A Dry Stacked Stone Wall to Appreciate in Historic West Haven
(The walls) endure in part because a rock is as near a definition of “forever” as exists. Do it right — square, plumb, and well-tied throughout — and the wall will be standing long after you and I and all our other accomplishments and failings are forgotten.” -John Vivian-How to Build a Dry Stone Wall
I’ve written about placing my hand on a brick when admiring the preservation of a building. Appreciating the stonework in West Haven is an opportunity, as deceased Irish Priest, author, poet, John O’Donohue says: “Draw alongside the silence of stone until its calmness can claim you.” I stood for a few moments before the stone wall pictured above. I’m not going to tell you where the wall is because you must go and find your own stone to find its calmness. The home on the right is fronted with a low stone wall and pictured is this stunning entrance pathway that speaks of lasting beauty. This is the 1930 Margaret Griffin House (1617 Rivera Drive) also referred to as Pine Hall.
The two-story brick Colonial Revival style house is laid in Flemish bond. The seven-bay symmetrical facade features decorative stone and brick work, including a stone frontispiece. This photo doesn’t do the house justice, I apologize, but it does show you the results of John Wells wisdom in specifying that only a minimum number of trees could be cleared during construction. An abundance of mature trees is part of the glory of West Haven. Haven’t we all driven through a neighborhood with beautiful homes and tried to imagine what our lives would be like if we walked through the front door of one of our favorites and called it home. Could you blame me when I stopped to take a closer look at 408 Wildwood? I’ll let it speak for itself, but the gardener in me said, “Oh, yes!”
NEXT TIME: Part 3- Looking at Historic West Haven Through the Eyes of Its Architecture