Celebrate the New Home of Greenwich History
Opening Day Party

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Join us for a truly grand Opening Day Party on Saturday, October 6. On this banner day, we’ll officially open for business and be ready to share our beautiful new campus with one and all. Guests should plan to gather for the official ribbon cutting ceremony at the new upper parking lot Museum Lobby entrance at noon; remarks by Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei, Connecticut State Representative Scott Frantz and United States Senator Richard Blumenthal will commence at 12:10 pm, and the official ribbon cutting will take place at 12:30 pm. The new library and archives, museum store and galleries featuring inaugural exhibitions will be open throughout the afternoon with staff available to answer questions about the facility and gardens.

Rendering of the new campus from the parking lotWe open the doors to our new campus on October 6!

Live music by popular bluegrass-swing band Too Blue begins at 1:00 pm, and kids can enjoy craft projects including scarecrow making, cornhusk dolls, birdhouses, face painting, an organ grinder and more throughout the afternoon. Family-friendly tours of Bush-Holley House will take place every 30 minutes.

If after all that, you’ve worked up an appetite, Dough Girls on the Go will be serving wood-fired pizzas, the Tiki Food Truck will be selling pulled pork, Hawaiian shave ice and other treats, Mike’s Organic Delivery will have a farm stand, and Randy’s Wines of Cos Cob will have beer and wine for sale.

Come… and party like it’s 1899!

Saturday, October 6, 2018; Noon to 4:00 pm

Admission is free and all are welcome. Please help us plan by registering online or calling 203-869-6899.

Behind-the-Scenes Site Tours

Explore the artful blend of historic restoration and new construction at our newly reimagined site. Special tours of the new buildings and grounds will showcase discoveries made during construction including historic wallpaper, an original key for Toby’s Tavern and highlights from the Historical Society’s collections.

John Bridge will lead 45-minute tours of the new Library and Archives, the Gallery for Special Exhibitions, the Gallery for Permanent Collections, museum lobby, Museum Store and Artists’ Café. Guests will have the opportunity to ask questions about the new facility, its design and construction and its significance to the organization and the community in the preservation of the town’s history. A Greenwich native, John is a graduate of Greenwich High School and Georgetown University with a BA in English. He is delighted to educate and entertain both children and adults as a docent for the Bush-Holley House.

Tours are included in museum admission and will start in the museum lobby at the front desk.

Sunday, October 7 tours with Anna Greco are sold out.

Additional tours with John Bridge:
Sunday, October 14, 2018, 2:15 pm 
Sunday, October 21, 2018, 2:15 pm

Space is limited.

To reserve, email sflinn@greenwichhistory.org or call 203.869-6899.

History on the Move:
Greenwich Avenue Walking Tour

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 (Sorry, this tour is sold out.)

It is hard to imagine that Greenwich Avenue was not always the bustling scene it is today. In fact, not that long ago, during a period between 1893 and 1938 when wealthy benefactors began to view Greenwich as their primary place of residence, all of the important buildings in our municipal district were erected on open farmland right in the center of town. Tour leader John Bridge will take you through the Greenwich Municipal Center Historic District focusing on key structures built between 1893 and 1934.

James Myles (and friends) at the D. S. Mead Homestead, 1909. Old Town Hall in background. James Myles (and friends) at the D. S. Mead Homestead, 1909. Old Town Hall in background.

Beginning with the Havemeyer School (1893), built on acreage large enough to be used as a public common, the district includes three war memorials and six masonry buildings erected in the Romanesque Revival, Neo-classical and Art Deco styles: Old Town Hall (1905), old Town Hall Annex (built as the Town’s first high school in 1906), the former Greenwich Post Office (1917), today’s Town Hall (built as the town’s second high school in 1925) and a Central Fire House and Police Station (1938, demolished in 2014). A lot has changed since then, but the remaining buildings contribute immensely to Greenwich’s historic landscape.

Francis MorroneTour Leader
John Bridge

A “downtown” Greenwich native, tour leader John Bridge now resides in Riverside. John has witnessed firsthand the last 50+ years of residential and commercial development of his beloved hometown. He is a graduate of Greenwich High School and Georgetown University with a BA in English. After many years working in the telecommunications and travel industries, John is now delighted to educate and entertain both children and adults as a docent for the Bush-Holley House.

Participants will meet in front of the current Town Hall at 101 Field Point Road. The tour will last approximately 1-1/2 hours. Please wear comfortable shoes. There will be a short rest in the middle, but you should expect to be on your feet for 45 minutes. Water will be provided.

Due to limited space, reservations will be limited to two per person and must be made in advance.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
10:00 to 11:30 am
Sorry, this tour is sold out. If you’d like to join the waiting list, please
email Suzanne Flinn.


Victorian Summer: The Historic Houses of Belle Haven Park

Victorian Summer: The Historic Houses of Belle Haven Park, Author Matthew Bernard

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Belle Haven is home to one of the first and most spectacular residence parks in the country. Its development between 1884 and 1894 transformed scenic pastureland into a bastion of Victorian luxury. The New York Times described it as “the flower garden of Greenwich, and, indeed, of the whole Connecticut shore.”

Victorian Summer: The Historic Houses of Belle Haven Park focuses on that great flowering, beginning with Robert Law Olmsted’s storied firm laying out the park’s graceful, lamp-lit streets on which the architectural masterpieces of some of the Gilded Age’s most renowned architects were built for the illustrious movers and shakers of the day.

Victorian Summer features biographies of the estates, their architects and their predominant owners. Some of the homes are sadly gone or unrecognizable, but many shine on as brightly as ever, providing a glimpse of the Gilded Age and its aftermath.

Author Matthew Bernard moved, with his family, from California to Belle Haven in 1974 and was fascinated by the stylistic and architectural idiosyncrasies of his family home. In a 40-year odyssey that began as personal research, the project expanded into an exploration of the architectural heritage of the entire neighborhood and its early history as a summer resort for Victorian-era titans.

Bernard will show a 20-minute film, which he produced, about the book and follow up with a question-and-answer session. Books will be available for purchase and signing and will be available in the Museum Store. Light refreshments will be served.

Thursday, November 1, 2:00–3:00 pm

Vanderbilt Education Center

Members: $10; nonmembers: $15
Reserve below or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10

Story Barn: Once Upon a Time in Greenwich

Victorian Summer: The Historic Houses of Belle Haven Park, Author Matthew Bernard

Friday, November 2, 2018

Story barn is an eagerly anticipated, bi-annual event at which various themes are explored through storytelling. Anyone can share a story; the only requirements are that be true, last from 5–10 minutes and that the storyteller use no notes. Usually, six to eight stories are shared during the course of the evening.

The theme will be “Once Upon a Time in Greenwich,” which connects the program with our current exhibition History Is…, a show that focuses on the personal aspects of history and the myriad ways in which it can be interpreted. Storytellers are asked to use this theme as a starting point, but may branch out in any chosen direction from there. The program takes place in a cabaret-style setting and wine, beer and snacks will be served.

Emcee Bonnie Levison is a consummate storyteller in her own right, and weaves all of the evening’s tales together in her own inimitable style, often punctuated by wry observations and sometimes, if we’re lucky, a tale of her own. Levison is a comedienne, co-founder of the Nantucket Comedy Festival, producer and is a senior instructor for The Moth’s Corporate Program.

Friday, November 2, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
Doors open at 7:00 pm

Vanderbilt Education Center

Members: $15; nonmembers: $20
Reserve below or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10

We welcome new storytellers. If you would like to share your story, please contact Anna Greco or call 203-869-6899.

Cancellation, Refund and Nonsufficient Funds Policy

A full refund for program and special events payments will be made up to 10 days before the program or event. Within 10 days of the program or event, no refund can be granted, but payments may be changed to tax-deductible contributions at payer’s request. A fee of $25 will be charged for checks returned to us for nonsufficient funds.

Greenwich Historical Society 47 Strickland Road, Cos Cob, CT 06807 203-869-6899

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