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

  • SAT & ACT Prep Classes

    2014.08.02
     @ Greenwich Education Group

    If you are planning on taking the SAT or the ACT in October or November, this is an ideal time to start your preparation! Once school begins,...

  • Seaside Center: Shoreline Seining and Plankton Tow

    2014.07.20
     @ Seaside Center

    Help us gather plankton and see what creatures are living in our ocean’s water! Examine microscopic organisms caught in our plankton net...

  • Cool and Collected ‘14

    2014.07.10
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    (Gallery 1) Featuring artists:  Carla Goldberg, Melanie Kozol, Francis Sills, and Eve Stockton Summer exhibition at Kenise Barnes...

  • Summer Vacation Day Programs- Grades K-6

    2014.08.18
     @ Stamford JCC

    Monday August 18 To Friday August 22, 8am – 6pm Monday-Baking a Mitzvah Tuesday-Scavenger Hunt Wednesday- Ice Cream Craze....

  • TREEHOUSES: Look Who's Living in the Trees!

    2014.06.21
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Saturday, June 21 - Monday, September 1 Hidden in the leaves, snug in the trunk or burrowed under the roots, what types of animals actually...

  • Exhibit: Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.03
     @ Bruce Museum

    May 3 – August 31, 2014 Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing This exhibition focuses on two of the world’s leading...

  • Seaside Center: Seaweed Pressing

    2014.07.18
     @ Seaside Center

    Look at the different seaweeds around Greenwich Point and learn about their role in the marine ecosystem. We will end with a seaweed pressing...

  • Seaside Center: Arts and Crafts

    2014.07.18
     @ Seaside Center

    Let your creativity float free! Practice the art of Gyotaku fish prints; make a sundial, a shell wind chime, or fish bowl! Activities vary every...

  • Vals Free Weekly In-Store Wine Tasting | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.09
     @ Val's Putnam Wine And Liquors

    Each Friday we feature new wines just released and new to market for you to have an opportunity to taste and learn about through our sponsored...

  • Wine Time Social Hour | Greenwich, CT

    2014.01.27
     @ Barcelona Greenwich

    $4.00 select wines, $4.00 well drinks, and $3.00 beers.

  • Happy Hour | Greenwich, CT

    2014.01.26
     @ Morello Italian Bistro

    Refresh yourself with our famous Red & White Sangria! Don’t forget that during happy hour every day 4:30pm-6:30pm your 2nd drink...

  • Seaside Center: Story Time

    2014.07.19
     @ Seaside Center

    Grab a comfy seat as we read stories about our favorite sea creatures. We will even take a peek at a real-life version of the animal in our...

  • Saturday Vals Free Weekly In-Store Wine Tasting | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.10
     @ Val's Putnam Wine And Liquors

    We will feature an array of new and different International wines that are selected by our staff as “Staff Picks Favorites” in...

  • Seaside Center: Naturalist's Choice

    2014.07.19
     @ Seaside Center

    Be surprised! Changing topic that is fun and fascinating, selected by the Naturalist!

  • SM&NC Farm Market

    2014.06.15
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 15 – October 5, 10am – 2pm We're thrilled to bring back the SM&NC Farm Market — now on Sundays!...

  • Animal Meet and Greet

    2014.06.22
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 22 - August 31, 3:30 - 4:00pm Stop by for a chance to meet one of our Overbrook Nature Center or Heckscher Farm animals up...

  • Bar: Live Music | Greenwich, CT

    2014.03.09
     @ Barcelona Greenwich

    Join us in Greenwich every Sunday for live music and half-priced bottles of wine!

  • Bar: Ladies Night | Old Greenwich, CT

    2014.02.18
     @ Beach House Cafe

    Drink Specials starting at 9:00pm 'till close, $2.00 off any Martini or Margarita.

  • Tuesday Wine Appreciation Night | Greenwich, CT

    2014.02.04
     @ Terra Sole

    Receive 50% off on most listed Wine under $100.00 and 25% off on bottles $100.00 and over!

  • Seaside Center: Shoreline Seining at Low Tide

    2014.07.15
     @ Seaside Center

    Help us collect data for the Long Island Sound biodiversity database. 1:00 pm: June 24, July 8, Aug 5, 19. 4:00 pm: July 1, 15, 22, 29,...


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