Every Post Road driver smiles at the sculptures in front of Winslow Park Animal Hospital.
The Playhouse Square light ensures we have plenty of time to enjoy the ever-changing holiday decorations there.
But long before veterinarians named their practice after a neighboring dog park, a restaurant was named for a nearby theater.
The other day in the animal hospital, Bob Weingarten spotted a photo of the building on the mantle.
The local house historian and experienced researcher was intrigued.
Bob asked the Westport Country Playhouse about the photo. Company manager Bruce Miller supplied a few more photos.
But the Playhouse archives had no further information about the Kitchen — except to say they had not operated it.
Digging further, Bob learned that the building was moved from Long Island to Westport around 1835, with 2 adjacent structures.
(That was around the time the town of Westport was officially established, breaking off from Norwalk, Weston and Fairfield. The meeting was held at the Saugatuck Congregational Church — directly across the street, where 2 gas stations are now. The church moved diagonally across the Post Road in 1950.)
All 3 buildings were called the “Tannery Cottages.” They were used to house employees for the Morocco Manufacturing tannery, first owned by R. & H. Haight and then Charles H. Kemper until the beginning of 1900s.
In 1931, the tannery behind the cottages was transformed into the Westport Country Playhouse.
The WCP sold the building in 2012. Winslow Park Animal Hospital was established the next year.
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Love these stories about the town’s history. I remember the church move across the Post Road, it was quite a show!
Isn’t that the building where you went to get a Minnybus pass, a few years ago?
I have NO memory of this building as a restaurant. What was it between not being The Kitchen and when WCP sold it to WPAH? When was it originally built?
General kudos on these pieces both to you, Dan, and Bob Weingarten for the History Sleuthing. Saved to my W06880 History files.
Wasn’t it a waterbed store back in the 70s?
Yes. And I bought a waterbed there. The guy who was working there was named “Bouvier” (I can’t remember if it was his first or last name). Jokingly, I said “Related to Jackie?”
He looked startled. “Yes,” he said. “But no one here knows that.”
In the 1970’s and 1980’s I believe this building was the home of two residential real estate offices. First Elspeth Peck Associates then Lisa Reese’s Reese Associates/Coldwell Banker firm (which had acquired Els Pecks office around 1985?). Reese Associates had moved from what was known as Village Square off Parker Harding Plaza, overlooking Gorham Island when the Victorian era house was there, to this Post Road location.