On Dec. 21, the Greenwich Preservation Network dedicated a new historic marker for the River Road-Mead Avenue Historic District in Cos Cob. Located off East Putnam Avenue, the district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.
The permanent marker, located near the Water Club on River Road, outlines the history of the area for all passers-by. Greenwich Preservation Network chairman Diane Fox thanked sponsors Beacon Point Marine and Cornerstone Contracting and sign designer Charles Hilton Architects for the part each played in the making the project possible.
Greenwich Historical Society Chairman Davidde Strackbein and Executive Director Debra Mecky spoke briefly about the history of the area and the architectural heritage it represents, and Selectman John Toner congratulated and thanked the participants on behalf of the town of Greenwich. Among those in attendance were Stephen Bishop, chairman of the Greenwich Historic District Commission and State Representative Fred Camillo. Both also serve on the Preservation Network Committee.
The River Road-Mead Avenue Historic District lies between two centers of maritime commerce at the lower and upper landings on the Mianus River and played an important role in the early development of the Town of Greenwich. It was once part of William H. Mead’s farm and was subdivided by Mead into one-half acre lots in 1835. The area developed slowly up through the Civil War, but between 1870 and 1910 grew into the most prestigious neighborhood in the village of Cos Cob and remains today as one of the best examples of pre-World War I, upper-middle class housing in Greenwich. Its nineteenth-century homes and carriage houses, later adapted by new owners into residences, preserve a significant variety of architectural styles including Greek Revival, Italianate and Second Empire, while its early twentieth century homes showcase notable examples of Colonial Revival and shingle styles.
The waterfront side of River Road today is now a mix of commercial, recreational and residential use, and the entire area has thrived through the centuries to become the vibrant historic community we know today.
The Greenwich Preservation Network was founded under the auspices of the Greenwich Historical Society with a mission to educate and provide information to Greenwich residents regarding the value and need to preserve significant architectural and historic structures and streetscapes. The River Road-Mead Avenue Historic District is the second historic district in town to receive a marker. The first was the Greenwich Municipal District on Greenwich Avenue; a third marker for the Fourth Ward is planned in the coming year.
Anyone interested in sponsoring a future marker may contact the Greenwich Historical Society at 203-869-6899.