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Cos Cob District Gets Historic Marker

Greenwich Preservation Network Dedicates River Road-Mead Avenue Historic District Marker.
Greenwich Preservation Network Dedicates River Road-Mead Avenue Historic District Marker. Photo Credit: Contributed

COS COB, Conn. -- The River Road-Mead Avenue Historic District in Cos Cob, an area dominated by 19th century homes, some dating back to 1835, got a new historic marker on Dec. 21 dedicated by the Greenwich Preservation Network.

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 community’s history. 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 one of the best examples of pre-World War I, upper-middle class housing in Greenwich, according to the Greenwich Historical Society. The area’s 19th-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 20th century homes showcase notable examples of Colonial Revival and shingle styles.

The waterfront side of River Road is now a mix of commercial, recreational and residential use.

The Greenwich Preservation Network was founded under the auspices of the Greenwich Historical Society 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.

“The Historic Marker Program creates awareness of the unique places, events and stories that shaped Greenwich,” said Greenwich Historic District Commission chairman and Greenwich Preservation Network member Stephen Bishop. "As people of all ages become more familiar with the rich history of the place they live, they are better able to understand how preservation is--and will continue to be--essential to the quality of life in this remarkable community."

Interested in sponsoring a future marker? Contact the Greenwich Historical Society at 203-869-6899.

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