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Greenwich, famous for its affluence, presents a luxurious world of elegant seaside living, shopping and diverse recreation. A New England gateway, bordering New York's Westchester County, it is a prime location for convenient travel by rail or highway to major metropolitan centers. Old Greenwich is a village/section in Greenwich. It was founded in 1641 and has been a long time beach community. One of the founding settlers was Elizabeth Fones Winthrop, niece and daughter-in-law of John Winthrop, founder and Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. What is now called 'Greenwich Point' was known for much of its early history as 'Elizabeth Neck' in recognition of Elizabeth (Fones) Winthrop Feake and their 1640 purchase of the Point and much of the area now known as Old Greenwich. The village of Old Greenwich was called "Sound Beach" in the last century, and the main road through the small downtown business section is Sound Beach Avenue. This street serves as a popular hangout for children and teenagers as well as hosting annual street fairs and events. Many of the neighboring villages (Riverside and Cos Cob) are now overrun with "McMansions". Fortunately, much of Old Greenwich retains its "vintage" charm. Old Greenwich resists the fate of being just another "suburb of New York City".
The Old Greenwich Railroad Station, originally called the "Sound Beach Railroad Station", serves commuters in the neighborhood. It was built in 1894 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. The town's largest beach is on a thin, long peninsula at the southwest end of the neighborhood. The beach is called Tod's Point, named after a former resident. It is now public property belonging to the town of Greenwich. Residents can purchase a seasonal beach pass and non-residents can purchase a one-day pass. The whole of Greenwich is rife with "Country Clubs", but Innis Arden Golf Club and Rocky Point Club were THE clubs in Old Greenwich.
The rambling estates and vast manors of historic Cos Cob, Old Greenwich and Riverside dot the coastline. The rolling hills and manicured properties of Banksville and Round Hill offer exceptional properties in a range of styles and sizes, from large country houses to streamlined contemporaries and condominiums while smaller cottages and charming condominiums grace the coast. Inland, the architecture and landscape are equally desirable. Blending seamlessly with the city's residential community are the corporate offices of hedge funds, businesses and respected industrial firms.
Many independent and parochial schools compliment the town's high-achieving, well-funded public school system and Adult and Continuing Education.
The independent Perrot Memorial Library and the fine public library, with a main building and two branches house important collections. The Downtown Library was built in the early 1800s surrounded by lush courtyards and features an art gallery, and music listening areas. Downtown, one-way Greenwich Avenue, has many fine restaurants, boutiques and antiques shops.
The town has an abundance of leisure and cultural activities. Located in town are four public and numerous private beaches on Long Island Sound, swim clubs, two inland lakes plus municipal and private marinas. There are numerous public parks and trails for hiking, picnicking, rollerblading, bicycling and horse-back riding. There are five country clubs with golf courses and the town owns the 18-hole Griffith E. Harris golf course. The Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink is also available. Babcock Preserve is a popular 297 acre park that offers a variety of activities including up and down trail walking, running, hiking, and cross country skiing.
The town's tremendous interest in culture, the arts and the social welfare of its residents is illustrated by the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra, the Greenwich Arts Council, conservation groups, a senior center, two civic centers, local theater groups and an excellent health care system. The Arts Center features works by local artists and allows you to see the artists creating and performing their works.
The town of Greenwich has one political body (RTM - Representative Town Meeting). It has several distinct sections each with its own mailing address and ZIP code, such as Byram, Cos Cob, Glenville, Mianus, and Riverside and Greenwich proper (downtown Greenwich).