Category Archives: Photo Challenge

Photo Challenge #242

I could say the heat got to me. But it wasn’t that hot last Sunday.

When Beth DeVoll sent an image for consideration as a photo challenge — it showed weather-beaten wood, a bit of brick, and the number “1” — I thought “aha!”

I’d already used the weather vane on that roof as an early Photo Challenge. This was a nice view of another part of the building.

In fact — as Elaine Marino pointed out seconds after I posted it — I’d already used a very similar photo, a couple of years earlier. She’d guessed the location that time too. (Click here for the shot.)

To be technical though, this time Elaine called it the Westport Housing Authority office. That’s actually #5 Canal Street. Morley Boyd said was the Aquarion pumping station. That’s #15.

James Weisz not only got the location, he identified it correctly as the Westport Public Schools’ facilities department office. Kathie Motes Bennewitz knew that too — though she inexplicably called it “2 Canal Street.”

Also correct, with the address of 1 Canal Street: Kati Krizsan.

This week’s Photo Challenge is a bottle opener. (Kids — ask your parents!) I’ve lived in Westport my whole life, and never noticed this. But it’s in a very public place, which photographer Matt Murray pointed out to me.

If you know where you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

Photo Challenge #241

Westport sure has a lot of bridges.

Last week’s Photo Challenge showed the underside of one. Every “06880” reader figured that out.

But where was it? The William F. Cribari Bridge in Saugatuck? I-95, nearby? The new one on Saugatuck Shores? The old one on Kings Highway North, near Fort Apache?

Nope. No. Nah. No sir.

The image showed the view from underneath the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Memorial Bridge — aka the Post Road bridge over the Saugatuck River. (Click here for the photo.)

It gets tons of vehicle traffic every day, and a decent number of pedestrians. It’s rarer for someone to paddle underneath it. But Maggie Gomez did just that, and sent the shot to “06880.”

As Dan Herman notes, the fiberglass pipes shown are electric and telephone conduits.

Besides Dan, other correct answers came from Rob Hauck, Robert Mitchell, Seth Schachter, Jay Tormey, Seth Braunstein, Jonathan McClure, Fred Rubin, Andrew Colabella, Robert Fatherley, Breno Donatti, Jalna Jaeger and Michael Brennecke.

Maybe there are more paddlers than we realize!

This week’s Photo Challenge is back on dry — very dry — land. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Beth DeVoll)

 

Photo Challenge #240

Last week’s Photo Challenge was a bit of a curveball.

The image showed a sign: “No Little League Parking Beyond This Point.” In the background was a brick building, and some steps. (Click here for the photo.)

The field behind Town Hall! most readers responded.

A great guess. But wrong.

This sign can be seen at The Saugatuck Cooperative — the apartment complex on Bridge Street, between South Compo and Imperial Avenue.

Michael Calise and Chip Stephens — former Little Leaguers, back in the day — knew that before it was converted to housing, the building was the site of the original Saugatuck Elementary School. Darcy Sledge — who I don’t think played Little League here — also knew the correct answer. (In its earlier, wooden incarnation it was called the Bridge Street School.)

The playground and most athletic fields fell into disuse when Saugatuck El closed, back in the 1980s. But Little League continued to use the small diamond there up until a few years ago, even after the school was re-imagined as apartments.

Fred Cantor — who took the photo — is a longtime sports fan (and former Staples soccer player). Play ball!

Maggie Gomez provides this week’s Photo Challenge. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Maggie Gomez)

Photo Challenge #239

I thought last week’s Photo Challenge might have needed some detective work.

Lee Scharfstein’s image showed the outline of a bullet. Inside were the words “Bullet proof.”

It’s in the police station lobby. If you’ve ever bought a PAL fireworks ticket there, or gone for (ahem) some other reason, you might have seen it. It’s at the bottom of the heavy glass reception window, in the lobby.

Bobbie Herman, Diane Silfen, Rich Stein, Sharon Paulsen, Jonathan McClure, Andrew Colabella and Brooks Sumberg all knew exactly where that window is. Congratulations — may the force be with you!

The glass is bullet-proof for a reason.

On the morning of July 4, 1961 Brendan McLaughlin — a former Marine working as a New York advertising executive — shot and killed his father during a family argument.

The murder took place in the McLaughlins’ old Victorian house on Gorham Island (the site today of that 40,000-square foot office building).

McLaughlin fled. An hour before dawn he burst into the police station on Jesup Road. He pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and fired at 2 policemen behind the front desk, wounding Donald Bennette.

Officers chased him into the parking lot, where he shot officer Andrew Chapo. A shootout ensued; McLaughlin was wounded.

Chapo and Bennette recovered. McLaughlin died several weeks later.

The police station lobby was renovated in 1988. Mindful of the July 4th tragedy, greater security measures were installed.

Here’s this week’s Photo Challenge. If you know where in Westport you’d find this warning sign, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Fred Cantor)

Photo Challenge #237

If you spend a lot of time at the Saugatuck train station — and who doesn’t, given Metro-North’s we’ll-get-here-when-we-feel-like-it approach to scheduling? — you’re used to looking up and down the tracks.

And up and down, and all around, everywhere else.

So last week’s Photo Challenge was a snap. Steve Alter, Seth Braunstein, Yulee Aronson, Linda Amos, Fred Cantor, Seth Schachter, Andrew Colabella, Breno Donatti, John Kekkey, Michelle Scher Saunders, Tammy Barry, Jill Odice, Clark Thiemann, A. Darcy Sledge, Jonathan McClure and Amy Schneider all knew that Gene Borio’s photo showed a light fixture above the tracks.

There’s no back story. It’s just one of those familiar Westport scenes we’re all used to. Click here for the photo.

This week’s Photo Challenge is tougher than the last one. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

Photo Challenge #236

I wouldn’t call last week’s Photo Challenge a curveball.

But the handsome house shot by Peter Barlow (click here to see) is definitely not where “06880” readers thought it was.

Guesses included Baron’s South, Bridge Street, Main Street, Long Lots Road, Riverside Avenue and the Saugatuck Congregational Church parsonage.

It could have been any of those places. All are admired for maintaining a decent number of historic homes, despite the teardown epidemic.

But the Queen Anne structure is on the old Nyala Farm property. That’s the office complex between the Sherwood Island connector and Greens Farms Road, not far from I-95 exit 18.

It took a while. Finally, Kieran O’Keefe, Morley Boyd, Susan Lloyd and Michael Calise checked in with the correct answer. Susan noted that the house was where the dairy manager lived; Michael said it was the home of the Horace Lanute family.

Westport Historical Society house historian Bob Weingarten added this:

The house was built by George Fairchild, Sr. in 1879 from land he purchased from Frederick Sherwood in 1864. After a few other owners, Edward T. Bedford purchased it in 1913. It was used as the herdsman house. It passed to Frederick T. Bedford in 1931. During World War II the house was occupied by Ruth Bedford Foster. It was purchased by Stauffer Chemical company in 1970, and used as a corporate guest house. Now it is part of the Nyala Farms property.

Not long after, Eve Potts added:

That house was slated to be demolished, way back when I was chairman of the Historic District Commission. I made an appointment with the powers that be at Stauffer, who owned the property, and pleaded with them to save the historic house. The reason given for the demolition was that the fire chief felt it was too close to the main building for safety’s sake. Stauffer agreed not to demolish the house. They restored and refurbished it, and used it as a guest house for visitors.

“It’s in pretty clear sight from Greens Farms Road — at least in winter, when there’s less foliage,” Barlow says. “It’s near the main gate to Bridgewater.”

Nyala Farm was once a working farm. In the 1970s — after intense zoning battles — it became the site of Westport’s first international corporate headquarters.

Stauffer — the now-defunct chemical company –built the complex. The main tenant is now Bridgewater. Through herbicides and hedge funds — and thanks to a very strong, Greens Farms Association-driven zoning agreement — the house has remained.

“I think this is an easy puzzle,” Barlow says. “But somehow people just drive past this house without noticing.”

He’s right. I’ve lived here all my life. I saw cows get milked at Nyala Farm. But I never knew that house was there.

do know where this week’s Photo Challenge is. If you do too, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Gene Borio)

Photo Challenge #235

With everything going on last Sunday — beautiful weather, the opening of the Westport Library, the Tom Petty Project at the Levitt — “06880” readers can be forgiven for not having the “time” to spend on our Photo Challenge.

“Time” is in quotes because Lynn Untermeyer Miller’s image showed a big, handsome, old-fashioned clock. (Click here to see.)

A couple of people thought it was at the train station. A smart guess — but wrong.

Then came many more stabs. I hinted it was “near” the station. More wrong guesses: Bistro du Soleil. The fire station. Bridge Square. Viva’s. Nope!

Finally — on Tuesday afternoon at 3:01 — Jonathan McClure admitted he was guessing, and said: Rive Bistro.

Bingo!

The clock (which is broken — stuck at 12:26) is on the patio outside the Riverside Avenue restaurant. It must be one of those landmarks we all pass, but never notice.

I don’t know why it’s there — or where it came from originally. If you do, click “Comments” below.

And click for this week’s Photo Challenge too. It’s a beautiful house — and still standing. Do you know where?

(Photo/Peter Barlow)

Photo Challenge #234

Wow — last week’s Photo Challenge was harder than I thought.

The image itself was obvious: an aerial photo of Staples High School, in its autumnal glory. (Click here for the great shot.)

The challenge was: Where in Westport can you see the actual photograph?

There were plenty of incorrect guesses: Westport Library, the Senior Center, the Board of Education office, Rolnick Observatory, a charging station (!), even Staples itself.

Here’s the correct answer: It hangs in Town Hall — on the main floor, around the first corner to the right as you walk in the front door. To be precise: near the tree warden and Conservation Commission’s office.

It’s just part of a remarkable series of aerial photos, all taken by Larry Untermeyer a few years ago. They provide a great, comprehensive, beautiful bird’s-eye view of our town.

Congratulations Matt Murray, Tammy Barry, Patti Brill, Wanda Tedesco, Bruce Salvo and Andrew Colabella. You must spend a lot of time at Town Hall.

The rest of you: Go see the photos for yourselves!

Now it’s “time” for this week’s Photo Challenge. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Photo Challenge #233

Back in the day, the Saugatuck River lapped up against the backs of stores on the west side of Main Street. Pipes discharged raw sewage directly into the river.

And no one really thought twice about it.

Parker Harding Plaza was built in the mid-1950s. Now the river is much narrower — hemmed in by concrete on the eastern side.

Yet water is still dumped into the river — as shown in Amy Schneider’s image, aka last week’s Photo Challenge. Of course, it’s a lot cleaner today.

Brett Adams, Diane Silfen, Seth Schachter, Seth Braunstein, Jonathan McClure, Patrick Church, Joelle Malec, Fred Rubin, Brian Senatore, Amelie Babkie and Bobbi Essagof all knew that Amy’s shot was taken near the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, close to Starbucks. It’s a fairly common sight — if you know where and when to look. (Click here for the photo.)

Today’s image is not hard to identify. It’s a glorious aerial autumn view of Staples High School, by Larry Untermeyer:

But that’s not the challenge. The question is: Where in Westport would you see this photo?

If you know, click “Comments” below.

Photo Challenge #232

Sylvan Road is well named.

Last week’s Photo Challenge — courtesy of Tom Lowrie — showed a pastoral scene. The flowers, bushes and rock gardens are on a main road. But where?

They’re on Sylvan Road South, near Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens. Marion Kelly, Amy Schneider and Darcy Sledge were quick with the answer. Though I gotta say, last Sunday was gorgeous. They shoulda been outside gardening. (Click here for the photo.)

This week’s Photo Challenge also has a nature’s feel to it. Kinda, anyway.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.