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

  • 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

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

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

  • 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...

  • Greenwich Harbor Sunset Wine Cruise | Greenwich, CT

    2014.06.05
     @ Delamar Hotel Dock

    The boat "Prudence" departs from the Delamar Hotel Dock on 500 Steamboat Rd. All the wine is sponsored through VALS with food...

  • 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...

  • Isaia Fall Trunk Show

    2014.09.19
     @ Richards

  • The Many Faces of Multi Media

    2014.09.20
     @ Meli-Melo of Greenwich

    Dr. Julia Trebing, Director Creative Therapies in Stamford, CT exhibits her paintings at Meli-Melo Creperie & Juice Bar  during Sept...

  • SoulCycle GWCH for Make-A-Wish CT

    2014.09.20
     @ SoulCycle

    Make-A-Wish Connecticut is thrilled to be partnering with SoulCycle's Greenwich location for a charity ride on Saturday, September 20th!...

  • Wall Street Tennis Challenge

    2014.09.20
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    The goal of The Wall Street Tennis Challenge is to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation’s efforts while spreading awareness...

  • Nam Cho Trunk Show

    2014.09.20
     @ Richards

  • Arts & Crafts on Bedford

    2014.09.20
     @ Bedford Street

    Shop at over 100 craft and artisan boutiques on Bedford Street, which will be closed to traffic for the weekend. Dine in our extended sidewalk...

  • Puttin’ On The Dog Festival

    2014.09.21
     @ Roger Sherman Baldwin Park

    Puttin’ On The Dog Festival Greenwich, Connecticut the place to be on September 21st for dogs and their owners...

  • Candy Fairies Book Reading

    2014.09.21
     @ Imagine Candy

    SCARSDALE, NY, Imagine Candy brings the acclaimed children's author Helen Perelman, the writer of the wickedly sweet Candy Fairies book...

  • Chizi's Tale Book Launch Party

    2014.09.21
     @ Tudor Investment Campus

    You and your family are invited to join Diane's Books of Greenwich and TUSK USA to celebrate the launch of Chizi's Tale: The True Story...

  • Chizi's Tale Book Launch Party

    2014.09.21
     @ Tudor Investment Campus

    You and your family are invited to join Diane's Books of Greenwich and TUSK USA to celebrate the launch of Chizi's Tale: The True Story...

  • 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!...

  • "Israel and the U.S."

    2014.09.22
     @ New Canaan Library

    The public is invited to attend a World Affairs Forum Great Decisions event featuring Seth Anziska, Columbia University. Mr. Anziska will speak...

  • Annual State of the Town Address and Luncheon | Greenwich, CT

    2014.09.25
     @ Milbrook Club

    Greenwich Chamber of Commerce Annual State of the Town Address and Luncheon will be held at Milbrook Club. Registration 11:30am; start at...

  • Aaron Henry Trunk Show & Personal Appearance

    2014.09.26
     @ Richards


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