The request by owners to demolish the 112-year-old, 8,500-square foot home at 114 Beachside Avenue is remarkable enough.
As first reported by Westport Journal, the Tudor mansion includes 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 2 half-baths, a wooden deck, and a brick patio and terrace.
Alert “06880” reader — and longtime Westporter — Don Willmott writes:
“The owners in the 1970s were family friends. I have fond memories of running around that gorgeous house, the biggest one I had ever been in. The sweeping lawn, which sloped gently down to the Sound, was stunning.”
But that’s not all.
As Don notes, the home was later owned by Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas. Her “diva-like antics there were memorialized by her disgruntled butler in the nutty 1990 tell-all book, ‘That Girl and Phil.'”
“it’s sad to see it go,” Don says. “I hope someone salvages the beautiful woodwork before the bulldozer arrives.”
As large as Phil and Marlo’s mansion was, it’s dwarfed by new construction closer to Long Island Sound. Take a look:
The newer and spectacularly larger house is at the bottom of the property. Clearly, the 1911 home has to go.
But that’s not the only multi-million-dollar shoreline home that will soon be torn down.
In fact, demolition of 34 Owenoke Park has already begun.
That 4,600-square foot, 5-bedroom, 4 1/2-bath house was built in — are you sitting down? — 2016.
The owners are demolishing it — along with the property they own next door — to build a new one.
Because … well, because.
There are some interesting items on next Monday’s Planning & Zoning Commission meeting (April 3, 7 p.m., Zoom). They include:
- A request by the 1st Selectwoman, on behalf of Westport PAL, to remove the Doubleday clubhouse at PJ Romano Field (behind Saugatuck Elementary School), and replace it with a new, larger structure.
- An application to convert the existing 120-bed skilled nursing facility at 1 Burr Road (next to from Kings Highway Elementary School) into a 68-bed memory care facility.
- A pre-application meeting (no public comment) on a proposed 8,000-square foot commercial recreational facility, behind the electrical sub-station behind Coffee An’ and The Grapevine.
Also on the agenda: an expected pro forma request to release the site bond for 1076 Post Road East. That’s the supposed site of an Amazon Fresh grocery store, replacing the former Barnes & Noble.
Exterior work has been completed, along with parking lot and sidewalk improvements. So — according to law — the bond must be returned.
Even if, as seems increasingly likely, Amazon Fresh will never move in.
(Click here for the Zoom link to Monday’s Planning & Zoning Commission meeting.)
Carl Addison Swanson — a Staples High School graduate and Vietnam veteran — writes:
The 2017 Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act recognizes the over 3 million Americans who served in our military from November 1955 to March 1975.
[Signed into law by President Trump on March 28, 2017], the date is particularly significant. It marks the date we finally left Vietnam for good (March 29 1975).
Forty-four Westporters served in Vietnam. Five did not come home, as noted on the plaque in Veterans Green across from Town Hall.
Over 58,000 Americans lost their lives in Vietnam in combat. Over 300,000 have died in the decades following, due to exposure to Agent Orange.
Today is a day to remember those who made it home, those who didn’t, and a reminder that although our country was deeply divided during Vietnam, most of our wounds healed. Eventually. Maybe? Some day?
US Attorney for the District of Connecticut Vanessa Roberts Avery was joined by leading law enforcement representatives at last night’s “United Against Hate: Identifying, Reporting and Preventing Hate Crimes” session.
The Westport Library hosted the interactive program, in collaboration with the US Attorney’s Office, Westport PRIDE, Westport and Norwalk chiefs of police, and the Connecticut State Police’s Hate Crimes Unit.
Only 3 days remain in The Great Westport Pizza Contest.
There are 8 categories (Best Slice, Personal, Meat, Gluten-free, Veggie, Plain, Delivered and Flat Bread Pizza), and 14 participating restaurants (Cuatro Hermanos, Gallo Express, Golden Pizza, Joe’s, Julian’s Kitchen, La Plage, Old Mill Grocery & Deli, Outpost Pizza, Pizza Lyfe, Rizzuto’s, Romanacci, The Spotted Horse, Tutti’s and Via Sforza).
Anyone can vote online. Every voter is entered in a drawing, to win a free pizza from one of the 8 winning restaurants.
Winning restaurants receive plaques from the sponsoring Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce. For more information and to vote, click here.
Bedford Middle School students do know rocket science.
And many other types.
Last weekend, 2 BMS Science Olympiad cleaned up at the Connecticut championships.
After a long, grueling day in Coventry, they won 15 out of the 23 gold medals. Events ranged from Anatomy & Physology and Bio Process Lab to Codebusters and Experimental design.
The teams have practiced since the fall, under the guidance of teachers Dr. Daniel Cortright and Kathry Nicholas.
The wins earn the Bedford squads a trip to Kansas in May. They’ll represent Connecticut in the National Science Olympiads.
“Gold Coast Mystery Series” author Timothy Cole reads and chats at the Westport Book Shop next month (April 13, 6 p.m.).
The series includes “The Sea Glass Murders” (a Connecticut Book Award finalist), “Murder This Close,” and recently published “The Moscow Five.”
The Greens Farms Garden Club invites everyone to meet Trish Manfredi. The noted floral designer and flower show judge will create art with surprise plant materials, and containers presented by the audience.
The event is next Tuesday (April 4, 11 a.m., Green’s Farms Church). Refreshments will be served.
“06880” has mentioned “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” twice already.
The Coleytown Company production opens this Friday (7 p.m.). at CMS. The show also runs Saturday (April 1, 1 and 7 p.m.) and Sunday (April 2, 1 p.m.).
We normally wouldn’t add another plug. But Inna Agujen Veloso’s video may be the best middle school sizzle reel ever made.
Click here for tickets, and more information.
Bridgewater Chocolate welcomes New York artist and fashion illustrator Kelsey Linnartz to their Main Street store on April 8 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
She’ll customize ivory boxes, using her trademark bright colors — with a purchase, of course.
Longtime Weston resident Joan Williams died peacefully Monday evening. She was 87.
Joan moved to Weston in the early 1970’s with her first husband, commercial artist Paul Williams. She was a very successful businesswoman who worked first for a commercial art studio in Detroit. She moved to a management position at Weston Racquet Club, helping it to flourish through the ’80s.
She later became the first employee of Newman’s Own. Joan worked with Paul Newman and A.E. Hotchner, handling finances of the company for 28 years and earning the tile of CFO.
Joan loved her home. She enjoyed playing tennis, collecting art and antiques, listening to music and singing, reading, gardening, and spending time with her Scottish terriers and cats.
Her family says, “Joan will be remembered for her frank and honest manner as a beautiful woman.”
She is survived by her husband Steve Campbell, stepson Adam Campbell, nephew Mark Kalnow and niece Sheryl Reiber.
At Joan’s request there will be no funeral or public memorial service, just a private gathering. In lieu of cards and flowers, contributions may be made to the Yale Eye Center at Yale New Haven Hospital.
Amy Schneider’s first egret sighting of the season — on the Saugatuck River — is perfect for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.
And finally …. Amazon Fresh’s finished-but-not-opened Westport store (story above) is not its only one.
A number of the retail giant’s high-tech, “just walk out” stores are fully built out — but empty — across the country.
They’ve been dubbed “zombie stores.” So …
(From Amazon Fresh and the PAL clubhouse, to Beachside Avenue and Owenoke Park, “06880” covers the town. Please consider supporting us. Click here — and thank you!)