The Putnam Hill Historic District joined the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Once the center of the town of Greenwich, the district is named for General Israel Putnam, a Revolutionary War hero who in 1779 evaded pursuing British soldiers by riding from Knapp’s Tavern down the steep hill to Stamford where he alerted the militia. General Putnam’s military feats are honored with the naming of Putnam Avenue (original King’s Highway), Putnam Cottage (Knapp’s Tavern), and Putnam Hill Park. His famous ride is depicted on the seal of the Town of Greenwich.
Architecturally significant buildings in the district include the Second Congregational Church (1856), designed by Leopold Eidlitz; Calvert Vaux’s 1861 Tomes-Higgins House (later Christ Church parsonage); and the 1909 Christ Church, by William S. Domenick, featuring Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows. These grand structures are situated amongst stately trees, granite walls, and expansive lawns on one of the few remaining greenswards along Route 1 in Fairfield County.
In the district and listed separately on the National Register, the circa 1700 Putnam Cottage/Knapp’s Tavern was a home, farm, and tavern that has welcomed George Washington and John Adams among other notable visitors.