Fourth Ward

1836–1929

In 1836 this neighborhood began as one of only two centrally-located urban subdivisions in Greenwich that pre-date the coming of the railroad in 1848. In contrast to the summer homes of wealthy New Yorkers on the Post Road, the concentration of predominantly Irish families who settled this area earned it the nickname “Fourth Ward” after the working–class immigrant neighborhood in lower Manhattan. In 1860 immigrants built the town’s first Roman Catholic church, St. Mary Church, on William Street (demolished c.1910). By 1900 over twenty multi-family dwellings solidified the area’s working-class image, and ten percent of the neighborhood was home to African Americans. Working primarily as laborers, laundresses or chauffeurs, they enlarged a house on Northfield Street into the First Baptist Church, one of only two African American churches in Greenwich that still stand today. By 1929 development stalled until 1955 when the first commercial buildings were built, signaling the redevelopment that has continued to this day.

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