Living in Cos Cob: A Lifestyle and Real Estate Guide to Cos Cob, New York
Cos Cob—Cradle of American Impressionism
What and Where Is Cos Cob, Connecticut
Cos Cob, along with the neighborhoods of Old Greenwich, Riverside, Byram, Glenville, and Mianus, is part of the Town of Greenwich in Fairfield County, Connecticut. The hamlet of Cos Cob sits on the western side of the Mianus River, bordering Stamford, Riverside, and Mid-Country Greenwich. Much of the neighborhood is residential, comprising mainly large, single-family homes with leafy gardens. Although part of Greenwich, Cos Cob has its own zip code, as well as a firehouse, post office, elementary school, and Metro-North Railroad station. There’s also a commercial hub, a historic landmark district, parks, nature preserves, and marinas on Cos Cob Harbor.
Cos Cob’s hundreds of acres of parkland, pristine beaches, and harbor on Long Island Sound make it feel like a world away, yet it’s only 30 miles from Midtown Manhattan. The commute to Grand Central Terminal takes just 45 minutes from Cos Cob Metro-North Railroad Station in the center of town. By car, the journey to Midtown takes around an hour via Interstate 95 or Interstate 87.
Historical Cos Cob
The earliest records of Cos Cob imply that the land named “Indian Field, Cos Cob” extending from Horseneck Brook to the Myanos River was purchased by a European settler named Ebenezer Mead in 1695. The development of the town began in 1703, when local tribesmen sold the lower field and the upper field. It is thought that the name Cos Cob is derived from the Native American word Cassacubque (a great ledge of rocks) or “Coe’s Cob”: a “cob,” (a round clay structure) built by the Coe family, who settled in the Stamford area in 1641.
During the 18th and early 19th century, much of Cos Cob was farmland. There were also several factories along the Mianus River. Cos Cob Harbor was a major shipping port for exporting locally grown produce to New York City.
The Cos Cob Art Colony
Artists' colonies were instrumental in the development of the American Impressionist movement. The New England coast proved to be the ideal setting for established and emerging New York artists to paint their en plein air landscapes.
The Cos Cob Art Colony, which flourished from 1882 until 1920, is distinguished by the stature of its artists: America's foremost Impressionist painters, John Henry Twachtman, Julian Alden Weir, Childe Hassam, Theodore Robinson, Henry Fitch Taylor, and Robert Reid.
John Henry Twachtman was one of the first New York artists to visit. In 1889, he bought a farm on Greenwich’s Round Hill Road. The paintings and pastels he produced during his “Connecticut years” are considered to be his finest works. Fellow artists, such as his close friend Julian Alden Weir, Theodore Robinson, and Childe Hassam, visited him there or rented rooms in nearby farmhouses. The Holley House (today the Bush-Holley House), an 18th-century saltbox boarding house on Cos Cob Harbor, was the base for Twachtman’s summer school. Many of his students from the Art Students League of New York took up summer residence at the Holley House as did other rising talents of the New York art scene, including Ernest Lawson, Elmer Livingston MacRae, Allen Tucker, and Mary Roberts Ebert.
Today, the Bush-Holley House museum is listed as a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. It’s also the headquarters of the Greenwich Historical Society. The museum is part of the Strickland Road Historic District. This small residential enclave between the Post Road and Cos Cob Harbor is distinguished for its “architectural variety and excellent state of preservation,” from the rambling Federal, Colonial, and Victorian Revival manses to the early 20th-century Craftsman-style bungalows. The district also includes the post-World War II housing development on Mill Pond Court.
Another National Historic Landmark is Cos Cob’s charming red clapboard train station, built in 1899.
Sophisticated Coastal Living
Cos Cob is part of the Town of Greenwich, Connecticut. The hamlet has a prized coastal setting on the Mianus River, a 20-mile-long tributary of Long Island Sound. At the intersection of Strickland and East Putnam Avenue is The Hub, a commercial center with local businesses ranging from specialty food stores and restaurants to one-off boutiques. Farther west in Greenwich town are the luxury car dealerships of Rolls-Royce, McLaren, Porsche, and Bentley.
Real Estate in Cos Cob
The average parcel size for a single‐family home in Cos Cob is less than an acre. The homes in the northern half of Cos Cob are almost entirely large single‐family residences, many on large wooded tracts with pools and tennis courts.
Recreation in Cos Cob
Cos Cob’s 462 acres of public green space contributes to its tranquil, rural character.
This 125-acre public park and horticultural center was the former site of Wild Acres, the 1920s estate of Colonel Robert H. Montgomery, a co-founder of what became the world’s largest accounting firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers. In 1945, Montgomery donated 200 specimen trees to the New York Botanical Garden. Today, almost 80 specimens remain on the property. In addition to the evergreens, the park has several greenhouses, a pond, wildflower gardens, woodland walks, and a picnic area. A trail from the pinetum leads to the Mildred Bedard Caldwell Wildlife Sanctuary, which is maintained by Greenwich Audubon Society.
The park is on the former site of Wyndyghoul, the estate of Ernest Thompson Seton, the writer, artist, and naturalist, and founder of the Boy Scouts of America.
Mianus River Park
The former Goodbody Estate, the 391-acre Mianus River Park is home to more than 100 bird species.
Cos Cob Park
Just north of Cos Cob Harbor, this nine-acre waterfront park was the site of the electrical plant that powered the Metro-North Railroad. Cos Cob Park offers miles of walking paths, a children’s playground, pavilion, artificial turf field, soccer pitch, and a 9/11 memorial overlooking Long Island Sound.
Sachem Nature Preserve
The preserve’s 3.5-acre forest is a habitat for small mammals and birds.
Loughlin Avenue Playground
This 6.8-acre public playground and sports facility has a baseball diamond, soccer field, lighted tennis courts, and a basketball court.
The Mianus River Boat and Yacht Club and the Greenwich Water Club are both in Cos Cob. The public marina (one of four in Greenwich) has 300 slips from April through November. Dry dock storage is available in the winter months.
There are several top-ranked golf courses in and around Greenwich. The Innis Arden Golf Club in Old Greenwich features a Ken Dye-designed 18-hole course, a clubhouse, tennis courts, swimming pool, and fitness center. Greenwich Country Club, the premier country club in the area (and one of the oldest in the United States) has an 18-hole golf course redesigned in 2018 by golf course architect Beau Welling. The private Milbrook Club offers golf, aquatics, and tennis, as well as a family friendly clubhouse.
Shopping and Dining in Cos Cob
Cos Cob’s commercial center, The Hub, has several specialty food stores, as well as coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques, a public library, and post office. A short drive away is Greenwich Avenue, a shopping mecca dubbed the "Rodeo Drive of the East.”
Il Pastaficio pasta restaurant, Mumbai Times Indian Cuisine, and Coast Seafood are neighborhood favorites. For fine dining, residents head to Blackstones Steakhouse on West Putnam Avenue; Elm Street Oyster House, just off Greenwich Avenue; and L’escale at Delamar Greenwich Harbor Hotel.
Top-Rated Schools in Cos Cob
The Greenwich Public Schools district consists of eleven elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school with an alternative high school program.
The highly rated Cos Cob School has 389 students from kindergarten through grade five, with a student-teacher ratio of 12 to 1.
There are a number of private schools in Greenwich and its surroundings: Greenwich Academy, a college prep school for girls (pre-kindergarten through 12th grade), Brunswick School, a college prep school for boys (pre-kindergarten through high school), and Greenwich Country Day School, a co-educational school (nursery through high school).
How Many People Live in Cos Cob?
The population of Cos Cob is 6,873*.
What Is the Average Home Value in Cos Cob?
Image 3 Carol M. Highsmith , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Image 4 Carol M. Highsmith , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons