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Wednesday, December 13 News

Community Channel: Westporter stars in comedy ‘Sylvia,’ Historic Preservation Awards presented

A Westport resident stars in the Darien Arts Center’s fall production by A.R. Gurney that revolves around a dog “Sylvia,” the couple that adopts her, and the comedy that ensues. Jacquie Carlsen, David Jackins and Giovanna Olcese, of Norwalk, and Susan Stanton, of Westport, bring the comedy to life under the direction of Christian Amato.

“Sylvia” opens on Friday in the DAC Weatherstone Studio at 8 p.m. Other performances are at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10 and 11 and at 2 p.m. Sunday and Nov. 11.

A.R. Gurney’s “Sylvia” is a smart, silly, sophisticated, and occasionally salty comedy about relationships, nature, and growing older. Greg is a man of middle age, a restless empty-nester, tired of his job in finance and looking for meaning in his life. Sylvia is an exuberant and beautiful lab-poodle mix, astray in Central Park, looking for a new home. When they meet, it is love at first sight. But Greg’s wife Kate, a busy rising star in the public school system, is looking forward to some independence now that the couple no longer has children to care for. She is less than thrilled by the clever and coquettish canine that jumps, slobbers, sits on her couch, and takes Greg’s attention away from his marriage.

Sylvia is sponsored by A Total Look Mobile Dog Grooming of Darien and presented through special arrangement with Dramatist Play Service.

Tickets are $25 at darienarts.org. For more information, call the DAC at (203) 655-8683.

The Historic District Commission selected eight recipients for the 2017 Historic Preservation Awards.

The awards were presented by First Selectman Jim Marpe, Historic District Commission Chairman Francis Henkels, and members of the Historic District Commission at a ceremony on Oct. 30 at Town Hall.

6 Clover Lane

A well-known local architect is credited with designing and building the saltbox-style replication at 6 Clover Lane.

Although the house was built in 1966 by architect George White, it provides a view of the traditional houses that are associated with historic Westport.

LJ and Lawrence Wilks are the third owners of the house and have taken special care to preserve the exterior of the house to represent the typical New England saltbox-style house.

Meeker Barn on Cross Highway

The historic barn at 190 Cross Highway was built by Benjamin Meeker circa 1800 after he came home from the notorious Sugar House Prison where he and his brother Daniel had been held as prisoners of war during the American Revolution. He inherited the homestead, and was the second of five generations of Meekers who would live in the saltbox house and farm the land until 1917.

For most of the 20th century, the barn and dwelling house were owned by Willem Schilthuis, who made significant additions to both buildings. No longer needed for agriculture, the barn was adaptively reused as a residence, and during World War II the attached caretaker’s cottage was expanded for family use. Little maintenance was done to the barn/cottage building in the latter half of the 20th century, however, and by the time the current owners bought the barn/cottage and saltbox-dwelling house in 2003, the property was in foreclosure, abandoned, and the barn deteriorated over time.

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The current owners, Wendy Van Wie and Mark Yurkiw, rehabilitated the barn/cottage, using fieldstone from the grounds to apply a stone veneer to the base of the building. By personally seeking a zoning text amendment and obtaining a special permit for historic residential structures, they were able to subdivide the property. By placing the barn/cottage and the circa 1728 saltbox house, both prominent residential structures, on separate lots, it makes them more viable as independent structures and increases the likelihood of their being preserved. All of the buildings have been protected by perpetual preservation easements.

Bulkley Barn on Greens Farms Road

The English-style barn at 383 Greens Farms Road was built in 1820 by Francis Bulkley after purchasing 13 acres of land in 1818 for his farm. Bulkley then transferred the land with the barn to his son, John Bulkley, in 1862. Public records indicate that the barn was rebuilt by neighbors following a fire in 1870.

In 2000 the Zlatkins purchased the property with the barn and since then have utilized it for civic gatherings, concerts and family events. They installed a new cedar-shingle roof, reinforced the basement foundation and floor beams, replaced exterior siding and made various enhancements to the interior. All the work was done with meticulous care and with historically-appropriate materials.

The work was spearheaded by Maureen Whiteman Zlatkin with the support of her husband Lawrence Zlatkin. After the major preservation activities concluded Maureen passed away last month. After her death, her husband said her major focus in preserving the barn was to inspire other Westport residents to preserve their historic treasures.

8 Charcoal Hill Road

In October 1927, Frazier Peters and Albert Violet purchased 15.4 acres of land on which architect Frazier Peters designed and built his signature stone houses. Eight Charcoal Hill Road is a stone Tudor revival, a classic example of one of the homes he designed and constructed on Charcoal Hill Road.

The house is a marriage of a designed-to-last structure connected to the land its sits upon. The house built of stone is ideally positioned on a sloping wooden lot, set back from the road to blend in with its bucolic setting. The gravel driveway helps bond the one-and-one-half story building to the land. To avoid a conventional look, the windows consist of metal frames casements and fixed sash in varying sizes.

When Jamie and Sam Febbraio bought the house in 2015, it was in its original state but suffered from severe neglect. Sam Febbraio’s family lived in Westport for three generations and was aware of the compelling appeal and historical significance of a Frazier Peters-designed house. He said he would only move back to Westport if he could find and restore a Frazier Peters house.

The Febbraios — who did most of the work themselves — meticulously restored the residence to its original form, adding 21st century amenities to create convenience and operating features.

101 Compo Road South

Although this property was identified on the Westport Historic Resources Inventory, it was neglected and the current owner purchased it in 2015 “as is” from a bank with no inspection. Extensive water damage made it inhabitable. The exterior of the house was in dire need of repair with rotted and missing shingles, a collapsed roof, water damaged floors and subfloor, all of which were replaced.

The owner, Jenny Ong, sought the assistance of a structural engineer and an architect’s design guidance. A new roof and dormer addition were added. The original footprint was maintained while new windows and doors were installed. Stone steps and a new driveway were constructed.

The owner of the 1924 Colonial Revival was committed to a quality restoration replacing all electrical and plumbing work to meet code. This rehabilitation replaced basement posts to secure the structure of the house as well as the first floor joists and flooring

Wakeman Town Farm

In 1908 John Wakeman purchased a large acreage of farmland at 134 Cross Highway, which was to become a well-known supplier of onions, along with milk and eggs.

The Wakeman farmhouse boasts a picturesque, vernacular-style of architecture that features coupled windows sheltered by a verandah with turned posts and a projecting gable that defines the central entrance bay. Town records indicate the house was a converted carriage/barn that was relocated from across the street to its current site.

In 1970 Isaac Wakeman and his wife, Pearl, knowing their farm was an integral part of the community, offered to sell the historic property to the town of Westport. The town agreed to buy and renovate the property.

Peter Wormser, a Wakeman Town Farm Committee member, a long-time Westporter and an architect, gifted his time and talent to the design of the Wakeman farmhouse while the Public Works Department oversaw the construction. The original front porch was rebuilt with replications of its turned posts and a new Galvalume flat roof instead of shingles. A gabled roof replaced a shed dormer on the second floor addition and a 1,500-square-foot, glass-enclosed educational kitchen and classroom are among the many added features.

Today, the farm thrives as a sustainability center, an organic homestead open to the public.

37 Evergreen Avenue

The Helen Muller Preservation Award was given in recognition of the sensitive renovation to the Colonial Revival house, circa 1938, at 37 Evergreen Ave. located in the Evergreen Avenue Historic District.

A successful element of the renovation was the removal of a later-addition solarium on the front of the house and its replacement with a sympathetic addition within the existing footprint. The materials used and the overall design reflect and enhance the original character of the house. Throughout the design process the owners, Martha Constable and Bruce McGuirk, worked collaboratively with the Historic District Commission to insure that the work would be appropriate for the historic district.

Bedford Square

From the date in 1929 when it was constructed as the home of the Westport YMCA following the bequest of philanthropist, Edward Bedford, this Tudor-revival edifice has anchored the central crossroads of downtown Westport. It helped to define the center of town by virtue of its prominent location, its civic stature and the social activity it supported. While not particularly reflective of the prevailing architectural styles in Westport, the building at 159 Post Road East fit in downtown with a sensitive balance of scale, massing, form and the traditional architectural features popular at the time.

When the Y decided to relocate to the Mahackeno campus, there was wide concern about how the change of ownership would affect this important structure and the center of town over which it presided.

The successful purchaser of the property was the real estate development consortium, Bedford Square Associates, LLC., which made a strong commitment to historic preservation. They engaged the prominent architectural firm Centerbrook Associates. Which worked with town agencies to design and build a mixed-use complex that renovated and adaptively-repurposed the Bedford building while adding significantly more space with new construction that respects the character and scale of the original building and the streetscape of the Westport Center Village District.

On Election Day, Nov. 7, the following polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.:

Saugatuck Elementary School: RTM Districts 1 and 2.

Coleytown Middle School: RTM Districts 3 and 8.

Greens Farms School: RTM Districts 4 and 5.

Long Lots School: RTM Districts 6 and .7

Town Hall auditorium: RTM District 9.

The RTM District 9 poll location is a temporary change from prior years, due to construction at the Westport Library.

Voters may use the “Westport’s Voter Information Look-Up” page on the town’s website to check their polling place and party affiliation at westportct.gov. For information, contact the registrars office at 203-341-1115.

The Westport Department of Human Services reminds seniors the department offers a list of middle and high school students willing to work small outdoor jobs such as raking leaves or shoveling walkways.

There is a suggested fee of $10 per hour.

Seniors needing assistance may contact the department at 203-341-1050.

Students interested in helping a senior and earning extra money can contact the department or email humansrv@westportct.gov. Students already registered for the program are requested to contact the department if they wish to remain on the list. Written permission from a parent or guardian is necessary.

The Westport Arts Center presents “Vivian Maier — a Lifetime of Photographs” on view through Nov. 10. The exhibition features over seventy color and black-and-white photos taken by the secretive nanny-photographer during her lifetime.

Maier’s story has been pieced together only from the images she made and from the handful of facts that have surfaced about her life. For over five decades while she served as a nanny in Chicago and New York, she shot more than 100,000 images, which she kept hidden from the world. Maier captured both revealing self-portraits and casual, unposed images of people in urban America; she was interested in the fringes of society, and had special interest in the poor and the forgotten.

In 2007, two years before Maier’s death, Chicago historic preservationist John Maloof discovered a trove of negatives and undeveloped film in a storage locker he bought at an auction. They revealed a surprising and accomplished artist and a stunning body of work, which Maloof championed and brought to worldwide acclaim.

Maier’s life is also the subject of an Oscar-nominated film, “Finding Vivian Maier,” currently available on Netflix.

Compact smart homes with elevators. A commute-busting high-speed ferry from Westport to Manhattan. A bike path connecting downtown to the Saugatuck train station. Out-of-the-way lots for self-parking driverless cars.

Welcome to Westport in the year 2067.

A new exhibit, 06880+50, brings together the the innovative imaginings of a select group of Westport architects at Westport Historical Society.

The participants range from independent architects to members of large firms and include works from David Adam Realty, Inc., Peter Cadoux Architects, Robert Cohen, Roger Ferris & Partners, Michael Greenberg & Associates, Juresko Herman, Frederick William Hoag, John Jones, Dierdra O’Farrelly, Leigh Overland, Roundtree Architects, Sellars Lathrop Architects, Scott Springer, Robert Storm and Vita Design Group.

The exhibit runs through Dec. 31.

PaintCare, a no-fee paint recycling program, will be available to Westport residents at the Westport Transfer Station.

Residents may take advantage of this program by bringing latex paint, oil-based paint, primer, stain, sealer, varnish and shellac (no spray paint) to the Westport Transfer station, 300 Sherwood Island Connector, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon.

There is no charge for recycling paint at the Transfer Station site for Westport residents, nor are any local tax dollars expended. The program is funded by a PaintCare Fee of 75 cents per gallon, which is added to the purchase price of paint sold in Connecticut. This fee is used to fund all aspects of the PaintCare stewardship program. Collected fees pay for paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach and program administration.

The addition of this program to the town’s recycling efforts is expected to reduce annual hazardous waste processing by $3,000 to $4,000 annually.

The paint dropped off at the transfer station is packed into large, plastic-lined boxes and transported to PaintCare’s facility. If possible, the paint is recycled into new paint. If not, it may be turned into fuel or used to make another product.

PaintCare Inc. is a nonprofit organization established by paint manufacturers to plan and operate paint-recycling programs in states that have passed paint stewardship laws. Connecticut is one of only seven states in the country to pass the legislation.

Do you drive on the Merritt Parkway late at night or early in the morning between Fairfield and Westport? Then be prepared for some delays because of a $56.7 million project that won’t be finished until August 2019.

The project will focus on a five-mile stretch of the parkway between the Congress Street bridge in Fairfield to the Newtown Turnpike overpass in Westport.

The project will include new pavement in both the northbound lanes and work on 11 structures related to the historic bridges, built nearly 80 years ago.

There’s also upgrades planned for guiderails, drainage and restoration of the historic bridges. With all this work, lane closures are needed.

Northbound lane closures are planned from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Saturday to Wednesday and from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday.

Southbound lane closures are from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday; from 8 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday and from 8 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday.

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