In the air and by the sea, Westport is becoming quite the nature center.
Earlier this week, an osprey captured our attention. Now it’s a seal.
Alert “06880” reader/Compo Beach resident Larry Hoy reports that yesterday he was walking his dog Dixie at the end of Roosevelt Road.
Suddenly she turned, walked to the seawall and started sniffing in the direction of the marina.
“She’s a natural hunter,” Larry says. “I knew she smelled something, but I didn’t think there would be by a deer or woodchuck over there.”
He looked closely, and saw a big brown lump on a dock.
Then it moved.
He was fascinated by the seal.
It’s still there today.
Over the past few years, the Compo Beach Historic District has lost several homes to demolition.
Next up to go down: 15 Roosevelt Road.
The other day, neighbor Larry Hoy wrote to the Historic District Commission:
Please halt the demolition of this 92-year-old home in our historic Compo Beach neighborhood.
15 Roosevelt Road
The destruction of our neighborhood must stop. Too many of the original homes have been destroyed to make way for McMansions. Two homes on Roosevelt Road were torn down in recent years and replaced with homes that are out of scale in our neighborhood.
Both new homes required variances for which the owners claimed they had large families. As it turns out, both homes are now occupied by single people. These illicit variances have paved the way for the destruction of this once beautiful street.
A large house replaced a smaller center-chimney colonial on Roosevelt Road.
11 Roosevelt Road has recently been saved and tastefully restored. This is the approach that should be taken with 15 Roosevelt Rd. Preservation — not destruction — is the only acceptable solution for this house in our neighborhood. Please help us halt this destruction!
11 Roosevelt Road was recently restored with additions, but only minor changes to the facade. (Photos/Larry Hoy)
Speaking of history: Two streets in the Compo Beach Historic District — Roosevelt and Quentin Roads — were named after Theodore Roosevelt’s youngest son. Quentin Roosevelt was killed in his airplane over Normandy on Bastille Day, during World War I.
(The Historic District Commission will consider the application for demolition tonight at 7 p.m., in Town Hall Room 201.)
Thousands of people will be on hand next Sunday (September 27), as Pope Francis celebrates mass on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum. Millions more will watch around the globe.
They’ll admire the crucifix — the centerpiece of the backdrop, hanging on the reredos wall. They may know it was specially designed for the mass.
But they won’t know — unless they read it here — that the crucifix has a Westport connection.
Larry Hoy was commissioned to create the papal crucifix. He’s a longtime local resident — and a veteran of other pope visits.
Hoy made furnishings for Popes John Paul II in Central Park, and Benedict XVI at Ground Zero and Yankee Stadium.
Larry Hoy, with one of his previous papal thrones.
His design this time is in keeping with Pope Francis’ austere aesthetics. It’s constructed of composition gold-leafed wood, rather than the usual real gold leaf.
“Normally we’d use real gold,” Hoy says. “But we were instructed to use the composition gold, which is not a precious metal.”
The cross also has a corpus that was donated by a closed Philadelphia parish church.
“In soccer, 3 goals is called a hat trick,” says Hoy, whose son Dylan played 2 years at Staples and now stars at Wesleyan University.
“The pope’s hat is called a miter. So I guess I have a miter trick.”