Tag Archives: Gorham Island

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)

Lynn Miller’s Downtown

Downtown Westport is compact: Main Street and the Post Road, plus the Saugatuck River.

But there’s a lot to see. And there’s no one who captures it better than Lynn Untermeyer Miller.

The Westport native and 1971 Staples High School graduate sees it all: the natural beauty. The shops and shoppers. And the hidden sights the rest of us walk right past.

Here’s what Lynn sees:

Imperial Avenue footbridge

Riverwalk, east side of the Levitt Pavilion

Riverwalk, behind the Levitt

West bank of the Saugatuck River

Riverwalk lights, near the Library

Westport Library

Arezzo restaurant and National Hall

Pedestrian walkway and Gorham Island, off Parker Harding Plaza

Village Square

View from Anthropologie

Alley between Post Road and Church Lane

WEST boutique

Taylor Place

Cold Fusion

Brandy Melville

A relic from the Y’s downtown days. (All photos/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Pic Of The Day #1653

The Gorham Island office building may not be lovely. But the flowers at the entrance sure are. (Photo/JC Martin)




Photo Challenge #354

Downtown is Westport’s commercial hub. It’s filled with stores and restaurants, plus parking lots and office buildings of all sizes.

But a beautiful river, dotted with wildlife, runs right through downtown too. And even though we seldom take the time the look, there’s a culvert just like the one in a pond or tidal marsh.

Some readers thought that last week’s Photo Challenge was near the shore. But Tracy Porosoff’s image was taken in the heart of downtown. It’s near the office complex at Gorham Island, not far from GG & Joe’s. (Click here to see.)

Sylvia Robinson Corrigan and Ivy Gosseen knew exactly where it was. So did Robert Giunta. Then again, he should. Thirty years ago, he built that riprap and stone wall.

Today’s Photo Challenge is a bit more whimsical. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Ellen Wentworth)


Pic Of The Day #1546

Serene downtown scene (Photo/Susan Leone)

Friday Flashback #224

When Fred Cantor graduated from Yale University in May of 1975, his parents gave him a 35mm Nikkormat camera. He’d always enjoyed taking photos, with an inexpensive Kodak.

In December he returned to Westport for break, from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

There was a beautiful snowfall. On Christmas Day, Fred knew that downtown would be empty. He’d always enjoyed the “Norman Rockwell-esque” feeling there. He hoped to capture it, without interference.

After 45 years — to the day — parts of downtown look very different. Parts look much the same.

After 45 years too, the photos have faded.

But the memories have not.

Gorham Island. The Victorian house has been replaced by a large office building.

Main Street, without any holiday decorations. Gene Hallowell’s Mobil station is now the site of Vineyard Vines.

The Remarkable Book Shop. For over a decade, it’s been the “vacant Talbots store.”

Westport Bank & Trust is now Patagonia.

Ice on the Saugatuck River still looks the same.

Fairfield Furniture has been transformed into National Hall — the original name for the 1800s building.

The Corner Spirit Shop at the Post Road West/Wilton Road intersection is now the rebuilt home to an architectural firm.

Pic Of The Day #835

Serene Saugatuck River scene, taken from the Parker Harding footbridge near Rye Ridge deli (Photo/Lucy Zeko)

Pic Of The Day #241

View from Duck Haven (Kings Highway North) to Gorham Island (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

Friday Flashback #47

July 4th marked the 56th anniversary of one of the most famous events on Gorham Island.

Around 2 a.m. that morning in 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 house was originally built on Main Street, then moved to the island.

The Victorian house on Gorham Island in 1971. (Photo/Peter Barlow)

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 other famous Gorham Island event was when that handsome — if haunted — home was demolished, over a decade later. Another structure nearby was also razed.

Today a 40,000-square foot green-and-gold-glass office building fills Gorham Island.

Which no one except those who remember the old house calls it anymore.

Close-up of the Gorham Island house, 1973. (Photo/Peter Barlow)

Friday Flashback #27

As Bedford Square nears completion — and an Elm Street/Baldwin parking lot land swap is back in the news — it’s a great time for a bird’s-eye view of downtown Westport, 1965-style.

Click on or hover over to enlarge.

Click on or hover over to enlarge.

It’s tough to see the old Y (new Bedford Square), or any part of Elm Street, thanks to the trees. But this photo — by R.P. Lentini, courtesy of alert “06880” reader Matt Murray — intrigues me for several reasons. Among them:

  • The old Victorian house still stood on Gorham Island
  • The Wright Street building was a decade in the future
  • The building between Christ & Holy Trinity Church, and what is now Seabury Center.

What stands out for you? Click “Comments” below.