Innis Arden Cottage
Dodaro Ross Architects
HOBI Award – Best Exterior Restoration
Westchester Hudson Valley AIA Chapter Honor Award
Connecticut Preservation Award
The exterior restoration work involved the following: major structural work, rebuilding a majority of the foundation, replacing the roof and siding with historically correct cedar shingles, restoring the Second Floor dormers to their original design, installation of historically correct windows, new custom milled exterior doors, replacement of the porches on the East and West sides of the building to their original design (adding an entrance for individuals with disabilities), and the installation of a new electrical service.
The 4,000 square-foot, two-story Innis Arden Cottage, an excellent example of the early Craftsman bungalow style, was originally the guesthouse on the estate of J. Kennedy Tod, a financier at the turn of the last century to the railroad and mining industries. Mr. and Mrs. Tod purchased the 147-acre property that now comprises Greenwich Point during the 1880s, naming their estate “Innis Arden”, which included a large mansion and multiple additional structures, including the Innis Arden Cottage.
The original cottage was built in 1902 for Mrs. Tod’s widowed sister-in-law, Mrs. Cranston Potter, and her three young daughters (one of whom grew up to be Bertha Boeing, wife of the founder of Boeing Aircraft). Beginning in 1906 and continuing through 1913, the Innis Arden Cottage was dedicated for use as a summer retreat for Anna C. Maxwell, a pioneer of the nursing profession in America, and her nursing students from the New York Presbyterian Hospital.
The entire domain was left by Mr. Tod to New York Presbyterian Hospital upon his death in 1925, providing that Mrs. Potter retain life use of the estate. Following her own death in 1939, it was subsequently sold by the hospital to the Town of Greenwich in 1945. The Innes Arden Cottage had been used by the town summer beach crowd as lockers and a bathhouse at the Greenwich Point and over the years, it had fallen into disrepair. In 2005 it was declared by the Town of Greenwich to be unfit for use when officials found high levels of lead in the air.
The interior space will be used as a multi-purpose exhibition and gathering room, and as an environmental education facility. It will include laboratory and research space, public lecture and meeting room, and will be available for the display of exhibits. In addition, an exterior storage area will house materials to be used “in the field” for shell fishing and other educational activities. The Innes Arden Cottage and Environmental Education Center will be open to the public in the summer of 2011.