The 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, and the brave women who made it possible, inspires this year’s Landmarks Recognition Program.
Four Greenwich structures owned, designed or dedicated to trailblazing women will receive a plaque at a reception on April 26th at the Greenwich Country Club in recognition of their design excellence and value in preserving Greenwich’s unique architectural heritage.
Mary Tyler Moore’s stately fieldstone home where she lived with her husband, Dr. S. Robert Levine, up until her death in 2017, is among the properties.
Others include Innis Arden Cottage, the YWCA and a spectacular multi-winged Tudor dwelling in Rock Ridge.
Architectural historian Nina E. Harkrader will deliver the keynote address: All the Single Ladies: Women Only Buildings in New York.
With insights from a forthcoming book, Harkrader will showcase the homes and structures that were designed to offer ‘good moral surroundings’ and lady-like comforts for women who flocked to New York and other urban areas to find work in the late 19th and early 20th centuries at a time when there was strong demand for female labor. Among the most notable women-only homes that emerged in New York was the Barbizon, where such luminaries as Lauren Bacall, Grace Kelly and Sylvia Plath resided temporarily, immortalizing it as a stylish and sought-after place to live.
Through anecdotes and first-hand accounts, Harkrader will illustrate what it was like for single women to find their own lodgings when there wasn’t a precedent for it, considering it was a period when female chastity, innocence and domesticity were celebrated and expected. With striking parallels to the suffrage movement, urban housing became central to the struggle for women to be accepted as independent individuals.
“We’re thrilled to recognize enterprising women and the structures that often helped them succeed,” says Robin Kencel, Chairman of the Landmarks Recognition Program. “It’s a fascinating and timely topic considering the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, and the Historical Society’s dynamic new exhibition underway that showcases the role Greenwich women played on the national stage in achieving its passage.”
An Unfinished Revolution: The Woman’s Suffrage Centennial is on view through September 6.
The Historical Society is grateful for the support of the Landmark Recognition program committee led by Robin Kencel, founding member of Compass Real Estate’s Greenwich office; architects Rose Scott Long, and Greg Tankersley, and Greenwich Historical Society Trustee John Dixon. Ex officio selection committee members include Historical Society Executive Director and CEO Debra Mecky and Christopher Shields, Curator of Library and Archives. Chris Meech contributed the photography.
The Landmark Recognition Event Committee co-chairs are Alexandra Cummiskey and Heather J. Sargent. Program support is generously provided by Charles Hilton Architects. Proceeds from the event will support community outreach critical to fulfilling Greenwich Historical Society’s mission: To preserve and interpret Greenwich history to strengthen the community’s connection to our past, to each other and to our future.
The Landmarks Recognition Program has presented plaques to more than 300 structures since its inception 33 years ago, with a goal of promoting pride in ownership and the preservation and adaptive use of distinctive properties.
Landmarks Recognition Reception:
Sunday, April 26, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Greenwich Country Club
19 Doubling Rd., Greenwich
A champagne reception will precede the formal program. Individual tickets are $75. For tickets and information about corporate and individual sponsorship opportunities, please visit: www.greenwichhistory.org, or call 203/869-6899.