LETTER: Towering Monstrosities Are an Affront to Historic Downtown Greenwich

Submitted by Marianne Hillmer, Greenwich

Many Greenwich residents are up in arms over the band of developers with proposals to build large modern apartment buildings without any regard for the historical significance of the downtown district.

A plaque from the National Register of Historic Places is posted on the front of Bank of America located at 240 Greenwich Avenue. The current building proposal for a modern six story 60-unit apartment building at the rear of 240 Greenwich Avenue is a complete affront to the historic designation.

The Greenwich Avenue Historic district is roughly bounded by Greenwich Avenue, Railroad Avenue, Arch Street, Field Point Road, Putnam Avenue, Mason Street, Havemeyer and Bruce and West Elm Street.

25 West Elm Street is surrounded by proposals from two developers—directly across the street is the site of the 240 Greenwich Avenue proposal. Directly behind 25 West Elm Street is the location of the Benedict Court proposal for a six-story 110-unit residential development. If the Benedict Court proposal is brought to fruition, a towering modern monstrosity would be the backdrop to historic Saint Mary’s Church built in 1884.

As a 30-year resident of downtown Greenwich, I’ve seen many changes to the landscape of Greenwich Avenue, but throughout the years the new architecture has blended with the historic ambience of downtown Greenwich. If these radical changes to the landscape of the town are approved, it will be an assault to the dignity of historic downtown Greenwich.  

Many historic towns in Connecticut are facing the same issues.  8-30g cannot be a one-size fit all for every town in Connecticut. 

My hope is for the Town of Greenwich and other municipalities to do everything in their power to have the State of Connecticut amend the 8-30g so that it will not allow developers to deface historic towns in Connecticut.