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Tag Archives: National Hall
Over the years I’ve seen tons of photos of the Riverside Avenue/Wilton Road intersection, looking down and east from the Post Road hill.
But until I spotted this one — courtesy of Kathleen Kiska and Michael Tedesco — I’d never seen a view quite like this.
The wide, sharp shot — from 1914 — seems to capture turn-of-the-last-century Westport. A thriving business district existed right alongside residential neighborhoods. The little kid riding a bicycle looks straight out of Norman Rockwell.
But who was in charge of the roads? They look in even worse shape than they are today.
Downtown Westport, courtesy of Brandon Malin’s drone:
Last week’s Friday Flashback — an aerial view of downtown from the 1930s — drew a number of comments.
Readers noted the old Saugatuck River bridge, and wondered if vessels passed beneath it. They talked about the importance of maritime commerce to the growth of downtown, and mentioned the majesty of National Hall.
And they commented on the trolleys that once rolled along the Post Road.
The photo inspired alert “06880” reader Chip Stephens to send along this painting.
For many years, it hung in Dr. Peter Ferrara’s dental office here.
Drawn by Al Willmott — a noted illustrator in the late 20th century — it shows a Westport from decades earlier.
It’s all there: National Hall. The bridge. A merchant ship.
And — my favorite — the trolley.
This aerial fascinating photo of downtown Westport in the 1930s was posted to Facebook by Bill Stanton.
The view is toward the east (top).
Among the intriguing sights:
- At the bottom is National Hall. Just to its north sits a substantial-looking building that must have been torn down long ago. Today it’s the site of Bartaco.
- The bridge across the Saugatuck River is much narrower than the current span. The river itself is wider than at present. Parker Harding Plaza has not yet been built. Water laps up against the back of buildings on the west side of Main Street.
- The Westport Public Library (now a pop-up art gallery, at 1 Main Street) is the large building just to the left of the eastern end of the bridge.
- Look closely (top center). You can see the gas station that is now Vineyard Vines.
What else do you notice? Click “Comments” below.
The 3 restaurants — one Japanese-inspired, another featuring tacos, the third specializing in meatballs — could not be more different.
But OKO, Bartaco and The Meatball Shop have already joined forces with valet parking. This Sunday (October 6), they’re collaborating on a family afternoon — for a great cause.
National Hall is the site of the 1st-ever Push Against Cancer Block Party. From 2 to 5 p.m. there’ s appetizers from all 3 spots, drinks courtesy of TUCK Gin, and fun activities like Cornhole and an obstacle course for kids and adults, thanks to Upper Deck Fitness.
It all benefits the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps — the wonderful site in Ashford, Connecticut for children with life-threatening illnesses founded by Westport’s own Paul Newman.
OKO chef/owner Brian Lewis participated in this spring’s Push Against Cancer push-up contest at Staples High School — also a Hole in the Wall Gang fundraiser. He was so moved by what he learned that he offered OKO — or his other restaurant, The Cottage — for a future event.
PAC organizers Andy Berman and Sherry Jonas were happy to oblige.
Bartaco, The Meatball Shop, Upper Deck Fitness and National Hall’s landlord were equally eager to join in.
There’s a lot going on in Westport this weekend. But if you can, block out time for this great block party.
And yes, there’s plenty of parking.
(Tickets will he sold at the “door.” The cost is $40 per adult, $10 per child under age 12.)
The sign promised The Meatball Shop would open this spring.
They’ll miss by a day.
But what a great “soft” opening the 8th restaurant in the New York-based chain promises.
The shop — which replaces The ‘Port in National Hall, on the banks of the Saugatuck River — hosts a preview party this Saturday (June 22, 5:30 to 8 p.m.).
Guests will enjoy a tasting menu of (duh) meatballs, plus seasonal dishes, wine and beer.
The Meatball Shop is certainly getting involved in the community. 100% of all ticket purchases go directly to the Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services team.
The official opening is a few days later. If you can’t wait — and/or if you want to support Westport’s great EMS program — click here for tickets.
There’s a big parking deck directly opposite the Bartaco parking lot on Wilton Road.
You can see it right there, in the background of this photo.
You can also see that there is plenty of room. There is one car on the upper level.
But that did not stop this Range Rover driver. Or rather, he did stop in the parking lot — not the deck.
There he is, right next to the “Reserved Parking” sign.
And yes, that’s a parking job. He is not driving. He did not just drop off a passenger. He has not pulled over to text.
He stopped. He parked. He got out.
And it isn’t even a decent parking job in the middle of the entrance! Look how far the driver is from the curb!
I need a margarita.