Friday Flashback #331

Last week’s Friday Flashback featured a fantastic foto from Steve Turner. One fall day in the mid-1980s, the 1971 Staples High School graduate took a helicopter flight over Westport, and snapped a stunning shot of would soon become known as Winslow Park (and beyond).

Steve returns this week for an encore performance. This summertime image of Gorham Island, Parker Harding Plaza (and beyond) was also from the 1980s — though definitely after 1986.

If you know how it’s dated with such certainty, click Comments below.

Feel free too to add any thoughts on how much Westport has changed in the nearly 40 years since.

Or not.

(Photo/Steve Turner)

10 responses to “Friday Flashback #331

  1. I’d guess that the building on Gorham Island now dates to 1986 or shortly after, and that’s how you know the age of the photo. The white frame house on the island was so much nicer than that odd gold office building.

  2. It’s likely that the photo can be dated to 1986 because that odd gold building on Gorham Island was probably built around that time. I liked that big white frame house much more, but I could never look at it without imaging lots of rats in its basement and walls.

  3. Jill Turner Odice

    Another stunning image from Steve!!!

  4. The replacement of the old white turn of the century house with the new modern building on Gorham Island.

    • The office building on Gorham Island goes further back than the 1980s. Maybe this view was the first drone photo over Westport!

  5. The “new” library?

  6. Fred is correct. The “new” library was built in 1986!

  7. While I am unable to enlarge the photograph, it seems that the Post Road bridge still has arches underneath. At some point, by the mid 1990s at the latest, a girder bridge replaced the arches, so if one can date that, it will narrow the range of dates.

  8. Jill Turner Odice

    Peter Barlow, Steve never used a drone. Early days he used a plane and then a helicopter

  9. I posted this on Facebook asking for help to identify the date of the picture, and I finally figured it out from a long time resident/architect.

    Though you can’t see it since I retouched it out in the original image, the Senior Center on Imperial Ave was in the background, and a blue tarp on the roof indicated it was in the finishing stages of construction. The senior center was completed in 2004. So, this picture is Westport in 2004!

    Westport sure had changed by then, compared to when I was a kid growing up there, and it has changed even more since. It sort of makes me sad how it has changed over the years.

    I moved in 1995, but frequently fly over the town in the helicopter, flying to and from aerial photography projects, and whenever I get the chance,I spend a few minutes hunting around my old hometown for interesting pictures to make.

    Westport is still a beautiful town when seen from the bird’s eye perspective but it’s lost its special allure of earlier days for sure!

    Main Street is hardly recognizable compared to the days of my youth when there were only unique and interesting little shops like Remarkable Book Shop, the old 5 and dime store, The Selective Eye, Bill’s Smoke Shop, the drug store on the corner with the old-fashioned soda fountain, and that little hardware store that made you feel like you were stepping back in time when you went inside, even back then!

    The wonderful eateries that were so iconic of Westport like The Arrow Restaurant, Marios, Art’s Deli, Oscars (when it was just a little hole in the wall), The Ice Cream Parlor, Pal Joey’s, Ship’s Lantern, Ye Olde Bridge Grill…all gone without a trace.

    And architectural landmarks like the McLaughlin mansion on Gorham Island are torn down to make way for a modern office building.

    Some will say, that’s just progress and you can’t stop progress, but that’s not really true.

    There are other beautiful Connecticut towns that fiercely resist those kinds of changes like Sherman or Bridgewater that are essentially just as beautiful and authentic as they were decades ago.

    It’s just a shame that Westport’s P&Z wasn’t as foresightful…but I guess when developers step in, Money talks!

    Just my 2 cents worth…

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