QUESTION: What do one of America’s earliest American Impressionist art colonies, the Air Force Reserve Command of the U.S. Air Force, Crayola crayons, Tom Seaver, Diana Ross, the Rockefellers, and the Vanderbilts have in common?
ANSWER: They all have significant connections to Greenwich, CT!
The truth is, Greenwich has an exceedingly illustrious past positively filled with familiar names and amazing stories - and they will now have a new history museum dedicated to shining an even greater spotlight on the many noteworthy contributions of Greenwich residents through the centuries.
On October 6th, 2018, the Greenwich Historical Society will be opening a very significant addition to its campus, next door to the National Historic Landmark Bush-Holley House. The visionary, $12 million campus will welcome more visitors, exhibit more of its collections, enrich its education and preservation programs, and share with a wider audience, the national significance of this pivotal New York City suburb that is the gateway to New England.
Opening Weekend Festivities
On Saturday October 6th, celebrate the opening of the Greenwich Historical Society’s reimagined campus with a free party to welcome the community to the new home for Greenwich history! Our new building will be open with new exhibitions and a film to see; there will be food trucks, beer and wine, plus games, crafts and face painting for kids. If you’d like to make a scarecrow, please sign up at greenwichhistory.org. History is happening now – be a part of it.
The Historical Society will be open noon to 4pm on Sunday, October 7 for free tours of the campus.
“The Historical Society’s grand opening will usher in an exciting new phase in our 87-year history and the proud 378-year history of Greenwich," states Debra Mecky, Executive Director & CEO, Greenwich Historical Society. "Our larger, more accessible campus enables us to showcase a much broader collection of art, archival materials and digital collections to give visitors a better understanding of how Greenwich was, and continues to be, intertwined with the nation’s larger narrative. We'll be able to engage the public in a much richer exploration of our cultural heritage and encourage active participation in the preservation of our history through dynamic cultural and educational programs that will strengthen our connection to the past, to each other, and to the future.”
In addition to the circa-1730 National Historic Landmark Bush-Holley House, which gained recognition as the site of the storied Cos Cob art colony through the creative endeavors of a wide array of trailblazing American Impressionist painters, the Greenwich Historical Society features a nationally accredited museum, library and archives, café, store, and restored Impressionist-era gardens.
The new building, which will help the Historical Society share the countless stories of this unique community to shine an even greater spotlight on the national importance of the Cos Cob art colony, was designed by the award-winning historic preservation architectural firm David Scott Parker Architects.
“Our dramatically reimagined and expanded campus is a dream come true," states Peter Malkin, Chairman of the Reimagine the Campus Capital Campaign. "The unwavering generosity of the community throughout our three-year capital campaign has made it possible for the Historical Society to enter the national stage and take its place as one of America’s great historical institutions.”
Highlights of the New Greenwich Historical Society Campus
- State-of-the-art museum galleries A former railroad hotel (and subsequently Toby’s Tavern) has been meticulously restored to its early 20th century appearance to house state-of-the-art museum galleries. well equipped to house a wide variety of engaging, informative, and entertaining exhibitions.
- The Toby’s building will also have a carefully curated Museum Store and Artists Café that will present exhibitions by Greenwich’s many talented artists.
- Accessible public library and archives for researchers, journalists, homeowners, genealogists, and others to discover more than 40,000 items that document Greenwich’s rich cultural heritage.
- Impressionist-era flower and fruit and vegetable gardens will be restored according to historical documentation. The new campus will provide more green space for outdoor events and children’s programming.
- Dynamic programming will make Greenwich’s history engaging, relevant and participatory through tours, lectures, educational programs, and events for all ages.
- Better access for welcoming the community includes double the parking, an elevator, and a leveling of the terrain for full ADA accessibility and maximum efficiency.