Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pennington, New Jersey Historic House Tour - October 3, 2015

Pennington, New Jersey Historic House Tour
Saturday, October 3, 2015

As part of Pennington’s 125th Anniversary celebration this year, the Hopewell Valley Historical Society is sponsoring an historic house tour on Saturday, October 3, 2015. The tour, which takes place from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, features some of a diverse group of some of Pennington’s most historically and architecturally significant homes.

The architectural diversity of houses on the tour is represented by eight houses dating from the late 18th century to the early 20th century. Over a half dozen architectural styles can be seen including the Federal style, most common in early Pennington, and later styles such as Greek Revival, Italianate, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Queen Ann, Shingle, and American Four Square. As a bonus, tour goers can also visit the recently restored Gothic Revival Alumni House at the Pennington School and view the impressive Neo-Classical Sun National Bank building.

The interior of tour homes feature original detailing and materials with many of the homes having eye catching modern additions and remodeled kitchens which showcase contemporary tastes.

Of particular historical interest are homes built by two of Pennington’s earliest and most prominent developers, Col. John Kunkel and William Howe, around the turn of the 20th century. Col. Kunkel initiated the first major expansion of Pennington to its northeast and William Howe, founder of Pennington’s most well known business and former mayor, developed most of the southern part of the borough.

"Pennington’s historic house tour will be a wonderful event in helping to celebrate Pennington’s 125h anniversary," said Kit Chandler, co-chair of Pennington’s Anniversary Committee. House tour coordinator Tom Ogren added that "we look forward to a great turn-out given a rare opportunity for Borough residents to see the inside of locally admired historic homes and for house tour goers from throughout the area to visit one of a kind historic Borough houses."

According to Weed Tucker, co-chair of Pennington’s Anniversary Committee, "the Hopewell Valley Historical Society deserves a lot of credit for organizing the historic house tour. In addition to the house tour, the Society,” he added, “has done much through the years to highlight Pennington’s history through its quarterly newsletter and its hosting of programs of  interest to the general public."

According to house tour coordinator Tom Ogren, “the tour would not be possible without the help of nearly 100 volunteers and, of course, the cooperation of our gracious homeowners. This included about a dozen volunteers," he said, "who spent several months planning the event. For the day of the tour, approximately 75 volunteer docents will be stationed in houses, but fortunately," he pointed out, "Callaway-Henderson, Gloria Nilson and Weidel real estate agencies under the direction of volunteer coordinator Winn Thompson will be supplying most of those docents."

"Other volunteers making valuable contributions," Ogren added, "included local historian David Blackwell who wrote the house descriptions and history for the house tour booklet and three local residents who donated pen and ink drawings of houses. Wonderful drawings of several homes were contributed by Hopewell Township artists Linda Bradshaw and Susan Ewart and by Pennington architect Betsy Ackerman," Ogren said.

Tickets for the tour can be purchased online prior to the tour at the Historical Society website, or at one of two stores in Pennington: The Front Porch at 24 South Main Street or the Twirl Toy Shop at 10 North Main Street. Tickets may also be purchased at Gloria Nilson Real Estate in the Windsor Crossing Shopping Center on Denow Road. Tickets purchased in advance are $20.

On the day of the tour, house tour booklets, which will serve as tickets, can be purchased for $25 at either the Sun National Bank at E. Delaware Avenue and N. Main Street or at the Pennington School Alumni House on W. Delaware Avenue. Advance ticket purchasers will also need to check in at either location for their house tour booklet before going on tour.

"We appreciated the contribution of The Pennington School, Sun National Bank, The Front Porch, the Twirl Toy Shop, and Gloria Nilson Real Estate in helping to make the house tour a success," said Ogren.

While tour goers are encouraged to walk between houses on tour, a loop shuttle bus service will be provided with stops along the tour route. Parking for tour check-in is available at The Pennington School and Pennington Borough Hall.

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