Living in Riverside: A Lifestyle and Real Estate Guide to Riverside, Connecticut
Riverside—Waterfront Hamlet on Connecticut’s Gold Coast
What and Where Is Riverside, Connecticut
Riverside was named for its waterfront setting along the Mianus River, a 20-mile tributary of Long Island Sound. Riverside sits between the upscale hamlets of Cos Cob and Old Greenwich, which are also part of the Town of Greenwich, along with Byram, Glenville, and Mianus. Stamford is 15 minutes’ drive. New York City is about an hour by car via Interstate 95 or 50 minutes from Riverside Train Station to Grand Central Terminal via the Metro-North Railroad Harlem Line.
Riverside was a small fishing and farming community known as Mianus Neck until it was developed by New York real estate broker Jeremiah Atwater and attorney Luke Vincent Lockwood in the 1870s. The town was renamed “Riverside” to attract wealthy vacationers from New York City. In 1888, Attwater and Lockwood established a stop on the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad and were instrumental in the construction of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Chapel Lane.
Riverside Avenue Bridge, a National Historic Landmark, is the only surviving bridge in Connecticut built primarily from structural cast iron. The bridge formed part of a six-span, double-track railroad bridge over the Housatonic River at Stratford. In 1888, it was dismantled by the New York and New Haven Railroad and re-erected in Riverside.
Another structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places is the circa-1760 Samuel Ferris House at 1 Cary Street. The Cape-style clapboard farmhouse was once part of a 30-acre farm owned by the Ferris family, who were among Riverside’s earliest settlers.
The Riverside Yacht Club is another local landmark, established May 25, 1888, by George I. Tyson, a retired Civil War captain and yachtsman. Today, the club participates in major regattas around the United States.
The Mianus River Boat and Yacht Club and the Greenwich Water Club are both in the hamlet of Cos Cob, just across the Mianus River. A few miles west of Riverside is the Old Greenwich Yacht Club, established in 1943.
There are several private golf clubs in and around Greenwich. Greenwich Country Club is one of the oldest (and grandest) private clubs in the United States. It features an 18-hole golf course redesigned in 2018 by golf course architect Beau Welling. The exclusive Innis Arden Golf Club, founded in 1899, features the Ken Dye-designed 18-hole course and practice range, a clubhouse, tennis courts, swimming pool, and fitness center. The Milbrook Club has an 18-hole golf course and clubhouse, as well as tennis courts and an aquatics center.
Binney Park was named after philanthropist Edwin Binney, a summer resident of Old Greenwich and the inventor of Crayola crayons. The centerpiece of the 32-acre park is a pond landscaped with weeping willows, footbridges, walking paths, and a gazebo. There’s also a recreation area with tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and a soccer pitch.
American figure skating legend Dorothy Hamill was a resident of Riverside in the 1960s and learned to skate on the park’s skating pond. Other famous Riverside residents are Kathy Lee Gifford, New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal, and former New York Giants running back and television presenter Tiki Barber.
Real Estate in Riverside
Riverside is two distinct neighborhoods north and south of East Putnam Avenue. North of the avenue, single-family homes list from $800,000 to $2 million. South of East Putnam, particularly those along Club Road, Meadow Road, and Indian Head Road, are three- to four-bedroom Colonial and Victorian Revival homes with private gardens. These range from around $2 million to $6 million. Farther south, the homes are much larger. Waterfront properties along the Mianus River and Long Island Sound can list anywhere from $5 million to $10 million and even upwards of $25 million. There are several private, gated waterfront communities, including Willowmere, on Greenwich Cove, and Harbor Point, at the southernmost tip of Riverside, which has private access to a sandy beach and boat launch on Elias Point.
Dining and Shopping in Riverside
East Putnam Avenue is the neighborhood’s downtown hub, with many small family-owned shops. Riverside Commons shopping center offers retail services and amenities. Farther along East Putnam, there are a handful of upscale boutiques, coffee shops, and gourmet restaurants.
Valbella has been a Riverside landmark for over 25 years. The restaurant is in an elegant Victorian Revival townhouse on East Putnam Avenue and features three dining rooms and a landscaped terrace for alfresco dining.
Lugano Wine Bar and Salumeria
Lugano is another Italian offering on East Putnam Avenue, specializing in fine wine and small plates of cured Italian meats and cheeses.
Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee
Housed in a former candy store on Riverside Avenue, just a block from the train station, Ada’s offers a menu of seasonal fare made from scratch and an espresso bar featuring locally roasted gourmet coffees.
Tony’s at the J House
Farther north on Riverside Avenue is Tony’s at the J House, an upscale Italian steakhouse and bar in the J House boutique hotel.
Top-Rated Schools in Riverside
Three of the 16 schools in the Greenwich School District are in Riverside. The International School at Dundee is a magnet school with 345 elementary-level pupils (kindergarten through grade five), with a student-teacher ratio of 11 to 1. The school offers an International Baccalaureate program and is designated as a School of Distinction by the state education department for Highest Overall Performance. Riverside School, founded in 1933, is another top-ranked elementary school. The school serves 457 pupils from pre-kindergarten through grade five. It too is recognized as a School of Distinction in the category of Highest Overall Performance. North Mianus School is a highly rated elementary school with 497 pupils enrolled from kindergarten through grade five, with a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1.
Eastern Middle School has a student population of around 862 in grades six through eight, with a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1.
Greenwich High School, the only high school in the Greenwich School District, is one of the largest high schools in Connecticut. The school serves 2,746 students, grades nine through 12 and has a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1.
There are several private schools in the area, including Greenwich Academy, a college prep school for girls (pre-kindergarten through 12th grade); Greenwich Country Day School (nursery through 12th-grade); and Brunswick School, a college prep school for boys (pre-kindergarten through high school).
How Many People Live in Riverside?
The population of Riverside is 8,843*.
What Is the Average Home Value in Riverside?
Carol M. Highsmith, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Carol M. Highsmith, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Ben Schumin from Montgomery Village, Maryland, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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