For decades, the only way to cross from one side of the Saugatuck train station railroad tracks to the other was through a dark, grungy, water-dripping pedestrian tunnel.
Westporters were used to it. First-time visitors were appalled.
In 2015, a partnership between the Westport Police Department — they’re in charge of railroad parking — and the Westport Arts Center, with gifts from Bill Scheffler and his wife Ann Sheffer, Robin Tauck, the late Gordon Joseloff and others, turned the sometimes-scary passageway into a stunning art gallery.
Westport native and noted artist Miggs Burroughs created 16 LED-lit lightboxes. Each continued a lenticular image that combined one from a 100-year-old postcard of Westport’s past, with a current shot of the same scene.
Downtown, Compo Beach, Longshore, the station itself — all are displayed in fascinating then-and-now fashion. It’s a much more welcoming “Welcome to Westport.”
Now there’s another lightbox nearby — on the station wall itself. And this one even says “Welcome.”
Miggs and the WPD worked with renowned lighting designer Gary Novasel to create a custom LED light panel.
The image changes from a view of the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge to a beach scene.
Those 2 iconic views of Westport now greet visitors. It’s one more way to let them know we’re glad they’re here.
And residents coming off the train will be happy to know they’re home too.