Not many people realize the connection between Kodak and George Gershwin.
Fewer still know that both are connected to Westport
But Leopold Godowsky Jr. — a concert violinist with a passion for photography — moved here in the 1930s. He set up a lab, and for several decades in town helped develop Kodacolor and Ektachrome. Today he is considered a major contributor to the field of color photography. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005, 22 years after his death.
Godowsky’s wife, Frankie Gershwin — George and Ira’s younger sister — was a painter of oils and acrylics, and later a singer. She too was a prominent Westporter.
In 2009 the Godowskys’ former home — a 7,000-square foot, low-slung compound at the end of Stony Point overlooking the confluence of the Saugatuck River and Long Island Sound, featuring pools, a waterfall, tennis court and dock — became one of the most expensive teardowns in Westport history.
Now the Godowskys’ previous house here — at 157 Easton Road — is on the market.
The 7-bedroom, 10-bath, 6-car garage property sits on 2.75 acres. There’s a boathouse, indoor pool, 2 bars, a wine-tasting room, guest quarters, tennis court, waterfalls, walking paths, and stone bridges. The
Saugatuck Aspetuck River flows through the back yard.
The Godowskys moved to Easton Road from New York in 1938. Four children grew up there, before moving to Stony Point in the early 1950s.
Her parents entertained guests like local residents Richard Rodgers, John Hersey, Maureen O’Sullivan and her daughter Mia Farrow.
The house will be auctioned off on September 30.
It is not the place Nadia Godowsky Natali — Leopold and Frankie’s daughter — remembers.
Back then, she tells Zillow, it was “a country house. Very simple…not pretentious.” That place, she says, is gone.
How does Natali — now a California-based psychotherapist, author of “Cooking Off the Grid” and Zen center founder — know? She’s seen photos of the former “bucolic compound.”
They were digital, Zillow notes.
(Hat tip: Wendy Crowther)