Tag Archives: Westport Historic District Commission

Historic District Commission Gets State Grant

Everyone talks about historic preservation in Westport.

But — as homes and buildings as old as 200 years, and as new as 20, fall to the wrecking ball — what are our greatest protection needs?

The Westport Historic District Commission recently received a Historic Preservation Enhancement Grant from the State Historic Preservation Office.

Funds will be used to hire a consultant to prepare a town “Preservation Plan.” It will identify and prioritize the greatest areas of need for historic preservation.

The plan will also will help establish and prioritize more Local Historic Districts and Local Historic Designations.

Gorham Avenue is one of Westport’s Historic Districts.

According to Historic District Commission vice chair Grayson Braun, the HDC strives to “preserve and protect the distinctive characteristics of buildings and places significant in the history and development of Westport; maintain and improve the landscape and neighborhood settings of these buildings and places; and encourage design compatible with buildings extant in the area to continue to maintain Westport’s greater artistic, cultural, commercial and residential character which distinguish the town as a desirable community for permanent residents and visitors.”

Properties within a Local Historic District have a higher degree of protection. The HDC must approve an application for alteration to a historic structure, as well as any new construction within a district.

Roundup: Deer, Alaska, Trump …

A deer in distress has been wandering around the Long Lots Lane/Keene Road area.

Tangled in what looks like a badminton net, its gaunt appearance suggests it cannot see to forage for food.

Residents who spot the deer should call Westport Animal Control (203-341-5076) pr Wildlife in Crisis (203-544-9913). They are aware of the situation, and are ready to help.

Ruth Ayles, who sent this photo — which she saw on Facebook — reminds residents to properly dispose of balloons (or skip them all together).

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You’ve probably seen the ads for ABC and Hulu’s new drama “Alaska Daily,” which debuts tonight.

They’re hard to miss.

But all the marketing for the Hilary Swank show neglect to mention Gabe Sherman’s contributions.

The Westport native is a key writer on “Alaska Daily.” He’s collaborating with Tom McCarthy, who executive produced a show based on Sherman’s book about Fox News, “The Loudest Voice.” For a rave preview of the series, click here.

In addition to this TV project, Sherman is a regular writer for Vanity  Fair.

Gabe Sherman

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Elections loom in a month. Westport’s League of Women Voters is ready.

They want you to be, too.

They want everyone to know about Vote411.org, It’s a national information center. Type in your address, and get all the voting information you need.

On November 2 (7 p.m., Westport Library Trefz Forum and Zoom), the LWV sponsors a candidates’ debate. Included are Senate District 26 hopefuls Toni Boucher and Ceci Maher, House District 136 (Alma Sarelli, Jonathan Steinberg), and House District 143 (Nicole Hampton, Dominique Johnson).

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Speaking of politics: Check out the latest “Cross Examining History” podcast (link below).

Host Talmage Boston — a 1972 Staples High School graduate — interviews Peter Baker and Susan Glasser about their new book about “The Divider,” about Donald Trump.

The entire series, in fact, is worth hearing. Boston examines American history and leading books, through in-depth and entertaining interviews.

That’s only one of Boston’s many talents. He’s a commercial trial and appellate litigator in Dallas, a Texas Monthly “Super Lawyer” with a sideline as a writer, on topics as diverse as baseball history and Teddy Roosevelt.

 

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There’s something new at Old Mill Grocery: tables.

Three handsome, sturdy tables now welcome customers to sit inside. The Hillspoint Road spot continues to attract a steady stream of guests.

As OMG transitions to fall, regular dinner specials are an added attraction.

Old Mill Grocery tables. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Westport’s Representative Town Meeting is seeking candidates to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Arline Gertzoff. The vacancy must be filled by a registered voter residing in RTM District 3.  No party affiliation is required, as Westport’s RTM is non-partisan.  The term expires November 28, 2023.

Residents of RTM District 3 interested in being considered to fill the vacancy should send a resume by October 14 to JDunkerton@westportct.gov.

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Wait! The Remarkable Theater drive-in movie season is not yet over!

They’ve just added another film. It’s tomorrow night — and it’s the 1941 Disney kids’ classic “Dumbo.”

The Imperial Avenue parking lot opens at 5:45 p.m. for tailgating. The show begins at 6:45. Click here for tickets.

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Everyone talks about historic preservation in Westport.

But — as homes and buildings as old as 200 years, and as new as 20, fall to the wrecking ball — what are our greatest protection needs?

The Westport Historic District Commission recently received a Historic Preservation Enhancement Grant from the State Historic Preservation Office.

Funds will be used to hire a consultant to prepare a town “Preservation Plan.” It will identify and prioritize the greatest areas of need for historic preservation.

The plan will also will help establish and prioritize more Local Historic Districts and Local Historic Designations.

Properties within a Local Historic District have a higher degree of protection. The HDC must approve an application for alteration to a historic structure, as well as any new construction within a district.

Gorham Avenue is one of Westport’s Historic Districts.

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Push Against Cancer is a family affair.

Jessica and Keith Larit’s daughters Emma, Leah and Katie wanted to do something special for the kids of the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Their idea: a “Kids Helping Kids” bake sale.

On October 16 (Staples High School, 9 a.m.), everyone attending the 13th annual Push Against Cancer can do push-ups for pledges — and then reward themselves with tasty treats.

Katie says, “I enjoy helping because all kids deserve to have fun at camp.”

Emma adds, “I hope we can raise enough money to send hundreds of kids and their families to camp to have fun.”

Click here for more information on the Push Against Cancer.

Andrew Berman (red shirt), CEO and founder of Push Against Cancer, with
Emma, Leah and Katie Larit, and their parents Keith and Jessica. The sign refers to this year’s event, which will surpass $1 million raised in 13 years.

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“The Afro-Semitic Experience” is the intriguing title of the next Y’s Women meeting.

In 1998 Dr. David Chevan, professor of music at Southern Connecticut State University and Hartford native Warren Byrd co-founded a 6-piece group of Jewish American and African American musicians. The Afro-Semitic Experience has performed, recorded and taught together ever since.

On October 10 (Greens Farms Church. 10:45 a.m.), they’ll share stories and songs, and discuss their conviction that people of different faiths, races and beliefs can come together with music to celebrate and build community.

Click here for more information.

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“From the Pen to the Knife” is MoCA Westport’s new exhibit. A free opening reception is set for October 15 (5 to 7 p.m.).

The collection is by artist 90-year-old Marian Christy. She creates innovative watercolors using only palette knives and puddles of paint — no drawing or brushes. Click here for information.

One of Marian Christy’s nearly 300 works, exhibited soon at MoCA Westport.

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Westport Community Gardens director — and superb nature photographer — Lou Weinberg sends this superb “Westport … Naturally” image:

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)

Lou notes: “The magical honeybee is not just a great pollinator. It is also an acrobat, sitting out the rain vertically on glass!”

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And finally … on this date in 1927, “The Jazz Singer” — the first full-length “talkie” (sound) movie premiered. The site was Warner Bros.’ flagship New York City theater.

Wikipedia notes: “In keeping with the film’s theme of a conflict within a Jewish family, the film premiered after sunset on the eve of the Yom Kippur holiday.”

Among the many notable performances in the movie: Al Jolson’s performance of “Mammy.” Though he wore blackface, as other entertainers in the era did, he was known as a strong advocate for racial justice, particularly on Broadway.

(“06880” is your source for all kinds of info. Please click here to support this blog, and keep it coming!)

 

 

 

Friday Flashback #285

174 Hillspoint Road is the house everyone loves to hate.

Built in 1968, and located not far from Old Mill Beach, it looks vaguely Mediterranean. Westport Journal’s Thane Grauel described it as “a single-story house with a sort of terracotta mansard roof, white stucco-ish sides, narrow vertical windows and greenhouse windows like a fern bar.”

Historic District Commission members were happy — no, thrilled — to waive a 180-day period before demolition.

“When we put the (demolition) sign up, people walking by started applauding,” said chair William Harris.

So why is this “offspring of a Burger King and a diner” (architect Christopher Pagliaro’s words) part of this week’s “Friday Flashback” feature?

Because eagle-eyed “06880” reader Scott Smith saw a connection between it and another, now-long-gone structure.

For years, the architectural of 174 Hillspoint Road has reminded Smith of photos he’s seen of the Longshore bathhouse. It stood near the entrance to the pool and tennis courts, right about where the pavilion and snack bar are today.

Smith was not around then — the bathhouse was torn down in the 1970s — but in 2010 he chaired Longshore’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Here are 2 photos of that bathhouse:

 

Of course, that’s the same architecture that was seen for years at the current Parks & Recreation Department office, across the parking lot from the Longshore golf course pro shop.

Even after a renovation, you can see elements of the Longshore bathhouse — and 174 Hillspoint Road:

 (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Smith says that the bathhouse photos — many other images, videos and historical documents — were included on a website the Longshore 50th Commission created, with other committee members.

They were hosted on what was then called the Westport Historical Society’s website.

The WHS took down the content shortly after the anniversary. The committee gave the WHS a hard drive full of digitized historical material, along with a modest surplus from the group’s fundraising efforts.

“If anyone’s interested in further digging, that may be a good place to start,” Smith says.

Unsung Hero #174

Bob Weingarten nominates Carol Leahy as this week’s Unsung Hero. He writes:

For 22 years Carol Leahy has served Westport. She started as a part-time employee in the selectman’s office, then in 1990 was named full-time Historic District Commission administrator and certified local government coordinator. She retired in 2018.

Prior to those posts, she was active in the League of Women Voters, including board service of for a number of years.

In her role as Historic District Administrator, she helped countless Westport homeowners understand preservation issues for their homes.

Carol Leahy

She obtained funding for preservation projects from the state. She also assisted the Historic District Commission by setting up agendas for monthly meetings, notifying homeowners, providing town reference material and documenting meetings for public review.

Leahy created the annual preservation award program, which recognizes owners of residential and commercial properties who demonstrate outstanding efforts to protect the historic character of exterior structures. She helped the HDC with the awards presentation, preparation of award narratives, and the annual display of house award photographs.

Among her many achievements, she helped restore the Minute Man Memorial.

Leahy is a lifetime Connecticut resident. She moved to Westport in 1972 and raised her 2 children, Wendy and Michael, here.

After she retired, HDC members decided to fund a Westport Museum for History & Culture plaque to honor her contribution to the town. The ceremony was held recently via Zoom.

1st Selectman Jim Marpe says Leahy “played a critical role in organizing and structuring the work of the Historic District Commission. Her knowledge and understanding of the grant funding and historic designation opportunities made her the go-to person for Westport residents looking for support in designating historic properties. Her positive and professional demeanor created a calming presence in all her Town Hall interactions.”

Last year, Leahy received the Janet Jainschcigg Award from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation. At the ceremony, State Senator Tony Hwang said Leahy “made history come alive, working with both developers and owners of historic properties.”

(Do you know an unsung hero? Email nominations: dwoog@optonline.net)

Roundup: WTF; Reopening; Historic Homes; More


How you gonna keep ’em away from the farm?

Wakeman Farm Town announces a slew of interesting events.

A “Rockin’ Lawn Party” (Wednesday, August 5, 6 p.m.) includes live music and a customized picnic box by Terrain Cafe. Tickets ($80 for 2; ages 21+ only) include a donation to WTF. BYOB (blankets — or chairs — and beverages). Click here to order.

An outdoor movie — “The Pollinators” — is set for Friday, August 7 (gates open at 7:30 p.m., film at 8:30). The filmmakers will be on hand, and WTF hopes to sell honey from their hives. The ticket price of $15 includes fresh popcorn from Sport Hill Farm; wood-fired pizza is available to order. Click here to order.

Noted chef and caterer Alison Milwe Grace celebrates summer’s bounty with a 4-course farm feast on Tuesday, August 25. The $90 ticket includes a WTF donation. Click here to order.

To learn more about WTF — including an online workshop on CBD (Monday, August 3), click here.


Tomorrow’s ReOpen Westport Advisory Team meeting welcomes a special guest.

David Lehman — commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development — joins the discussion, and answers questions from the community.

The Thursday, July 30 virtual event begins at 11 a.m. The meeting will be live streamed on www.westportct.gov, and broadcast on Optimum channel 79 and Frontier channel 6020. Residents may email questions prior to the meeting  (reopenteam@westportct.gov).

Lehman will provide an update on modified rules for business sectors, and the decision to delay Phase 3 of reopening.


Your house may be old. It can also be famous.

The Westport Historic District Commission  is seeking nominations for its annual Westport Preservation Awards. Properties should show:

  • Rehabilitation and Adaptive Re-use: making a property compatible for new use by preserving features that convey historic, cultural, or architectural values.
  • Restoration: returning a property to its form at a particular period of time.
  • Reconstruction: new construction depicting the original form, features and details of the non-surviving historic structure.
  • Special recognition of individuals or organizations that advance the cause of historic preservation.

A structure must be at least 50 years old, and fit at least one of these criteria:

  • designed by a significant architect
  • the property is associated with a significant event or person;
  • the structure is indicative of a significant architectural style or period.

Nominations can be made by private residents, not-for-profits, commercial firms, and government institutions and officials. Please include photos and a brief narrative describing why the property or person deserves an award. Nominations should be emailed to rwmailbox@aol.com, by August 14.

A 2018 Preservation Award winner, at 75 Kings Highway North.


Next up in the Westport Library’s Camp Explore program: science TV host Emily Calandrelli.

The “Bill Nye Saves the World” and “Xploration Outer Space” star will be online this Monday (August 3, 4 p.m.).

Calandrelli makes science-related topics easily understandable, for audiences ranging from from Google, Pixar, MIT and CERN to colleges and schools around the country. Her topics include science communication, space exploration and women in STEM.

Click here to register for the Camp Explore event.


And finally … one of the best in our parade of classic summer songs.

The Continuing Saga Of Terrain’s Sagging House

In 2011 — as part of its application process to open in town — Terrain agreed to preserve the small house at the corner of Crescent Road.

The Historic District Commission and Planning and Zoning Commission liked what they heard. The small, gray 1900-era building — one of the last examples of a single-family house on the Post Road — stood proudly across from the fire station.

In 2013, this was the condition of the house on Terrain’s Post Road property, at the corner of Crescent Road.

But parking is tight. So in 2013, Terrain tried to gain 8 spaces by knocking down the house. They put in requests to the Planning & Zoning Commission and Historic District Commission (which was involved because the structure was more than 50 years old).

Matthew Mandell was not pleased. The RTM District 1 representative made a video. In it he explained the back story of Terrain’s dealings with the town.

Also in the video, the HDC’s Randy Henkels noted their early support of Terrain, based on promises the store made. Town planning director Larry Bradley described his department’s role.

And RTM member Cathy Talmadge suggested a boycott of Terrain, if they pressed ahead with demolition plans.

They did not. The next day, the company withdrew its request. “0688o” reported, “Terrain is believed to be working with the Planning and Zoning Commission on a parking plan that would preserve the century-old structure.”

It still stands. But — as many Westporters have noticed — it’s looking a bit grotty.

One view of the Terrain house yesterday …

The P&Z is among those paying attention.

Part of the previous deal was that Terrain would not use the house for storage — that way, it would not count toward the number of parking spots needed.

Another part of the deal was that Terrain would maintain it in good condition.

… and another.

Well, it is being used for storage. In fact, the interior has been torn out to allow more space.

And it is most definitely not being maintained.

Storage inside the building.

On Wednesday, the P&Z promised enforcement action.

Will it come in time to save the rapidly deteriorating, yet still somewhat handsome, building?

As “06880” promised in 2013: stay tuned.

[OPINION] Historic Importance Of South Morningside Is Huge

Between the ospreys and education issues, Westporters’ attention has recently been diverted from the long-running saga of Morningside Drive South. But the Historic District Commission meets Tuesday (Town Hall, 7 p.m.) to discuss a planned development there. “06880” reader Aurea de Souza writes:

Before Walter and Naiad Einsel bought their home and studio, 26 Morningside Drive South was the home of  Charles B. Sherwood. Yes, that’s the same Sherwood family remembered today through Sherwood Island State Park, the Sherwood Island Connector, even Sherwood Diner!

Charles B. Sherwood was given 7 acres of land by his father Walter in 1853.  That same year, he built his house. It was sold in 1864 to John B. Elwood, who owned it until 1920. The Einsels bought it in 1965, after vacationing in Westport for 4 years.

In 2005 the Einsels received a Preservation Award for their home. In 2007 their home and property were designated a Local Historic District.

The Einsels’ house on South Morningside Drive.

Anne Hamonet and her husband Alberto bought what used to be the barn of the Sherwood property in 2002. They have since restored it, respecting its historic value. Today their home is a Greens Farms sanctuary, cherished by the neighborhood.

The Hamonets raise chickens that run freely through the property. Anne brings fresh cage-free organic eggs to everyone at our neighborhood meetings. They also keep horses on the property. It’s almost like a movie set.

Because of the Hamonets, we all enjoy rooster and chicken noises, horses that can be seen from the street, and the beautifully restored barn.

This is what their bucolic backyard looks like today, right next to the proposed development.

This is an approximation of what it will be when the southwest block of the 16 3-bedroom, 32.5-foot high condos is built, just 15 feet from their fence.

The historic importance of 20-26 Morningside Drive south is huge for Westport.  It is about to be destroyed by a developer who purchased property in a historic district. He was well aware of the limitations, but is taking advantage of the 8-30g “affordable housing” statute which can take precedence over historic districts and flooding issues.

The homes will be built on top of wetland setbacks on already flood-prone Muddy Brook – which this week caused the collapse of Hillandale Road bridge.

There is also a safety issue. Westport requires a 400-foot distance from a school driveway for any driveway cutout. Plans for this development shows their driveway directly across from Greens Farms Elementary School.

The developer has presented drawings of the individual groups of homes, but at the Architecture Review Board hearing on March 26, failed to present any documentation on how it will look as a whole.

A Greens Farms United member who is an architect put all of their documentation together in a rough section of what it will actually look like (These do not account for any land modifications; it is simply an illustration of what has been made public).

The house in yellow is the current home, which the developer plans to transport to a new location much closer to the road.

Westport currently enjoys a 4-year moratorium on 8-30g developments, having met the state requirements. This proposal was submitted before the moratorium took effect.

And The Next 8-30(g) Affordable Housing Application Is …

Hot on the heels of the Planning & Zoning Commission’s denial of an application for construction of a 6-story, 81-unit apartment complex between Lincoln and Cross Streets, off Post Road West, comes news of a new plan, on the other side of town.

This one is smaller: just 19 units. As with other applications — Post Road West, Wilton Road and Hiawatha Lane, for example — this one includes an 8-30(g) element. That’s shorthand for the state statute that encourages “affordable” housing — and makes it harder for town officials to deny the request.

Then again, the site is smaller.

It’s 20 and 26 Morningside Drive South.

If the address sounds familiar, that’s because the property was in the news earlier this year.

Those are the sites of an 1853 house, and nearby studio and shed, formerly owned and used by noted artists Walter and Naiad Einsel.

Walter and Naiad Einsel’s South Morningside Drive house.

The plan — submitted by “Morningside Drive Homes, LLC” — consists of 19 3-bedroom townhouses, in 5 buildings. Six of those 19 units would be “income restricted,” in accordance with 8-30(g).

The studio and shed would remain. The 1853 farmhouse would be demolished.

A horseshoe-shaped private road off Morningside Drive South would serve the units. The exit would be directly across from the entrance to Greens Farms Elementary School. The entrance would be 150 feet south.

20 Morningside Drive South — on Walter and Naiad Einsel’s former property — is a candidate for 8-30(g) development. (Photo/Anna DeVito)

As reported on “06880,” a long battle pitted a developer — who wanted to subdivide the property, while retaining the older structures — against preservationists.

The Historic District Commission — with only advisory powers — voted unanimously against recommending approval of the subdivision application.

They sent their comments to the Planning and Zoning Commission. With only 1 abstention, the P&Z voted down the request to subdivide.

With this new 8-30(g) application, odds are good the P&Z is not finished with South Morningside.

Preserving — And Honoring — Westport’s Past

Homeowners who put time, money, energy and love into preserving old homes don’t do it for a prize, or even praise.

They do it because they love Westport’s past. They want to honor and keep it.

But it doesn’t hurt to say “thanks.”

Next Monday (October 15, 7 p.m., town Hall auditorium), 1st Selectman Jim Marpe, Historic District Commission chair Francis Henkels and members of his committee will present the 2018 Historic Preservation Awards.

The properties can be found all over town. They represent a variety of architectural styles. We should all be grateful, for all of them.

17 Canal Street

Street Keeler House, c. 1830
Federal Style
Rehabilitation
Jocelyn and Addison Armstrong

When the Braxton Armstrongs purchased 17 Canal Street in 2002, they wanted to “honor the past while making the home comfortable for the future.” They kept all original windows, including the elaborate lunette windows on the gable ends, doors and clapboard visible from the street.

They replaced all aluminum gutters with copper, and reinstalled a wooden shingle roof. They used antique knives to cut trim to match existing and lost trim on the façade, reused doors restored by soda blasting them, and reused hardware miraculously found in the basement.

Throughout the project, they remained committed to the original architectural elements.  While the property is not a locally designated landmark, the owners consistently demonstrated their sensitivity to historic preservation and maintaining the integrity of this significant structure.

27 Long Lots Road

Site Rehabilitation
William Nash House, c.1812
Federal
Susan and Stuart Adam

This house was built in 1812, after William Nash bought the property from Daniel C. Banks. It remained in the Nash family until the death of Polly Nash, when the property was sold to Samuel Elwood. James Godfrey and Albert Fresenius owned the house in the 1920s. 

It has retained many of its original historic features, and evolved with sympathetic and modest side additions. The current owners, who have lived in the house for just over a year, restored portions and carefully rehabilitated the front area of the house by removing obstructing vegetation and trees, and building a stone wall. Now the beauty of the original Federal style house can once again be admired.

75 Kings Highway North

Helen Muller Preservation Award
Francis Converse House, c. 1922
Colonial Revival
Kathryn and Brian McGarvey

This award is given in recognition of a significant contribution to the maintenance, preservation and conservation of the Kings Highway North Local Historic District in honor of one of Westport’s most prominent preservation advocates, Helen Muller.

When the McGarveys purchased this prominent house in 2015, it came with an impressive history.  It is thought to have been designed by one of Westport’s most important local architects, Charles Cutler. Barbara and Allan Raymond whose tireless devotion to the history of Westport is well known, lived in the house for 50 years.

The McGarveys wanted to reconfigure the front yard and driveway to make it safer for their young family. They installed a white wooden picket fence and circular drive with gates on either side. A 2-story addition complemented the original structure, with original materials, a matching cedar shingle roof and 6- over-6 wooden windows. The Raymonds would be pleased to know the McGarveys are now stewards of this treasured homestead.

6 Great Marsh Road

Adaptive Re-use
Queen Anne Style, c. 1887
Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club

In 1690 William and Mary, reigning monarchs of England, bestowed a royal grant for a tidal basin known as Great Marsh. The decree allowed for private ownership of the land under the water located at the mouth of the Saugatuck River.

To whom this grant was bestowed, remains a mystery. Not until 1893 did state records recognize a land transfer of the Great Marsh to Henry C. Eno, owner of a grand Queen Anne manor house on the abutting property. In 1887 he added a richly detailed stable situated alongside the tidal basin land grant.

The picturesque board-and-batten sided stable is massed with a projecting gable pavilion, and double-leaf paneled loft doors on the 2nd level. A copper-roofed cupola accents the ridge of the gable roof. The original horse stalls and their accouterments remain, as does the distinctive herringbone patterned brick flooring where guests of J. Anthony and Frances Probst, third owners of “Great Marsh,” danced summer nights away.

A reversal of fortune caused the family to sell the 100-acre estate. A marina was included in subdivision plans. Landscape architect Evan Harding designed what became Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club. In keeping with the original aesthetics, the stable was converted to a clubhouse, with an addition and balcony added to the south end. The underwater marsh land was dredged to create a harbor, the first of its kind on the Eastern Seaboard to feature an underwater bubble system allowing boats to remain moored year-round.

79 Newtown Turnpike

Rehabilitation
Lewis Burr Fillow House, c. 1800/1925
Chabad Lubavitch of Westport

This spring, Chabad Lubavitch of Westport celebrated the grand opening of its space in the old Three Bears restaurant. The rehabilitation of this historic building was sensitive and creative.

Exterior and interior architectural elements were preserved and restored. The renovation — designed by Robert Storm and carried out by Able Construction — encompassed over 9,000 square feet of the original property, and 10,000 square feet of complementary new construction.

The project blends New England vernacular-fieldstone and shingle features with the historic core structure. The site that has served as a stagecoach stop, inn, restaurant is now a new Jewish center for prayer services, educational programs and meetings.

15 Bridge Street

Bridge Street National Register District
Mary Dolan House, c. 1880 / David Bulkley House, c. 1880
Veronica and Tom Hofstetter

This Italianate-style c. 1880 house was built on land sold in 1879 by Isaac Allen to David Bulkley. The carpenter built a gable-ended, side hall plan, 2-story original home. Current owners Veronica and Tom Hofstetter purchased the house in 2004. They made their first addition the next year, incorporating a new master bedroom, kitchen and enlarged basement.

In 2017, the Hofstetters continued a 137-year-long tradition of stewardship by working with Vita Design Group. Their commitment is a good example of expansion to an existing historic structure in a manner that reflects appropriate design details. The house is a contributing resource in the Bridge Street National Register Historic District, established earlier this year.

36 Evergreen Parkway

Excellence in Care and Maintenance
Cape Cod, c. 1937
Cynthia Wallace

Cynthia Wallace acquired the property in 1960, and has been its faithful steward ever since. This home is a circa 1937 1 1/2-story Cape Cod, a loosely based Colonial Revival style with origins in the simple wooden folk houses of New England.

It is a rectangular plan building with a symmetrical façade and center entrance.  A brick chimney interrupts the asphalt shingle sheathed roof. The exterior is clad in wood shingles. The attached 2-bay garage, presumed to be a later addition, has carriage doors and an entry door. A rear dormer has been added.

The award acknowledges the contribution an architectural archetype of the mid-20th century has made to our present suburban landscape. The HDC cites this as an example of how, with sensitive modifications — including expansion, care and maintenance — a house of a different era, though not that long ago, can represent what a good neighbor can be.

Developer Withdraws Morningside South Demolition Applications

The Westport Historic District Commission has a full agenda for next Tuesday’s public meeting (August 14, Town Hall, 7 p.m.).

They’ll hear a request by the Westport Historical Society to place a commemorative plaque in a new downtown area — the former site of a largely black boardinghouse to acknowledge the contributions made by African Americans in Westport.

They’ll talk about demolition permits for Bulkley Avenue South, North Main Street, Bayberry Lane, High Point Road, Island Way and Compo Road South.

But they won’t discuss the proposed — and very controversial — demolition of 20 and 26 Morningside Drive South.

Those are the sites of an 1853 house, and nearby studio and shed, formerly owned and used by noted artists Walter and Naiad Einsel.

As reported on “06880” earlier this month, a long battle pitted a developer against preservationists.

Now the battle has halted. Tuesday’s HDC agenda — published yesterday — says that all 3 demolition proposals were “withdrawn by applicant.”

Somehow though, this does not seem like the end of the war.

Walter and Naiad Einsel’s South Morningside Drive house.