Protections Pursued for 1894 Redman-Fitzgerald House in Riverside

Greenwich is looking to protect the “Redman-Fitzgerald House” at 98 Riverside Avenue in Riverside.

Andrew Melillo, secretary for the Greenwich Historic District Commission, went before the Board of Selectmen Thursday with a request that the HDC serve as the study committee, to review a report on the home.

The ultimate goal is to achieve a Local Historic Property designation.

Photo courtesy Historic District Commission

“This is a unique time in Riverside’s history and there are very few landmarks left,” Melillo said.

He said homes like the Redman-Fitzgerald House were built in Greenwich in the late 1800’s when the town came of age as a commuter town. Residents could benefit from the proximity to New York for business while enjoying the beautiful river landscape and countryside in Greenwich.

“This is a house that encapsulates a time that is being demolished and destroyed and forgotten in Riverside, and it should be preserved,” Melillo explained. “The owner is working with Historic Properties of Greenwich. This is something the owner wants, and it’s something that is good as a historic resource for the town.”

Melillo said the HDC would like to review the report and approve it so it can be presented to the RTM and achieve the Local Historic Property designation.

Melillo said Anne Young had done the research.

“That should speak for itself. She’s a great historical resource for the town,” he said.

By designating the home as a Local Historic Property, any future change to it would require a certificate of appropriateness from the HDC.

The item was a First Read but the Selectmen were supportive. Tentatively there will be a second read and vote at the next meeting, which is at 7:00pm on Feb 22.

Redman-Fitzgerald House

According to information from the Historic Properties of Greenwich, the 2-1/2 story house was named after the two families who each lived at 98 Riverside Avenue for over 30 years.

The house was built in 1894 in Shingle style with a side-gabled core set off by a three-story, conical-roofed round tower.  It features a wraparound porch with Tuscan columns set on pedestals.

The property is approximately one acre, which is considerably larger than any of its neighbors.

Excerpt from Historic Properties of Greenwich:

“Between the 1880s and 1930, Greenwich came of age as a commuter town. The transformation from a community of farmers and fisherman was closely tied to the establishment of the rail stations in the 1870s. The convenience of local depots enabled speculators to capitalize on the double market of commuters and seasonal renters. The potential for profitable development was the appeal for Jeremiah Atwater, a Brooklyn real estate entrepreneur, who began amassing land along the eastern banks of the Mianus River with the intention of dividing it and selling it to New Yorkers. Homes and/or land were sold in large tracts and this pattern helped to preserve the rural character that Riverside is known for today.”

The house was recognized by the Greenwich Historical Society as worthy of inclusion in its 30+ year preservation program, Greenwich Landmark Registry, in1995.