In 1903, the Tods added a guest cottage just outside of the entrance to their estate (but inside the Park’s perimeter). Innis Arden Cottage was built to house Maria Tod’s widowed sister-in-law Mrs. Cranston Potter, and her three young daughters, including the future Bertha (Potter Paschall) Boeing, wife of the aviation pioneer and founder of the Boeing Airplane Company. The daughters attended Rosemary Hall on Lake Avenue for a short time before the family returned to their home in the state of Washington.
Bertha apparently had fond memories of her time at Innis Arden and aptly applied the name to a parcel of property on the Boeing estate that is now one of the 14 designated neighborhoods in the town of Shoreline, WA, on Puget Sound.
From 1906 through 1913, the Cottage was made available as a summer retreat for Anna C. Maxwell, referred to as the “American Florence Nightingale” for her pioneering work in the development of the nursing profession, and her nursing students from the New York Presbyterian Hospital. The Tods’ support of the Hospital and Maxwell in particular most probably derives from J. S. Kennedy’s philanthopic interest in and his position as board president of the Hospital. Besides donating $1 million dollars to establish a nursing school at Presbyterian Hospital (now the Columbia University School of Nursing), Kennedy also recommended Maxwell as its first director. Maxwell was one of the first women buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.
During World War I, the Tods had difficulty obtaining sufficient heating oil for the large Innis Arden manor, and they occupied the Innis Arden Cottage for a number of years as their residence.
After the purchase of the Point as a town park, the Cottage was used for seasonal beach lockers and a bathhouse by the town’s residents. In 2005, the town detected high ambient levels of lead and declared the structure unfit. Subsequently, the Greenwich Point Conservancy took on its first project at the Point to restore and preserve this historic structure. In 2011, mission completed, the Cottage became the home of the Floren Family Environmental Center, named in honor of CT State Rep. Livvy Floren, and her husband, Douglas, who stepped up to close the budget gap of the $1.5 million project. The Bruce Museum then relocated its Seaside Center, which had opened in the Old Barn in 2006, to the Center.
The Cottage was designed by Katharine Cotheal Budd in the Craftsman/Bungalow style that was newly popular after the turn of the 20th century. Budd was an associate of William Appleton Potter, Maria Tod’s uncle, who designed the manor house at Innis Arden. She was also the first female member of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects. In 1917, the Young Women’s Christian Association retained Budd to design over 70 “Hostess Houses,” buildings constructed to house women visiting male relatives and suitors training at nearby military facilities.
The exterior of the cottage featues many of the defining characteristics of Craftsman/Bungalow style, namely:
- 1 or 2 stories with a low-pitched roof
- Complex and cross gabled roof lines
- Broad eaves
- Natural materials indigenous to location
- Mixed shed, gabled, and hipped dormers
- Substantial covered porches
- Multiple windows appear together in banks
- Casement windows
- Shingle siding
Now the “walking” portion of the tour starts in earnest.
After visiting the Cottage, return to the Old Barn. There are very few “sidewalks” on the Point, so it is expected that pedestrians will walk along the roadways where there are no parallel paths by safely navigating vehicular traffic.
Using the crosswalk between the beach and the Old Barn, cross over the outbound lane and travel through the parking lot parallel to the inbound lane. A pathway begins just past the first “curbcut” that allows cars to enter the large beach parking area.
On your right is Greenwich Cove.
On your left is a parking lot; it is here that Scotsman Tod fashioned a 9-hole links golf course with a playing length of 2,950 yards amid 75 acres of sandy dunes and low ridges. In 1899, he formed the Innis Arden Golf Club with some sixty of his friends and neighbors who paid $12.50 per month for membership [approximately $398.61 per month today using the CPI].
The collegiality was interrupted, however, in 1904 when Tod determined the group had encroached on his personal enjoyment of his own property. The club regrouped – with Mr. Tod as a charter member – and moved farther inland to Shorelands and then again to Tomac Avenue where it stands today. Nine years after Mr. Tod’s death in 1934, Mrs. Tod permitted the club to reuse the “Innis Arden” name. The original gate to the Tods’ estate was installed at the first tee at the new club in 1971.