The Future of Tod's Point



Last year saw the completion of the restoration of historic Innis Arden Cottage and the culmination of the first and most ambitious phase of the Greenwich Point Gateway Project. It was launched nearly a decade ago by the Greenwich Point Conservancy under the inspiring leadership of Chris Franco, who grew up in Riverside and recalls many happy days as a youth exploring what was then known as Tod’s Point. 

The cottage had been allowed to deteriorate and was in derelict condition. Restoring it to its original form, with attention to authentic accuracy, was a daunting undertaking. Many elements were missing, including a front porch and many of its windows with their distinctive diamond- shaped panes. In order to recreate the original architectural details, Franco searched for historical photos and documents from sources as far afield as the George Eastman House in Rochester and a rare bookshop in Santa Fe. In the process he unearthed previously unknown history of the Cottage, adding to its already fascinating legacy.

The success of the restoration project was due to its many volunteers and to the generous donors who have contributed $1.5 million to the endeavor. Livvy and Doug Floren led the list of major supporters with their leadership contribution to create the Floren Family Environmental Center at the south end of the cottage; and the Bruce Museum and the Shellfish Commission contributed substantial funds for the Seaside Center to be outfitted and incorporated into the Floren Center, assuring the cottage’s use for science and environmental education.  

The Friends of Greenwich Point provided funds for landscaping at the cottage, and a Greenwich garden club will make a significant gift for the planting of sea grass, flowers, shrubs and bushes for the proposed Gateway gardens. Because the cottage is town property, the support of the Board of Selectmen and RTM has been critical, while the staff of Parks and Recreation gave important on-site help. The restoration of Innis Arden Cottage stands as solid evidence that public/private partnerships can accomplish what neither could do alone. 

We now look forward to Phase Two of the Greenwich Point Gateway Project designed to complete an entrance that will do justice to our wonderful wooded seaside park, a jewel that is our town’s most enviable natural asset enjoyed year-round by thousands.

J. Kennedy Tod’s original 125 year-old livestock barn will be restored and completely remodeled to become a welcome center. At one end will be men’s and women’s changing rooms, restrooms and a lending library. At the other end will be an updated luncheon stand and lifeguard facilities. Separating them will be an open arcade and a new indoor/outdoor terrace that will be ideal for casual luncheons and refreshments.

When Hurricane Sandy came along she “reopened” this area, washing away layers of material tacked on over the years. Located right up against the historic old barn is a homely brick restroom and utility building that will be removed, opening up a landscaped vista between Innis Arden Cottage and the barn.

Commented Chris Franco, “As summer approaches, a visit to the Point provides an uplifting feeling of rebirth and nature renewing itself following the damage from Hurricane Sandy. We have much to be thankful for, but there is still much work to do. The Gateway to Greenwich Point will not be complete until the Old Barn has been restored to its former beauty and becomes a useful and well-loved resource for the community.”

The cost of renovating the Old Barn and completing the connecting landscaping is expected to be approximately $750,000. To date, about $600,000 has been raised, and the Conservancy expects to raise the additional funds through its annual “Beach Ball”, to be held on July 13. Thanks to a generous leadership gift from Chuck and Deborah Royce, Tod’s renovated livestock barn will be named the “Sue H. Baker Pavilion,” in recognition of Sue’s longtime dedication to Greenwich Point, as a resident, an oceanography teacher in the Greenwich school system and a cofounder of the conservancy.

After this, what? Well, Chris Franco has his eye on other buildings of similar vintage that were part of Tod’s great estate, like the lovely chimes tower and the boathouse on Eagle Pond.

But, he admits, first things first.

For tickets to the Beach Ball and to make donations to the Greenwich Point Conservancy, go to greenwichpoint.org.

 

Greenwich Agenda

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  • Exhibit Ira BARKOFF

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  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

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     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

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  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • SPLURGE Matches Scarf Donations for Cancer Patients

    2014.10.01
     @ SPLURGE

    SPLURGE and the Cancer Institute at Greenwich Hospital are partnering to bring comfort and encouragement to cancer patients.  From October...

  • Flinn Gallery Art Opening

    2014.10.30
     @ Flinn Gallery 2nd floor

    FLINN GALLERY Opening Reception 'IN FOCUS' Thursday October 30, 6 - 8pm Seven artists share their visions - Carolyn Conrad,...

  • Laurel House Family Seminar Series

    2014.09.18
     @ Laurel House

    Thursday evenings, September 18, October 2, 16, 30, 6:30-8:00 pm Join us Thursday evenings for this four part Family Seminar Series as...

  • Flower Power

    2014.10.08
     @ SM Home Gallery

    SM Home Gallery show featuring two Greenwich based artists: Margaret Bragg and Penny Putnam. The art show runs thorough November 22nd....

  • IMAGINE CANDY- SWEET TASTINGS!!!

    2014.10.24
     @ Imagine Candy

    Imagine Candy located in Scarsdale Village- Winner of 2014 Best West of Westchester by Westchester Magazine- holds a Belgian Chocolate and Candy...

  • Harvest Fair and Gift Show

    2014.11.01
     @ Second Congregational Church

    Event Will Include Hay Mazes, Games, Crafts, Food, Holiday Shopping The community is invited to a Harvest Fair and Gift Show on Saturday, Nov....

  • New Fitness Class: SalsaTone

    2014.11.01
     @ Latin Moves Dance Studio

    Starting November 1st ~ Every Saturday morning 10 to 11 AM Instructor: Melissa Lopez Start your weekend off right with this exciting cardio...

  • Lynne Scalo Design Opening

    2014.11.05

    Please join Lynne Scalo, Greenwich Magazine and athome Magazine to celebrate the Greenwich showroom opening of Lynne Scalo Design Cocktails...

  • Breast Cancer Alliance Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show

    2014.11.06
     @ Hyatt Regency Greenwich

    Breast Cancer Alliance to Host Branching Out, Coming Together, Aspiring to a Cure 19th Annual Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show: November 6,...

  • Free Screening of Documentary ' Children of the Inquisition'

    2014.11.06
     @ Bush-Holley House

    Join filmmaker Joseph Lovett as he presents his documentary film and multi-platform project of personal exploration and...

  • P.A.L.S. 2nd Annual Soarin' Soiree~ November 7, 2014

    2014.11.07
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    You are invited to join our State Senator, L. Scott Frantz and our First Selectman, Peter J. Tesei, for an awe-inspiring evening to benefit Patient...

  • John Hardy Event

    2014.11.08
     @ Bloomingdale's

    John Hardy One of a kind. One at a time. Each by hand. Bloomingdale's is inviting YOU to meet the head designer Guy Bedarida as he presents...

  • Olivine Gabbro Opening

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    Olivine Gabbro invites you to join them for their Opening Party! DJ | Cocktails | H'Orderves | Gift Bags Made to Measure Beautifully...

  • Meet Joshua Safran, Author of "Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid"

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