HSP Announces 2017 House Tour

The Historical Society of Princeton is pleased to host its 16th annual House Tour from 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday, November 4, 2017. This signature event celebrates significant architecture and design in the homes of HSP’s supportive community.

This year’s tour features five unique homes, each one a distinct example of its own time and style. Visitors will marvel in the modifications, redesigns, furnishings, and personal art collections in a self-guided tour of the homes throughout the day.

This year’s tour will feature:

75 Cleveland Lane: This Princeton landmark, the former estate of J. Seward Johnson Jr. and Kristina Johnson, was designed by Ernest Flagg in the 1920s. Flagg, a notable American architect, also designed the Scribner Building in New York City and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Recently spared from demolition, this estate enjoyed an impressive top-to-bottom renovation from Grant Homes Custom Builders. The stunning Chateau-style stone mansion and carriage house now feature countless high-end, custom details, including a Christopher Peacock kitchen and a built-in sound system with 26 speakers. Historic architectural features, like exposed stone walls and beams, carved banisters, and a cement tile floor, remain preserved.

73 Library Place: Designed in 1897-1898 by the Philadelphia-based architectural firm, Cope and Stewardson, this outstanding half-timbered Tudor Revival house was built for Princeton University Mathematics professor and Dean of Faculty H.B. Fine, after whom Fine Hall is named. Cope and Stewardson famously designed several Princeton campus buildings, such as Blair Hall and Ivy Club. The homeowners have painstakingly preserved remarkable historic architectural features, such as decorative plaster ceilings, hand-leaded windows, original wood paneling, carved wooden archways, and gargoyles. Previous owners added to the home’s history by installing chandeliers from the famed Paramount Theater in New York City, when the theater closed in the mid-20th century.

44 Patton Avenue: Also known as “The Warehouse,” this historic building served as Michael Graves’ personal home for over forty years and was recently purchased by Kean University. The University’s College of Architecture and Design bears Graves’ name. Graves was a Princeton-based, world-renowned post-modernist architect who took on the renovation of this home himself. The Warehouse, built in 1927, originally served as a storage warehouse for the Italian stonemasons building Princeton University’s neo-Gothic campus buildings. The house serves as the prime and personal example of Graves’ design philosophy.

50 Patton Avenue: With a golden stone façade, broad porch, and spectacular views of the Michael Graves residence, this bungalow, built in the late nineteen-teens, encloses a creative and efficient renovation by local interior designer Katie Eastridge. Unique historic features, such as a Moravian tile fireplace, a claw-foot tub, and original hardwood floors coexist with contemporary additions, such as glazed cement tiles in the fully renovated kitchen. The playful interior design alludes to the owners’ love of books throughout this cozy gem.

40 Mercer Street: Prolific Princeton architect Charles Steadman built this house and its semi-detached neighbor in the 1830s, as part of the most intact surviving neighborhood for Princeton’s early middle-class settlers. Sometimes referred to as Princeton’s first real estate developer, Steadman designed over 70 buildings in Princeton, including the Nassau Presbyterian Church. As the leader of Princeton’s Greek Revival, Steadman leaves a visible architectural legacy in the town, with about 40 of his designs still standing. This house features a luxurious renovation, adding a curtained sun porch, a breakfast room, and fully modernized kitchen, while preserving period details, like knobs, plaster molding, and fireplaces.

“Princeton’s uniqueness and historicity as a town is grounded in its remarkable built environment,” said HSP Executive Director, Izzy Kasdin. “This year’s tour, in particular, showcases and recognizes homeowners who have been excellent stewards of Princeton’s historic architectural gems. The House Tour provides an opportunity to truly connect with the places we pass every day, and is always an enjoyable experience for all involved!”

Advance tickets are $45 for HSP members and $50 for non-members. All tickets purchased the day of the tour are $50. Proceeds help fund the Historical Society’s core mission activities throughout the year, including exhibitions, collections care, and engaging educational programming for schools and families.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 609.921.6748 x105. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.princetonhistory.org. On the day of the event, tickets may be purchased at the Updike Farmstead, 354 Quaker Road, or by cash and check at any of the five homes on the tour.

The Historical Society is grateful to Lead Sponsors Baxter Construction, Charles Schwab, and Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty for their generous support of this event.