UPDATE: Application to Demolish and Re-Develop Sun Dial Apartments on Steamboat Road Postponed

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Inside the entrance of Sun Dial Apartments, a vintage photo with view of Silleck House from the harbor. The capton reads: One of the oldest hostelries along the Sound. “The Silleck House at Rocky Neck Point, Greenwich, CT – Fifty-seven years is the Silleck family and now conducted by EA Silleck.”

Correction: The application to develop the site of Sun Dial apartments was incorrectly reported to be withdrawn due to a miscommunication. The application was actually postponed for a third time and is back on the agenda on April 19.

Original story: With just a couple days until the Planning & Zoning meeting on March 31 – a rare Thursday meeting for the commission that typically meets on Tuesdays – the applications from Morgan Jenkins for a preliminary coastal site plan and special permit, to demolish existing structures and construct a new 16,919 sq. ft., multi-family building containing eight dwelling units with underground parking and associated site and drainage improvements on a 26,435 sq. ft. property (above Mean High Water) located at 702 Steamboat Road in the R-6 zone withdrawn.  

After delaying the application twice, Mr. Jenkins’ withdrawal of the applications will likely come as good news to the apartment renters who call Sun Dial Apartments home.

Previous story: UPDATE: Sun Dial Apartments Re-Development Postponed P&Z Again

The apartments have a unique history stemming back to one of Greenwich’s founding families. In 1838 Jared Mead built a tavern over several root cellars, hoping to attract wealthy summer visitors from New York City. Mead named his boarding hotel  ‘The White House.’

As a business, The White House failed.  Ironically, according to Greenwich Library historian Carl White, Jared Mead was unable to get the very food supplies that were grown in Greenwich and shipped to New York.

After years of struggling, Mr. Mead sold the hotel to two women who sold it a year later to Thaddeus Silleck, who renamed it the “Silleck House.”

Mr. White said that in 1850, Silleck House was the oldest hotel on either side of Long Island Sound between New York and Stonington, and the arrival of the railroad contributed to the hotel’s success. In the 1920s, the house was fitted for steam heat, and this made it possible for the boarding house to be open year round.

Mr. White acknowledged that Rhoda Jenkins, Morgan Jenkins’ mother, provided a great deal of information on Silleck House.  A young Rhoda Jenkins boarded at the hotel with her family.

Born in 1920, Rhoda Barney Jenkins passed away in August of 2007. Her mother, Nora Stanton Barney, a graduate of Cornell University, was the country’s first female civil engineer. A fourth generation feminist, Rhoda was the great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who wrote “The Declaration of Sentiments” that opened the seminal 1848 Seneca Falls Convention for Women’s Rights.

Rhoda received an architecture degree from University of Pennsylvania in 1941, earned a pilot’s license, and worked on a variety of projects during her career. In 1948, Rhoda married Frederick Davis Jenkins with whom she had two children, Morgan and Coline, who also makes her home in Greenwich.