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Preserving the Past, One Brick at a Time

People strolling along Greenwich Avenue may not realize the history behind the buildings, but Fifi Sheridan, director of the Greenwich Historic District Commission, knows all the secrets.

"There are a lot of little surprises here," Sheridan said, pointing to the creperie, Meli Melo, which is under renovation. "We were lucky that they wanted to maintain much of the original facade of the building."

Sheridan grew up in another historic town, Macon, Ga. Her father was an architectural engineer, her mother was a historian, and she and her sister gave tours at historic homes in the town in their teens.

"One reason I fell in love with Greenwich is it reminded me of the community in which I was raised," said Sheridan. "I was always intrigued by the history in Greenwich. ... It's part of the DNA."

She moved to Greenwich in 1988 and was appointed to her position in 2005. The Historic District Commission was established by the Representative Town Meeting in 1975. Its job is to approve or disapprove changes to structures and landscapes within three local historical districts and the two local historical properties. It also promotes the creation of historic districts and properties.

"Anyone in any of our local historic district knows before they buy a property, if they want to make any modifications, they must come to us," said Sheridan.

The Historic District Commission provides the Planning and Zoning Commission with advisory opinions on historical property applications as well as opinions on properties and facade easements and designations. The retention of notable structures, such as Meli Melo on Greenwich Avenue, is encouraged.

The commission next meets Sept. 8. For all information on applications or to contact Sheridan, visit the Historic District Commission website .

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