Tag Archives: Bedford Square

Pic Of The Day #481

Bedford Square art (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

New Paltz Artist Opens New Gallery Here

New Paltz is a funky Hudson Valley town. It’s home to the famed Mohonk Mountain House, and boasts (according to ILoveNY.com) “a lively music scene, farm-to-table eateries, and charming boutiques and cafes.”

Sort of like we kind of imagine Westport to be (without the Victorian castle).

So when Ryan Cronin looked beyond New Paltz for his new gallery, he chose Bedford Square.

“As socially conscious, artistic entrepreneurs with a passion for community relationships and adventure, we put a great deal of thought” into their 2nd location, says CronArtUSA co-owner (and Ryan’s wife) Melanie Cronin.

Ryan Cronin

When they heard about this town, she says, “we sat down, cracked our knuckles, and immersed ourselves in the Westport world. Our extensive research all came back with one positive affirmation: Westport was the perfect place to spread our mission (‘Art for good’) and vision (‘Be part of the art’).”

Westport’s rich history as an artists’ colony, and strong appreciation for the arts, were important. The Public Art Collection — including so many works in each school — sealed the deal.

“Ryan is a firm believer in making art accessible,” Melanie says. “Any community that makes major works of art part of children’s everyday life is one we want to be part of.”

The Bedford Square gallery offers Ryan Cronin’s original works and prints, along with special merchandise ranging from apparel to home goods.

Inside CronArtUSA’s Bedford Square gallery.

So far, Melanie says, Westport has been “welcoming and inquisitive.”

The New Paltz gallery and gift shop has become a community hub and gathering place, for artists and social activists alike. The couple hope the Westport site becomes the same.

(CronArtUSA is open in Bedford Square from 1 to 6 p.m. every day except Monday, and by appointment. Click here for more information.)

Photo Challenge #178

Downtown Westport has tons of shortcuts.

You just have to know where to look.

Let’s say you bought a beautiful bedroom set at Design Within Reach (the old post office). But you also need a French press from the new Williams- Sonoma in Bedford Square.

You could cross the Post Road (carefully!), then circle all the way around Patagonia to Church Lane. You could do the same with Sconset Square.

It’s quicker to walk through the small underground parking area next to Westport Pizzeria, or cut straight through Urban Outfitters.

But the really fun way is to take the narrow alleyway between Urban Outfitters and Cotélac. It hides there in plain sight, a direct shot for those who know about it.

Yet maybe no one does. A mural painted — somehow — on the tight wall of Urban Outfitters was last week’s photo challenge. I took it earlier this month. (Click here for the photo. It’s pretty cool, if I do say so myself.)

But are the muralists and I the only people who know about the alley?

Perhaps. Only one person — one! — guessed last Sunday’s photo challenge.

And it took Staples High School senior Nicole Arellano 6 days — all the way until yesterday — to come up with the right answer.

Well done, Nicole. It was worth waiting for!

This week’s photo challenge should be easier.

I hope.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

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

Photo Challenge #174

Bedford Square has changed the way Westporters use downtown.

Its courtyard, stairways and several entrances and exits provide shortcuts between Church Lane, Main Street and Elm Street. It’s taken a while, but many folks now zip into, through and out of the handsome retail/restaurant/ residential complex that replaced the YMCA.

As work continues on the adjacent property — the old Bobby Q’s restaurant — a once-hidden alley has been exposed to the public. Now everyone can see the graffiti there.

Eileen Lavigne Flug, Arnie Rusoff, Jeff Giannone, James Weisz, Lawrence J. Zlatkin, Bob Weingarten, Ben Pool, Michelle Saunders, Chris Buckley, Breno Donatti, Andrew Colabella, Ralph Balducci, Michael Calise, John Moran, Suzanne Ford, Sal Liccione and Alison Patton all quickly identified last week’s photo challenge — a photo of “Stop War” graffiti — as that alley. (Click here to see Betsy P. Kahn’s image.)

Can our alert readers be so quick with this week’s challenge?

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

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

Friday Flashback #86

Two weeks ago, our Friday Flashback showed the unchanging nature of an important downtown crossroads.

A time traveler from decades ago would have no difficulty today recognizing the Westport Bank & Trust building (though some of the fashions at the present tenant, Patagonia, might surprise her).

Across Church Lane, the transformation of the Westport Weston YMCA into Bedford Square has altered — but not radically changed — the streetscape.

Of course, it did not always look that way.

Here’s a view of Main Street, at what was then called “The Square” (note the horse watering trough in the middle). The building on the right was replaced by the Westport Hotel — which itself was replaced in 1923 by E.T. Bedford’s gift to the town, the YMCA.

(Photo courtesy of Westport Historical Society)

Another view — looking west up the Post Road, toward the Saugatuck River — shows the building on the Main Street corner (on the right) from another angle.

(Photo courtesy of Westport Historical Society)

Check out the trolley. It provided great local transportation, with branches running from downtown to Saugatuck and Compo Beach.

And where was the trolley barn?

Somewhere on Church Lane. So — despite its current unchanging look — that area was indeed different, back in the day.

(Photo courtesy of Paul Ehrismann)

Photo Challenge #161

Three “06880” readers thought it looked like the old YMCA pool.

They were close. But last week’s photo challenge showed tile that was uncovered when 36 Elm Street was torn down. (Click here for the photo.)

That’s the downtown building a few feet away from the Y. Most recently, it housed Villa del Sol restaurant.

The demolition was part of a land swap between the town and David Waldman — the Bedford Square developer who took the photo challenge image.

David said his photo showed the floor of “the original Brasserie St. Germaine — I think.” Was that the first restaurant? I don’t know. I do remember Werner’s, which occupied that spot for many years.

Chip Stephens was the only “06880” reader to identify “the remains of Villa del Sol.” Perhaps he recalls Werner’s too — or Brasserie St. Germaine.

Now, chew on this week’s photo challenge:

(Photo/Ed Simek)

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

Pic Of The Day #269

36 Elm Street was demolished yesterday. The building — most recently Villa del Sol — housed many previous businesses, including for a number of years Werner’s restaurant. It’s owned by David Waldman, who will build a retail/residential complex across the street behind Lux Bond & Green, in exchange for expanded parking next to Bedford Square. (Photo/Jen Berniker)

Pics Of The Day #238

Saturday’s snowstorm: Bedford Square…

… and Assumption Church. (Photos/Katherine Bruan)

It’s A Meat Market Down There

Once upon a time, you could buy meat on Main Street.

Gristede’s is long gone. But M.EAT — a high-quality purveyor of beef and lamb — opened today in Bedford Square.

The butcher shop’s primary source is Uruguay. Meat is also imported from Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia.

It’s a welcome addition to downtown.

Even if the M.EAT name is a bit too cute for my taste.

M.EAT, in Bedford Square

 

Honoring Westporters Who Preserve History

Though the 1 Wilton Road building disappeared, plank by wooden plank, there is some good news on the preservation front.

Next Monday (October 30, 7 p.m., Town Hall auditorium), 1st selectman Jim Marpe and Historic District Commission chair Francis Henkels will present the organization’s 2017 awards.

Eight properties — from all over town — have been chosen. They represent a variety of styles, and were selected for many different reasons.

Taken together, they are proof that Westport still cares about its architectural heritage.

Well, sort of.

Bedford Square

Since 1923, this Tudor revival has anchored downtown. Generations of Westporters knew it as the YMCA. When the Y moved to Mahackeno, there were grave concerns over the future of the building.

Bedford Square Associates — led by David Waldman — made a strong commitment to historic preservation. With hard, creative work and collaboration with town agencies, they and architect Centerbrook Associates designed a mixed-use complex that repurposed the Bedford building. Though there is significantly more space, the character and scale respects the streetscape of Church Lane, the Post Road and Main Street.

Bedford Square (Photo/Jennifer Johnson)

Wakeman Town Farm

This late-1800s farmhouse, with veranda, turned posts and a projecting gable is a Westport landmark. In the 1900s the Wakeman family supplied neighbors with produce, milk and eggs.

In 1970 Ike and Pearl Wakeman sold the historic property to the town. Today it is a sustainability center and organic homestead, open to the public.

Longtime Westport architect Peter Wormser donated his time and talent to rehabilitate the farmhouse. Public Works oversaw construction. Key elements include a rebuilt front porch, and new educational kitchen and classroom. Wakeman Town Farm is now even better able to teach, feed and inspire Westporters of all ages.

Wakeman Town Farm (Photo/Bob Weingarten)

190 Cross Highway

The Meeker homestead stood on the route taken by British soldiers, heading to Danbury to burn an arsenal. But after 2 centuries the barn and 1728 saltbox house fell into disrepair.

When Mark Yurkiw and Wendy Van Wie bought the property in 2003 it was in foreclosure. They rehabilitated the barn/cottage, and got a zoning variance to subdivide the property (making both buildings more likely to be preserved.) They’re now protected by perpetual preservation easements.

190 Cross Highway (Photo/Amy Dolego)

383 Greens Farms Road

This English-style barn was built in 1820 by Francis Bulkley. In 2000 Lawrence and Maureen Whiteman Zlatkin bought the property. They installed a new shingle roof, reinforced the basement foundation and floor beams, replaced exterior siding and enhanced the interior. All work was done with meticulous care, using historically appropriate materials. The barn now hosts civic gatherings, concerts and family events.

Maureen died last month. Her husband hopes that her focus on preserving the barn will inspire other Westporters to do the same to their treasures.

383 Greens Farms Road

8 Charcoal Hill Road

This 1927 stone Tudor revival is a classic example of the homes Frazier Forman Peters designed and built in the area. When Sam and Jamie Febbraio bought it in 2015, it had suffered from severe neglect. They meticulously restored it to its original form, adding 21st-century amenities. A 3rd-generation Westporter, Sam understands the appeal and significance of Peters homes.

8 Charcoal Hill Road (Photo/Bob Weingarten)

101 Compo Road South

Jenny Ong purchased this 1924 colonial revival — listed on the Westport Historic Resources Inventory —  in 2015 “as is” from a bank, with no inspection. Extensive water damage made it uninhabitable. The roof had collapsed, and the exterior was rotted.

The owner hired a structural engineer and architect. The original footprint was maintained, but with new windows, doors and roof. A dormer, stone steps and driveway were added. The rehabilitation replaced basement posts, first floor joists and flooring.

101 Compo Road South (Photo/Bob Weingarten)

37 Evergreen Avenue

The renovation of this 1938 colonial revival — located in the Evergreen Avenue Historic District — included the removal of a later-addition solarium in the front of the house. It was replaced by an addition within the existing footprint. Materials and design reflect and enhance the house’s original character. Owners Bruce McGuirk and Martha Constable worked with the HDC to ensure the work would be appropriate for the historic district.

37 Evergreen Avenue (Photo/Bob Weingarten)

6 Clover Lane 

This 1966 home — designed and built by George White — is a typical New England saltbox-style replication. Its 3rd owners — Lawrence and LJ Wilks — have taken special care to preserve the exterior.

6 Clover Lane (Photo/Bob Weingarten)