Greenwich Town Hall: “The ‘Old’ High School”

By John Bridge

Sometime in the late 1960s, a mischievous student changed the construction date on the marble cornerstone of the “old” Greenwich High School on Field Point Road from 1925 to $19.25, in pencil. This was a wry commentary on the hot local topic of the day – the $10M projected cost of the new high school on Hillside Road. Total eventual cost: $14.5M.

So, why the move from the Guilbert and Betelle-designed neo-classical building that was hailed in 1926 as “the finest in the northeast”?

Although originally built for 900 students and, in 1934, expanded by a 5-story addition and courtyard, the handsome edifice had become too crowded for its 1,800 sophomore, junior and senior students. So, after a decade of discussion and planning, a new high school was opened in 1970.

Greenwich has for many years had a strong commitment to education, as witnessed by its desire to provide the best facilities possible for its youth. Over the years, there have been three high school buildings dedicated to public secondary education in town.

The first building to include high school students was the current Board of Education building, erected in 1892. Henry Osborne Havemeyer, founder of the American Sugar Refining Company, aka “The Sugar Trust”, and town resident, paid for the construction of the Richardsonian Romanesque school on Greenwich Avenue.

The first publicly-funded high school was built in 1906 on Havemeyer Place. After the high school on Field Point Road was completed in 1925, the town used the “old” high school for administrative offices.

Town Hall Annex Apartments - Greenwich Time (published as The Greenwich Graphic) - February 25, 1905 - page 1

In 1984, the town converted that structure into affordable housing and it is now called the Town Hall Annex Apartments.

In 1970, students moved into the third public high school built by the town, located on Hillside Road. The school complex is spread over fifty-four acres and has a student capacity of 2,750, which is expandable to 3,300. 

For over one hundred years Greenwich has ensured that excellent public education remains central to the life and future of our community.

A Cardinal’s eye view of the “new, new, new” Greenwich High School!

By John Bridge

Greenwich Historical Society will be closed Saturday, 3/14 until further notice. 

All public programs and tours are cancelled. Our office will remain open to staff and scheduled visitors. We will be monitoring developments of this situation closely and taking precautions wherever possible. 

Stay healthy and safe!