06880+50 Exhibit Portrays What Westport Is Expected To Be Like In 50 Years Emma Van Riper '20

At the Westport Historical Society, flying cars, a high speed ferry to Manhattan and compact homes with elevators are only some of the pieces on display. The most recent exhibit, 06880+50, gives a glimpse into the future of Westport in the year 2067.

The exhibit, which is open Sept. 22 through Dec. 31, showcases the ‘future of Westport’ as depicted by architects throughout town. Their ideas are inspired by how they imagine the town will evolve. Many people were involved in the year-long process of creating the project, and Andrew Bentley, a member of the WHS Advisory Board, was a large part in organizing the entire exhibit.

“The idea came to me when I was attending a WHS show which juxtaposed photos of Westport homes from long ago and photos of the houses today. It made me think about what those same houses might look like in the future,” Bentley said. “We settled on +50 years, because it was far enough into the future to let our imaginations fly, but so so far that all we got back were spaceship designs.”

The Westport Historical Society reached out to more than 40 architects, and by the spring of 2017, they had 20 architects who agreed to contribute their ideas and predictions for Westport’s future.

“Some of them are based off of environmental concerns, some have to deal with flooding and global warming,” Nicole Carpenter, Education and Programs Director at the Westport Historical Society, said. “Then there are others that talk about town-wide concerns of teardowns and population growth.”

The 11 main architects involved in the exhibit are predicting different things for Westport’s future. These included David Adam Realty, The Sellars Lathrop Architects, Leigh Overland Architect, Jureshlo Herman Architect, Deirdre O’Farrelly Architect, Rountree Architects, Scott Springer Architect, Vita Design Group, Robert Strom Architects, Roger Ferris + Partners, Michael Greenberg & Associates, and FWH Architects.

Although each of these companies had different visions for the future, all had modern designs and models that they thought accurately depicted what could be expected in 50 years.

“I thought the exhibit was really cool because it’s interesting to see how modern the town I grew up in could be in 50 years. Technology is advancing so quickly, anything is possible,” Jackie Zinn ’20 said.

Not only have Staples students visited the exhibit, but third grade classes from various elementary schools in Westport have taken field trips to look for themselves.

“Westporters are forward thinking people who take great pride in their town,” Bentley said, “and I think this exhibit touches both of those 'nerves.'”

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