Tag Archives: Saugatuck Fire Station

Photo Challenge #268

Last week’s Photo Challenge rang a bell with many readers.

Ed Simek’s image showed the large bell that sits outside the Saugatuck fire station — officially, it’s “Saugatuck Hose Company Engine Company 4” — on Riverside Avenue. (Click here to see.)

The bell is a favorite with kids who wander over from nearby Saugatuck Sweets. They also enjoy the restored 1940s-era fire truck — and the friendly, welcoming vibe from all the firefighters there.

Of course, sometimes they have to leave the station on a call. That’s why — as tempting as it is to inch forward — you should never block the road in front of the bell.

Andrew Colabella, Fred Cantor, Diane Silfen, Matt Murray, Wendy Cusick, Tom Risch, Mary Ann Batsell, Amy Schneider and Rick Benson all knew the answer to this very easy Photo Challenge.

Tomorrow is Presidents Day. (Or Presidents’ Day — the jury is out on that apostrophe.)

In its* honor, we present Anne Bernier’s Photo Challenge. Way back in the day, George Washington** really did sleep here. This plaque commemorates his visit.

(Photo/Anne Bernier)

So today’s Photo Challenge is: Where in Westport would you find Marvin Tavern today?

And if you’d like to get into the weeds, answer this one too: Why doesn’t the plaque call it Marvin’s Tavern?

*Not, for some reason, it’s.

** Whose February 22 birthday has been co-opted as a federal holiday, by all 44 presidents who followed him.

Photo Challenge #128

Only 3 readers knew that the old-fashioned horn featured in last week’s photo challenge is perched atop the Saugatuck fire station.

But Bill Kiedaisch, Peter Hirst and David Eason knew it because, like many others who grew up here back in the day, the horn was an important part of their lives.

It signaled noon, and 5 p.m.

And whenever there was a fire, it summoned volunteers to the scene. (If you knew the code, you could watch the blaze too.)

Few people notice the horn anymore. But I hope it stays on top of the firehouse forever. (Click here for the photo, and all the comments.)

It’s not hard to figure out what this week’s photo shows:

(Photo/Chip Stephens)

The challenge is figuring out where this great playground can be found.

If you know, click “Comments” below.

Demolition, Renovation, Relocation Update

Interested in saving a couple of old Westport houses? (Or want them gone?)

Here are your chances.

Tomorrow (Thursday, July 18), the Planning & Zoning Commission will consider a new plan from Terrain. It will save the 1900-era house on the corner of Post Road and Crescent  Road; will increase the store’s parking by 29 spots, and will move off-loading of trucks from Crescent Road to their own property.

Sources say 8:15-ish is the best time to get there for the Terrain application.

If you can’t attend the meeting, contact P&Z director Larry Bradley (lbradley@westportct.gov). He’ll put all emails in a file for P&Z members to read.

The house on Terrain's Post Road property, at the corner of Crescent Road.

The house on Terrain’s Post Road property, at the corner of Crescent Road.

Then, on Thursday (July 25, 7 p.m.) the P&Z will review use of town land, as it relates to the relocation of the Kemper-Gunn House (35 Church Lane).

RTM member Matt Mandell has organized an online petition, in hopes of convincing town bodies to move the building a few yards away, to the Elm Street parking lot (prior to construction of Bedford Square).

Finally, there’s the Saugatuck firehouse. On Wednesday, August 28, the RTM Long Range Planning Committee will hear public input on possible relocation sites.

And you thought you had the summer off!

Saugatuck Fire Station On The Move?

Word on the street is that the Saugatuck fire station may move down the street.

The Riverside Avenue firehouse — located between Bridge Square and The Whelk, which looks like it’s been there since horses pulled fire wagons — is being considered for relocation a few yards north, near the VFW.

But — contrary to the fears of some local residents — the new site is not the small Riverside Park.

It’s 427 Riverside Avenue, next door. The town owns that vacant lot.

In fact, says Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury, the parcel was purchased in the 1970s with the intention of building a new fire station there. Instead, an addition was built at the current site.

Kingsbury would love the Saugatuck firehouse to remain where it is, on the river across from Phase II of the Gault redevelopment. “It’s a real cool place,” he says.

But it’s not deep enough for modern vehicles. Plus, it’s in a flood zone. During Hurricane Sandy, firefighters built a berm to protect generators and equipment. Still, the station suffered $15,000 damage.

The vacant lot at 427 Riverside Avenue.

The vacant lot at 427 Riverside Avenue.

Kingsbury says the town engineer has looked at the vacant lot at 427 Riverside. However, he notes, “we haven’t really started the process yet.”

That has not stopped area residents from creating a website: “Save Riverside Park.” The site warns of the destruction of “an oasis for Westport residents.”

Presumably that won’t happen if the firehouse is built not at the park, but next door. However, concerns about increased noise and “traffic pollution” would no doubt remain.

The website offers an alternative: Luciano Park.

I’m not so sure. That’s been an important (and green) part of Saugatuck since the turn of the century — the 20th century.

Luciano Park is home to a playground and softball field. It was also the site of the long-running Italian Festival, and a short-lived antiques market.

Luciano Park is home to a playground and softball field. It was also the site of the long-running Italian Festival, and a short-lived antiques market.

The website points to Luciano Park’s proximity to I-95 — a frequent destination for fire calls — as one more reason to put the station there. I’d argue that the added distance from Riverside Avenue — especially to the southbound entrance ramp — is negligible.

If all this sounds as if I’m pro-firehouse-at-427 Riverside: I’m not. But I would not want to see it at Luciano Park, either.

What I would like to see is a robust discussion of the future of the Saugatuck fire station. Click “Comments” to add your thoughts. Remember: please use your real, full name. And it would help to add where you live, so we can better understand where you are coming from.