GREENWICH — Four new properties in Greenwich will be honored with plaques designating them as local landmarks Sunday as the Greenwich Historical Society marks the 30th anniversary of the Landmark Recognition Program with fanfare.
The new properties to be land-marked include a modernist home, a library, a country estate and an agricultural building.
Just over 300 properties have been placed on the landmark registry since its inception 30 years ago as “Signs of the Times,” under the leadership of an early preservationist, Claire Vanderbilt.
The Greenwich Historical Society will mark the occasion with a benefit party May 7 featuring David Scott Parker, a noted architect who is working on the plans for a new Historical Society campus. In addition, two local organizations will be honored for their commitment to preservation, the Greenwich Land Trust and the Greenwich Point Conservancy.
The four new land-marked properties are:
The Conyers Manor Cold Storage Barn (now the Brant Foundation Art Study Center) in the backcountry resembles a Norman farmhouse. Built in 1909, it remains a symbol of the long agricultural tradition in Greenwich. Developer and art-collector Peter Brant converted it into a non-profit arts foundation.
The Edwin Paul House on Stanwich Road was built in 1959 by Paul, an architect. Innovative and forward looking, it is one of the few remaining examples of the Mid-century modern style in Greenwich. Paul was interviewed as part of the process.
The Perrot Memorial Library in Old Greenwich was built in 1931 in the Colonial Revival style. Its rotunda is a striking feature, as well as an oculus in the ceiling that lets in light.
Debra Mecky, executive director of the Greenwich Historical Society, said the landmark recognition program had filled a number of purposes through the years. It provides important information for the planning and zoning commissioners, as well as the real-estate community. The database that the historical society has accumulated through the program is also valuable for homeowners. Beside being a tool for planners and stake-holders in the community, the program has fostered a love of place, she said.
“It educates the people about their neighborhood and the places they care about. It connects people to the unique character of the town, and hopefully turns them into preservation advocates,” Mecky said.
Robin Kencel, the chair of the landmark program, noted that this year’s new inductees for the first time included a barn, a library and a Mid-century modern home. She said the goal was to showcase the wide breadth and scope of architecture in town beyond the more abundant Colonial and Federal style structures. With the latest inclusions, there are 303 land-marked buildings in Greenwich.
Homeowners often nominate their own properties, and members of the landmarks committee also regularly venture out into Greenwich neighborhoods to seek out new houses or structures that might be eligible.
The landmarks committee reviews old photos and building plans, and a jury of specialists visits the property in question for a detailed analysis. “Very time consuming,” Kencel said.
Beside the plaque, the property owners receive a booklet on the history of the site and a comprehensive architectural description. While the land-mark plaque is honorary and carries no legal weight, it’s quite an honor, Kencel said.
The May 7 reception will be held at the Belle Haven Club, 100 Harbor Drive, from 4 to 6 p.m. Tickets start at $75 per person, and reservations are necessary. More information is available at www.greenwichhistory.org.