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Tuesday, April 24 News

Miles of memories: Merritt Parkway history explored in Westport film screening

Westport filmmaker Lisa Seidenberg was driving on the Merritt Parkway late one night when she saw "the strange beauty of a bridge coming out of the mist."

The experience inspired her to make a film about Fairfield County's scenic 37-mile highway. That film, "The Road Taken ¦ The Merritt Parkway," will be shown at noon Jan. 31 at the Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place.

Seidenberg describes her film as a "people's history of recollections and archival material from individuals whose lives have been touched by the parkway."

The Merritt Parkway, constructed between 1934 and 1940, features 69 different Art Deco bridges. All were the work of architect George L. Dunkelberger and include ornamentation hand-carved by local artists. The parkway was intended to relieve congestion of Route 1 and also meant to provide "driving for pleasure," according to Henry Merritt, great-nephew of the parkway's namesake, U.S. Rep. Schuyler Merritt.

Reservations for the free screening are recommended by calling 203-222-1424. Viewers can bring a bagged lunch; beverages will be provided.

Visit www.westporthistory.org for more information.