Editor's note: This is the second story in a three-part series that examines the evolution of business in downtown Fairfield and Westport. The first installment focused on commercial changes in recent years. This installment investigates the economic and political factors in each town that contributed to those changes. The final feature, which will run Friday, will look at private sector and Town Hall proposals that could transform both communities' downtowns in the future.
National Hall stands serenely on the west bank of the Saugatuck River in downtown Westport. The red-brick Italianate building stands still during the day, and equally so at night when no lights beam from its historic windows.