Designing an award winner

The Greenwich Historical Society’s newly reimagined campus has received a Palladio award, the only national award that recognizes outstanding achievement in traditional design. Sponsored by Traditional Building Conference, the 18-year old award celebrates techniques developed through 2,500 years of Western architectural tradition, with a focus on design elements that enhance the beauty and humane qualities of the structures.

The society’s campus – redesigned by David Scott Parker, principal of David Scott Parker Architects, and completed in fall 2018, joins the historic Bush-Holley House, site of Connecticut’s first American Impressionist art colony, with a museum, library and archives, a museum store, a café and a community education center. Of the award, presented for Adaptive Reuse & Sympathetic Addition in the commercial/institutional category, Parker said: “Our entry featured the restoration of a remodeled structure to its historic Italianate appearance; the addition and integration of new state-of-the-art galleries and archives and the reestablishment of the integrity of the exterior green space. The project doubled the size of the historic institutional complex and was completed on budget and one year ahead of schedule.”

“We are thrilled to have our newly reimagined campus recognized with such a prestigious national design award,” added Debra Mecky, the society’s executive director and CEO. “David Scott Parker and associate John Wasilewski were extremely successful in accommodating our institutional needs for a more accessible and expanded campus that would strengthen the community’s connection to our past, to each other and to our future. In the two years since the reimagined campus was completed, we’ve significantly increased our services to the community through rotating exhibitions, engaging lectures, stimulating events and fun family programs – all of which help convey the crucial role our historic buildings have played in the context of American history.”

Through Sept. 6, the society presents “An Unfinished Revolution: The Woman’s Suffrage Centennial,” which features a wide variety of historic objects from museums, libraries, private collections and descendants of suffragists that illustrates American women’s long struggle for the right to vote. While the society is currently closed, viewers can log on to greenwichhistory.org for special features on the town by curators, educators and docents.

Meanwhile, event planner extraordinaire Bronson van Wyck, author of the entertaining “Born to Party, Forced to Work,” is back for another Greenwich Historical Society event. Having wowed guests at last year’s “Antiquarius,” Van Wyck will be part of the society’s Zoom cocktail party Thursday, May 14, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $150, $100 and $50, with dinner for four available for $80.

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