Landmark plaques presented by Greenwich Historical Society
GREENWICH — Anna and Martin Waters own the oldest home in Greenwich, and to heat them describe it, one of the coziest.
While it is rich in history, it happens to be a great place to call home.
“It’s got a great feeling to it,” said Anna Waters, who helped preserve the structure in Old Greenwich that was built in the 1640’s.
“It’s warm and homey,” said her husband, Martin Waters.
The Waters family, and the Greenwich Point Conservancy, were honored by the Greenwich Historical Society on Sunday afternoon for the preservation of the old saltbox residence inhabited by the earliest European settlers to the region. Built by Elizabeth and Robert Feake, it was later sold to another Greenwich founder, Jeffrey Ferris.
The old wooden building was preserved and renovated through a careful restoration, and it now serves as a comfortable home-office and family space.
The Waters family built a new home, incorporating the old The Feake-Ferris House into the redesign of their property. For their efforts, they were given a “preservation leadership award” at a ceremony at Greenwich Country Club, where four other notable structures in Greenwich were presented with landmark plaques.
The executive director of the Greenwich Historical Society, Debra Mecky, called the co-existence of the new and the old at the Feake-Ferris site on Shore Road “a successful balance.”
The Historical Society has been granting landmark plaques to historically significant homes and structures for 32 years, and the event is intended to serve a wider purpose, said the chairwoman of the landmarks program, Robin Kencel.
“It’s important, because it’s a chance to educate the public about the fabric of history that we have in Greenwich,” she said.
The Historical Society bestowed landmark plaques on two town-owned structures, Greenwich Town Hall and the World War I Memorial on Greenwich Avenue.
First Selectman Peter Tesei said Town Hall was a good choice, both for its architecture and how it is used. “It really is a symbol of our citizen-democracy,” he said, “And when I look at Town Hall, I see stability, strength and accommodation.
Town Hall was built in 1925 in the Georgian Revival style and served as a high school until 1970. The World War I Memorial was designed by noted architect and painter Charles Platt.
Two residences were also honored, the Arthur and Ida Rinke House in Old Greenwich; and the Paul Schwarz House in central Greenwich. They were cited “for their design excellence and their value in preserving Greenwich’s unique architectural legacy,” according to the society.
The Paul Schwarz House, built in 1903, was designed by architects Henry Pelton. The Arthur and Ida Rinke House was designed in the classic Tudor style popular in the 1920s.
Illness prevented a keynote address by preservation architect Joseph Pell Lombardi. In his place, another architect, David Scott Parker, gave a talk about preservation work. Scott Parker designed the rest stops on the Merritt Parkway, to recreate their appearance when they were built in the 1930’s, and he carried out the re-design of the Historical Society campus in Cos Cob. He described the “many different approaches toward living in the past.”