Tesei to Dedicate First Historic District Marker in Downtown Greenwich

A new marker commemorating the history of the Greenwich Municipal Center Historic District is set to be dedicated on Monday, November 30th at 11:00 am by First Selectman Peter Tesei.

One of nine signs that will designate local and national historic districts throughout town, it stands in the park just off Greenwich Avenue to the right of the Havemeyer building (now the Greenwich Board of Education building) and across the street from the old town hall. The signs, designed by Charles Hilton, were sponsored by the Greenwich 375th Fund.

The project was initiated by the Greenwich Preservation Network of the Greenwich Historical Society, a group of public and private preservation-minded organizations, businesses and individuals invited by the Historical Society to address new economic and governmental incentives for preservation of the town’s historic structures. The group also plans to publicize and develop programs to educate the community about Greenwich’s architecturally significant buildings and to lend a stronger, more unified voice for preservation in the community.

The Greenwich Preservation Network is chaired by former town planner Dianne Fox and includes advisors First Selectman Peter Tesei, Selectmen John Toner and Drew Marzullo, CT State Senator Michael Bocchino, and CT State Representative Fred Camillo.

Members include Stephen Bishop, who is  Chairman of the Greenwich Historic District Commission, Fifi Sheridan of the Historic District Commission, Katie DeLuca of the Planning and Zoning Commission, Denise Savigeau of the Conservation Commission, Paul Pugliese of the Architectural Review Committee, Davidde Strackbein and Debra Mecky of the Greenwich Historical Society, Josephine Conboy of the Greenwich Preservation Trust, Chris Franco of the Greenwich Point Conservancy, Ginny Gwynne of the Greenwich Land Trust, Joanne Messina of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy, Bruce Barker, Peter Berg and Charles Hilton.

“The Historical Society is pleased to bring these leaders together, because it is critical to preserve the historical identity and character of Greenwich. People are drawn to communities that preserve a strong sense of place,” said Debra Mecky.

In the works are signs for the Strickland Road Historic District (c. 1728 – 1976), the River Road-Mead Avenue Historic District (1835 – 1910), the Greenwich Avenue Historic District (1878 – 1940), the Fourth Ward Historic District (1840 – 1925), the John Street-Round Hill Historic District (c. 1728 – 1925), the Stanwich Historic District, the Glenville Historic District and the Putnam Hill Historic District (c.1730 – 1909).

Background, Greenwich Municipal Center Historic District Marker:

Greenwich’s scattered settlement pattern did not produce an acknowledged municipal focus until it entered into its most rapid period of growth between 1890 and 1930. All of the buildings in the municipal district were erected on vacant farmland in a short period between 1893 and 1938, an era when wealthy benefactors began to view Greenwich as their home. The first of these buildings was the Havemeyer School (1893) with large acreage that gradually began to serve as a public common. The district consisted of three war memorials and six masonry buildings erected in the Romanesque Revival, Neo-classical and Art Deco styles. They included the old Town Hall (1905), old Town Hall Annex (built as the Town’s first high school in 1906), former Post Office (1917), today’s Town Hall (built as the Town’s second high school in 1925) and a Central Fire House and Police Station (1938, demolished in 2014).

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