Essex County Greenbelt is headquartered at the Allyn Cox Reservation in Essex. Located along Route 133, the Cox Reservation includes 27 acres of fields, salt marsh and frontage along the Essex River. Beautiful views of the Essex River, Choate Island and Crane Beach are visible.
The lands that comprise Cox Reservation have a long history. Native Americans seasonally occupied the land until European settlers arrived in the early seventeenth century. The original road from Ipswich to Gloucester, laid out in 1635, passes through the property. The Cox Reservation was also part of the School Farm, which was established in 1650 to support the first grammar school of Ipswich. For over 350 years, the Cox Reservation has passed through generations of ownership, and the land was continually farmed, orchards were planted, and livestock were grazed.
William Burnham constructed the farmhouse that now houses the Greenbelt offices circa 1785 and the Studio Barn was constructed in 1863.
In 1940, noted muralist Allyn Cox purchased the property as a summer home and used the barn as his studio. In 1974, Allyn Cox donated the property to Greenbelt.
In 2007, the Allyn Cox Reservation headquarters building underwent expansion and renovation. Working with the firm Allsopp Design many green features were introduced, improving the building's aesthetics and our productivity, while also reducing our ongoing energy requirements. The project was awarded a gold-level LEED certification rating by the U.S. Green Building Council for its leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.