for the original Westport Library, built in 1908 on the Post Road (now next to Freshii) …

Ann Sheffer — chair of the River of Names Task Force Committee — says she is “thrilled that all this will be available to many more generations of Westport.” She calls digitization “a truly 21st-century demonstration of the role of libraries in preserving our heritage while charting our future.”

The River of Names will be accessible not only to library patrons, teachers and students, but everyone  around the globe, adds Kathleen Motes Bennewitz, Westport’s arts curator who consulted on this project.

Like the original mural River of Names, the digital version is ultimately a home-town product.

Square Squared — a Westport company — was the developer. The firm provides creative solutions for print and digital designs, and audio and video production.

Michael Bud — a Square Squared partner — was introduced to the Westport Library years ago, by his mother, a Coleytown Elementary School teacher. He enjoyed story hour and picture books; later, he researched science fair and other projects there.

He was in high school when the River of Names project was installed, and remembers the buzz. Now his 2 children are frequent library visitors.

Soon — thank to Dad — they’ll be able to access the River of Names, digitally.

Along with the rest of Westport.

And the world.

… as well the current library, opened in 1986, and soon to be “transformed.” (Tile photos courtesy of Fotki.com)

60 responses to “Library’s “River Of Names”: 21st-Century Update

  1. Joyce Barnhart

    If that’s the “River of Names”, what is the walkway with the incised bricks along the river called?

  2. Does this mean that the original tiles will be stored somewhere? If they are being digitized, maybe the originals should be returned to the original donors who may want them.

  3. Jill Greenberg

    Just curious, is the library trying to claim that a digital experience is equivalent to a three dimensional experience? Seems to me one can spin this in any way, but a digital experience will never be the same as seeing something up close and personally. There are many ways to consider the concept “interactive” and I would suggest, especially for children, seeing the entire wall made by human hands allows for awe, inspiration, curiosity no digital view can provide. And how might the artist feel about the wall no longer being a wall? Though I am sure this is the best solution for such a big installation it is actually rather sad. Spin!

  4. A river’s transitory nature is a good descriptor… as most of the River Walk bricks also became illegible within a year. – Chris Woods

  5. William Strittmatter

    Great. A “perpetual” physical wall relegated to the digital world where, like old home movies or videos in the past, it is taking its first step to the never-neverland digital realm of “someday to be happened across by some intrepid historical researcher” artifacts. Always there but rarely seen or passed by anyone.

    Nice that there is an attempt to acknowledge it with the 43” video screen but screens these days are ubiquitous and largely ignored for just that reason – even touchscreens at museums. Hardly the impact of the old wall. Not that folks actually used to stop and study it I suppose.

    I appreciate limitations in the new building and progress means change. Still, somewhat sad.

    Are the original tiles at least being offered up to the original donors as mementos or have they already gone to the trash heap?

  6. John F. Suggs

    So this is how the library rolls out the bad news that it is not keeping its word?!?

    Check out this article from August 2017 on Westport Now when the artist and others expressed fear (rightfully it turns out) that it will not be reinstalled in the new library:

    “Library Director Bill Harmer, however, insists that the mural will come back, but first it has to be removed in order to protect it from damage during construction.

    “We want to make sure that its protected to show future generations what their history looks like, and where they came from,” Harmer said tonight. “And I’m sure donors in our community will appreciate that. We’ve got time to do this, but it’s coming back.”

    He was further quoted as saying:

    “Harmer insisted “River of Names” will be safeguarded and exhibited again.

    “We’re going to figure that out,” he said. “But, it has to go in stages.”

    https://westportnow.com/index.php?/v3/comments/for_artist_murals_future_uncertain_with_library_expansion/

    While this “digital” display of the panels is all well and good it is not what was promised to the artist or the community.

    For Shame Westport Library – you lied!

  7. This is an amazing article about the library. With many libraries suffering its wonderful to see one make it into the modern age equipped to handle the technology and provide for the community, I’d expect nothing less in Westport. I spent many hours at the library as a child before going off to college and moving out of town but the memories of the Westport Library linger. It was modern back in the 60’s and looks like it’s made big progress for our changing world for generations to come. Westport is lucky to have Ann Sheffer and others work so hard for the town.

  8. Chip Stephens

    PROMISES BROKEN This was not the promise that was given to donors whom honored family and friends passed and present. The video screen is cute but is not forever displaying a piece of promised art that was contracted with those that gave. Kind of like giving a great piece of art to a known museum with the deal that it would be available in perpetuity then taking a picture and showing it virtually, that would start a discussion on worthiness and the lost trust in that institution. (What do you think Mona Lisa or a Warhol).
    I suggest the library think twice about this sham and fess up to where the original is, what shape it is in and why we are here. When it was removed there was a public outcry with a PROMISE it was being professionally removed, archived and stored for future display within the NEW library.
    This will not bode well for future fund raising predicated on memorials.

  9. Elizabeth Thibault

    I’m going to agree with others, that the library, it’s new director, and trustees have gotten it wrong on this one. That mural is beautiful and an absolute showpiece, in it’s own right. I’ve spent many moments with my children and others, admiring the artistry and the sentiments/names captured on the tiles. When we see walls with murals like this (such as in the entryway at Earthplace,) we stop and admire it, because it captures our imagination and stays with us. A “digital” copy isn’t the same, as this was a tactile and interactive instillation.
    I would seriously reconsider the interior design of the spaces and find a location for this. As much as it pains me, I would also reconsider and second guess any further fundraising pleas again, for this sort of thing. (Why weren’t the pavers in the new riverwalk entrance walkway sold with memorial inscriptions? Seems like a pretty big oversight, right there.) It’s not often that the library disappoints me, but this is a pretty big bummer.

    • I agree wholeheartedly! I spend plenty of time staring at screens every day. The physically tangible original tile art was a visual and tactile experience which evoked a genuine emotional response. You can’t come close to that with a computer generated image. Too bad. I can’t understand how they couldn’t find a wall in a huge building to accommodate it. I’m betting the original tiles were shattered into a million pieces and now reside in black trash bags some anonymous warehouse.

  10. This is an unfortunate development. The physicality of the mural en toto was a significant part of its didactic value. Just as one often discovers something one didn’t know they were looking for while searching for a book in the stacks, the tiles, as originally installed, invited discovery. And learning.

  11. Peter J. D. Kelley

    It’s a disgrace that the library has surrendered to the digital age in this fashion by breaking its promise to display the beautiful tiles and ceramic artwork in their original form contributed by many sincere donors in perpetuity as promised. Many of these fine donors to the library have since passed away, my own parents included, and now have no voice, and it’s probably for this reason that the digital army can claim yet another victory for “interactivating” (don’t you just love that word?) the world in its war on visual and the tactile art. What are their next targets for digitization?

  12. Michael Schreder

    big mistake, donors felt the draw of giving with ability to share in the physical grace of their donation and the Library treated their commitment with all the grace of placing their faith in the microfiche drawer. So unlike Westport.

  13. There was a hard cover book showing every one of these tiles along with descriptions for each scene. I was looking at it a few weeks ago, having discovered the book in my house while looking for something else. Now it’s disappeared again. But I found it more informative than seeing the actual tiles.

  14. This is really upsetting. I have always stopped to look at the River of Names. I loved looking at the various tiles as well as my own. A big promise was made to move it properly to a spot in the renovated library. Digital is not the same as the real thing. There is so much artistry as well as history in the project. I would hope they would rethink this decision.

  15. Digitizing the River of Names doesn’t cut it for me, either, and I didn’t buy one. What’s next? Photographing the engraved bricks along River Walk, where my ex-wife and I live together in perpetuity (I thought), and making it a more environmentally sensitive gravel path?

  16. Robert Mitchell

    Kudos to Bill, Ian, and Ann for the imaginative solution to a difficult problem. Yes it was nice to stop and review the wonderful tiles, but it was just not possible to retain that space in the new construct. The new library is going to be fantastic, and the River of Tiles will continue to be a part.in its new incarnation.
    And, I must have mislaid my copy of the document promising the Wall would be there “in perpetuity” when I bought our tile in 1977. I knew then as I know now, life happens and things change.

  17. Rosalie J.. Wolf

    Re River of Names: Apparently they are going to destroy the originals once digitized. Can we intervene? Surely with your help Westport can find a place for them. And what is the principle of their statement: ““The new digital mural offers “maximum accessibility, interactivity, and continuity for our community today and for generations to come.” It includes descriptions, narratives, maps and photos. Audio and video clips will be added in the future.”” Now that many museums make such digital materials available for anyone on the internet, should we destroy all the original paintings? And by the way, weren’t the donors promised that the tiles would be kept in perpetuity ? I love technology/digitalization but it hardly equates to keeping the real artwork.

    Rosalie J. Wolf
    Botanica Capital Partners LLC

  18. If they can’t find space for River of Names in the Library could they perhaps find space for it in the Town Hall or one of the schools?

  19. I want my tile back.

  20. Karen Abramson

    This is very disappointing, and certainly not”interactive”. Children are not going to learn about Westport’s history by looking online. They need to see and touch the whole magnificent display. They will have zero interest in going to a computer and opening up these tiles online. The library planners REALLY missed the boat on this one, and people shouldn’t pretend that it’s a great solution.

  21. Trish Leavitt

    If there is not a place for it in the library, they need to find a special place in town for it. Digital does not not come close to the artwork on the actual tiles. I’m sad about this news, and I wasn’t part of the fundraising project! It is a special piece of art- rightly so in an artistic town. There is time before the grand opening to make this right!

  22. Tom Duquette, SHS '75

    Although I’ve long since moved away and have no direct stake in this project being digitized I agree with the other disappointed contributors here. Digitized tiles as an adjunct to, but not as a replacement of the physical tiles would be acceptable. Storing them in a warehouse along with the Lost Ark of the Covenant from the original “Indiana Jones” movie, never to see the light of day again seems a waste. I guess the concept of “in perpetuity” is fungible these days so future donors beware.

  23. I want the wall reinstalled for all to see and touch. If the tiles are to be destroyed I want our family’s tile back. Digitally how do I as a non resident see our tile? This is not what was originally to happen to the display after renovation. To be clear the river of names should be physically on display in the library proper. I want the tiles installed in the renovated library for all to see and touch as originally planned. DO BOTH—-install it in the renovated library and digitalize it. Digitalizing it only is inadequate.

  24. One of the disadvantages of designing a flexible building appears to be that it comes with a dearth of wall space. My hope is that there will be a solution that returns the physical River of Names to a prominent place in the library. Even more, I would like to have the Riverwalk brick program brought back so those of us who participated can replace our now well worn bricks, while newer Westporters can have the opportunity to add their names.

  25. “Stunned” is not really adequate to describe my reaction to this decision—and I say this as a longtime supporter of the library. I have a hard time accepting that there wasn’t some space in the library that could be found for this wonderful work that was such a perfect blend of local art and local history. I had shown it to others over the years who were all impressed by this unique tribute to the story of Westport. (And naturally I took great pleasure in going back on multiple occasions to check it out.)

    A supplemental digital version sounds great. But to make that the sole rendition of this work is not just a bad idea, it seems like a breach of what was at the very least an implicit promise made to Westporters. I strongly urge the library to reconsider this decision if it is not irrevocable—in other words, if the wall has not been destroyed.

  26. The new library is going to be great, for sure.

    But this is a similar bait-and-switch to the one the Y did when they used their “community” day care services as a fund raising tool and a prime reason for their need to move out of town. They “suddenly” claimed that they didn’t have room for it, obviously knowing all along that they didn’t.

    Here is a similar promise not kept and it’s obvious it was never part of the plan. Love our Library, just wish they were honest about their intentions and didn’t treat donors like they are disposable. “Integrity” shouldn’t just be a word to look up online. – Chris Woods

  27. Lorrie Nantz

    Seems to me that the new library configuration and architectural plans should have MADE a place for the “River of Names.” Apparently that was not in the plan from the get-go, and the cries for its reintroduction into the new facility, in it’s previous form, went unheard. A digital platform does not cut it. The visual of that wall was everything and it’s uniqueness is lost in a digital image. I had a sad feeling that this was going to be the outcome. Yes, technology is better in some ways. In others, not so much. This is a very sad outcome to say the least. People may think twice when asked to donate in this manner. There are many long walls at various locations in town. Hopefully this can be re-purposed elsewhere and not collect dust in a storage facility or centuries to come.

  28. Mary Elliott Sikorski

    This is rather upsetting and totally not what was promised when the River of Names was taken down for the renovation. This is a piece of art not to be stored in some warehouse. If you don’t have a large enough wall space to keep it together in its entirety could you possibly find a few places to display the wall tiles in smaller groupings.

    I purchased my tiles as a memorial for my Dad and for my family. If you are not going to display them, I’d like mine back.

  29. Stacy Prince

    “Mommy, how long is forever?” now has an easy answer: 22 years.

  30. Chip Stephens SHS '73

    I am still waiting to be told the original tile art still exists,
    not looking good after 12 hours of posting of this news.

  31. This is wrong and Mr. Bruce just sold the people who came to the aid of the library, many years ago, down the drain.

  32. Totney Benson

    So sad to hear this. In an age when we are trying to decrease our digital time this seems to be the wrong direction. I too loved visiting the visual and tactile wall, summing the wonderful history in a glance. I too want my tiles back rather than destroyed.
    This seems the same fate as the “first night tunnel mural” created in 2000 by hundreds of school children, also no longer on display.

  33. Dan I can only assume you wrote this article. The spin is so unlike you. “A 21st century solution” really. It appears this decision was made long ago and behind closed doors. Incredibly disappointed. There has to be a wall in Westport where this mural can be “reinstalled”. Like Mr. Stephens I am concerned it even still exists. Disassembled by a “specialty company”, who and where is this original art work stored? My dad was part of that mural, he passed in ‘98 and I am sure is turning in his grave.

  34. Mike Elliott — I asked about the tiles a while before construction began and got a discomforting response, though less specific than what appears to be today’s reality.

  35. Does anyone else find this ironic??? The library, which is filled with 3D books, is getting rid of the 3D tile wall in favor of a digital display. And they want people to continue reading paper books instead of eReaders???

  36. In addition to purchasing the tile (actually two) and two “Riverwalk bricks,” I also made a contribution to the building fund. If I had known what was planned for the tile wall, I certainly would not have made the last contribution.

  37. Hedi Lieberman

    The photo of the tile that represents the old library has a picture of three children. Those are mine. Alex,Lian and Max Teicher. While ai don’t live in Westport anymore it was my children’s home and it is sad that they can’t go and point to their tile anymore.

  38. Can someone from the library please let us know definitively: is the River of Names capable of being rebuilt as originally conceived and installed?

    If so, and if the library board continues in its determination that there is no space in the new library for the reinstallation of the River of Names, will it support (including providing financial support) the transfer of this immensely popular historical artwork to another public space in town? Thank you.

    PS—you can see part of my tile, which I did to honor my mom and dad, next to Thomas Mallon’s in the upper left-hand corner above the large illustrative tile depicting the 1943 Saturday Evening Post cover by Stevan Dohanos and, trust me, seeing that photo online above comes nowhere close to experiencing the view of the actual wall in person.

  39. These tiles were meant to be experienced as a whole piece, complete with their texture. They are not just flat images. If left in some storage facility, odds are they will disappear over time.
    They were part of the library and should be more than just a digital file.

  40. John F. Suggs

    Check out this Youtube Video that was recorded just days before the Library took down the “River of Names” donor tiles mural. Dorothy Curran, standing in front of the mural, speaks about the library’s promise to its donors that their tiles would be displayed “in the Library for perpetuity.” She also prophetically warns that there is no written plan for safe removal, storage or future placement of the 24.5′ X 6′ murals 1,162 tiles.

    I guess the lesson learned here is if anyone ever wishes to donate to the Library to memorialize their love ones AND expects the Library to honor its word – GET IT IN WRITING! But don’t believe me, watch the video below and refresh your memories of just how beautiful and special this mural was.

    • John, as you know, I worked in the area of consumer protection law for a number of years. If this wall is never restored, in my opinion the library would be in a vulnerable position with respect to any original donors who might want some kind of refund. I certainly hope it never comes to that and hopefully the library board will find a way to reinstall the wall, whether it be in the new library or another suitable public space. Thanks for posting this video.

      • Marci Caporizzo

        Fred….Thank you for this video….Everyone should watch it and then be willing to be a part of the solution….Accountability for this change/action needs to be taken and definitely a new place found….as many of the people posting here on (06880) have voiced…it is feared that the tiles have been destroyed….how disheartening and tragic should this be found to be the case.

        Mistakes are made by us all…. but the measure of a man is what he does with his mistakes….this decision was definitely a poor one but if the tiles still do exist they MUST GRACE THE WALLS OF SOME FACILITY (THE LIBRARY) FOR THE FUTURE or all promises made for the longevity and perpetuity of this work of art were without measure.

        One of the 06880 responders mentioned getting a committee together to investigate and hopefully resolve this tragic event….I second that and from the comments showing up here on Dan Woog’s wonderfully designed blog (thanks again Dan) there are plenty of people just primed and waiting to offer support for a solution….hopefully there is one piece of common ground here that one can start with to go forward with a search for a solution….what’s done is DONE and now we need to work together to reinstate this beautifully historic piece of art.

        As one post mentioned about the Vietnam wall….yes…why could this not be made into an outside exhibition that can be viewed 24/7 and around the wall there could be a walk with plantings and gardens encouraging folks to pause in nature and behold all of the beauty of Westport. Monitoring cameras could be installed so that any attempt, should one be made to tamper or deface this exhibit…it would be recorded. The library is right next door to the police station for safety measures.

        A committee would be an excellent place to start an investigation and dialog to get to the bottom of this and to work towards restoring it for posterity and perpetuity as a treasured work of art in such an artistic community as ours IS.

        I have many irons in the fire just now but would be willing to be a part of this effort if someone out there wants to organize it. Let the people of Westport now become a part of the solution.

  41. Lisa Podurgiel

    This is tremendously disappointing on many levels. The powers that be at the library need to rethink their decision.

    And I agree: total spin.

  42. Joyce Barnhart

    Does anybody really believe that a digital version of the wall is a good alternative to the actual tiles? If that’s true, then the Vietnam Memorial in D.C. might just as well be removed and replaced with a digitized version. After all, it would be much easier to find a deceased veteran’s name digitally and the outdoor space could become a green space. It certainly seems that we were lied to because obviously a space for the wall could have been incorporated right from the beginning of the renovation.

  43. Elisabeth Keane

    Bad enough that books have been relegated to the basement. or someplace. Books in a library. What a concept. It is unacceptable that the River of Names has been jettisoned. However, basements and lower levels tend to have walls. It would not be ideal but could room be made for the real River of Names there? Why has there been silence from the library about this? One does not need to think about doing the right thing. One simply does it.

    My husband and I bought a Riverwalk brick with our names incised on it when that opportunity was offered. If those bricks are going to be removed I want my brick.

    • This is the most dispiriting library development since the director boasted of having “liberated” thousands of square feet that once belonged to books.

  44. The more I think about this the more upset I get. Perhaps Jim Marpe has a tile on the wall and he should step in here and make things right. A legal solution could be in the cards. I am not a lawyer but I am sure some lawyer in Town donated funds to buy a tile and that lawyer could possibly get a cease and desist order to stop. I would gladly donate funds to stop this misguided act. I also would want my tile back too but would much rather see it on a wall.

  45. Holly Hightower

    This is a surprising, and disappointing, update from the Westport Public Library. I respectfully request that the Library and Town leadership reconsider & incorporate the original tile mural back into the library. In my experience, one of the things that distinguishes the Westport community is the commitment to the people who help create civic opportunities, to honor the arts and to maintain town history. Losing the original art, which was committed to both the organizers and the donors at the time, would be a loss to members of the community and to the spirit of those who participated in helping the town build a strong library. Augmenting the presence of original artwork by providing an interactive component is welcome. I attended the 1986 dedication of the “new” library when it moved to its current location, and we have family “books” on the wall in the lower left corner. My sons have enjoyed viewing the mural and have learned about many people and places on the wall as we visited the library. The mural is compelling and unique when it is together – much like the community. Please reconsider.

  46. Once again, the touch and feel of Westport is being abandoned for what exactly? A digital archive? There is a difference between being a voyeur and observing Westport tradition and history on a website and running your fingers over the tiles, reminding yourself why you are at the library, why you contributed, why it’s so important to experience the intimacy of the artistry and character of the town. Keep the tiles. Find the appropriate public space in the library. By removing the tiles for a digital collection, the library is betraying its people—past, present and future.

  47. Why not find an alternative location, this is Westport… We’re a creative bunch for sure!
    Do we need to form a comittee to find a spot?
    It’s too meaningful and beautiful to be in storage and thousands of people were promised perpetuity, why not be honorable and figure it out?

    • John F. Suggs

      The problem is that no one in the public know if the donor tiles even still exist. The library remains frightfully quiet about their current status. It is feared that the donor tiles were destroyed after the digitalization process. No one knows. And those that do know have been keeping alarmingly silent.

      Westport Library, Ian Bruce, Bill Harmer, please, what has been done to the donor tiles? Are they safe or have they been destroyed? For God’s sake, speak up, please!

  48. Marci Caporizzo

    I agree with Dan Herman and many others….a place needs to be found….why can’t they be installed along the interior stairways at least if they cannot find another interior space…..also the Town Hall boasts a lot of historical works of art on their walls….perhaps there. If worse comes to worse then erect a safe place on the exterior of the library and enclose the tiles protecting them from the environment….at least they will be on view for all to enjoy exploring and photographing…..history should not find its way into the trash….however if that is the case the word ‘Perpetuity’ has no place in our dictionaries.

    Seems that SOME PERFECT PLACE could be found in our town for promises made in return for monetary contributions!!!

    PLEASE put your thinking caps on Westport Library and solve this issue as we as Westporters always find workable solutions to our problems.

    My parents have deeded property over to the town they live in for ‘Open Space in Perpetuity’ because they want our future generations to know what ‘open space’ is and to enjoy taking pleasure and renewal in Nature….hoping that one day the town will not decide to build a school or much worse a sewerage treatment facility….but the reality of it is that once they, their children and our children’s children are gone…who is going to keep tabs on what happens to the land….no-one. Someone owned the land before them and someone will own it after they have gone…in the meantime we all are just stewards of property while we live and we place our hopes that a ‘Mans word is his Creed to be protected as long as he lives’… a promise is only as good as the MAN WHO MAKES IT! Here’s hoping that the legacy of Westport will be an honorable one and that a place can be found for this piece of History.

  49. The silence from the Library board is deafening. Like the Ospreys this mural was a living, breathing thing. A wonderfully historic walk down Westport’s memory lane in a town “perpetually” boasting itself as an artists community. This timeless art must be restored.

  50. I agree totally with Mr. Suggs, Mr. Bruce and Mr. Harmer need to gain a little courage and quit dodging the response they need to make and that is, where are tiles and what will happen to the tiles if they are still in existence?

  51. This is so disappointing at so many levels. The point has been well made by many here…digitization is not the same as seeing the Mural as a whole! It is a work of art and should be treated as such. Did anyone ever really believe that we would see those tiles again?? Everyone involved in this subterfuge should be ashamed.

  52. Annelise McCay

    Shameful, it is disrespectful to the artists, all the time, artistry, research & thoughtful planning that went into the mural. Also, disrespectful to all the family community donors who originally funded the project.
    The digital version is a Flimsy substitute, and sugar coating it doesn’t make it ok.
    Very poor planning is what is really apparent here.

  53. Audrey Doniger

    I’ve just learned about the prospect of the loss of the wall…I want my tile back..it was a gift to me and my family from my oldest son,who, at the time could I’ll afford it…He knew how important the library was to me..my second home…I would rather it stay as part of the mural…I’m sad at the whole business..

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