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Tasteful friends: a picture perfect Colonial Revival in Princeton, $1.995M

What's better than a picture perfect Colonial Revival on picture perfect Library Place in Princeton, New Jersey?

With 8 bedrooms, and 5-1/2 baths, it's evidently a ca.1860 house extensively reworked in Colonial Revival style in the 1920s. Its not quite symmetrical facade is set perpendicular to the street, with a brick-walled courtyard to the side/rear. Inside, the expectation of a center-hall plan dissolves with a apse-ended entry/stair hall with spiral stair extending to the two floors above. Rooms are a mix of sizes and finishes, a handsome walnut-paneled Cocktail Room and an adjacent small Sitting Room panelled in pine, and a Dining Room with bay window views to the courtyard. A barrel vaulted corridor with brick floor along the courtyard opens to a large Library (800sq+) with vaulted ceiling -- a very 1920s Library/Art Studio space. Thereś a good sized kicthen and large pantry, and toward the rear of the property other service spaces, a side door to the exterior, and a 2-car garage.

I think it's nearly perfect. Replace that gingham fantasy wallpaper on the barrel vaulted corridor and make a few minor changes in the kitchen/pantry: replace the Formica countertop with butcher block, redo the floor, undo the wallpaper, move the washer/dryer to another room or the basement and it's a great space. Upstairs, take up the wall-to-wall carpet in a couple bedrooms and that's about it. For once, a house that needs only a few small projects done.

There's great variety in the design. In the materials on the main floor the vestibule has a marble floor in a compass design, herringbone laid floor in the entry/stair hall, regular laid wood floor in the main rooms, and brick laid in herringbone pattern in the corridor; and something else under that later kitchen vinyl floor.

For Princeton, it seems a good price, though taxes are a bit of a killer.

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by Anonymousreply 32April 5, 2024 8:12 PM


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by Anonymousreply 1April 2, 2024 12:11 PM

It certainly needs touch ups because even my love of wood panelling felt depressed in so many rooms. It's such a dark tone in that house outside of the kitchen. So I'd need to brighten it up a bit. But I agree OP, it's the type of home I'd want to swoop and and protect from the world of open floor plans and wrecking balls.

Also, that random greatroom was a shock after seeing so many tiny formal rooms.

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by Anonymousreply 2April 2, 2024 12:17 PM

Oops, apparently I type poor. That great room I spoke of is the Library Room according to the floor plan, missing actual books, lol.

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by Anonymousreply 3April 2, 2024 12:20 PM

Sorry Op one more point. I love the flow of the rooms. Sitting room for intimate conversation with guests. Cocktail room to hold party guest before dinner. Dinning room, then you can take a hallway to the Library. Upstairs, the master bedroom has a formal sitting area. It's just so perfect for formal 1920s hosting.

by Anonymousreply 4April 2, 2024 12:25 PM

Agreed, R4. It's the house of the favorite Art History professor who has his grad seminar students around for drinks once a month: a table laid with pitchers of Bloody Marys and some sort of cheese thingies.

by Anonymousreply 5April 2, 2024 12:31 PM

It's a beautiful street if you like exploring on Google Street View: 87 Library Place, Princeton NJ

by Anonymousreply 6April 2, 2024 12:39 PM

Lovely ! I would !

by Anonymousreply 7April 2, 2024 12:46 PM

It feels tired to me, but with some money could be a lovely home again.

by Anonymousreply 8April 2, 2024 12:53 PM

I'm surprised that such a large house would have a washer and dryer in the middle of the kitchen, the room most in need of renovation.

by Anonymousreply 9April 2, 2024 12:57 PM

Do we call that Colonial or Georgian?

by Anonymousreply 10April 2, 2024 12:57 PM

According to this likely twinset owner, "Colonial and Georgian are pretty synonymous, as Georgians are Colonials. (The reverse isn’t always true; there are Dutch Colonials and French Colonials). The Georgian style became the dominant architecture in England during the reigns of King George I, II, and III. It was based on the work of British architect Sir Christopher Wren (local readers and W&M alums will recognize the name from the College of William & Mary’s Wren Building). English colonists emulated Georgian style in constructing their own buildings in the New World using “pattern books” that outlined construction features and detailing. During and after the Revolutionary War, Americans didn’t want to associate with the term “colonial,” and “Georgian” became favored to describe the architectural style."

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by Anonymousreply 11April 2, 2024 1:00 PM

Reminds me of growing up in that area. Our homes looked like that. It’s a bit like a time capsule but you can see the house has great “bones”. That price feels competitive. That community is a really good place to live, especially as you age. There are tons of talks and lectures and cultural infrastructure, and great food. College towns are great for older people if they stay connected to community, visit libraries and socialize, walk and maybe swim (YMCA’s in town like these are sometimes super clean).

by Anonymousreply 12April 2, 2024 1:00 PM

Why is there a curtain hanging on the wall in the foyer? What is it hiding?

by Anonymousreply 13April 2, 2024 1:01 PM

The realtor claims it was built in the Gilded Age and the lists construction as 1860.

by Anonymousreply 14April 2, 2024 1:07 PM

[quote] I'm surprised that such a large house would have a washer and dryer in the middle of the kitchen, the room most in need of renovation.

No one goes into the basement since “the incident.”

by Anonymousreply 15April 2, 2024 1:08 PM

[quote]Why is there a curtain hanging on the wall in the foyer? What is it hiding?

Only that one sibling inherited the house and the other the good paintings and some money. There's a serious shortage of appropriately scaled art in the house, and the small pieces none too interesting. In the Library they've hung another tribal fabric something on two different walls.

by Anonymousreply 16April 2, 2024 1:12 PM

There’s an “office” on the 2nd floor that would barely fit a desk. Why not call it a box room because it’s clearly just for storage.

by Anonymousreply 17April 2, 2024 1:30 PM

I usually wouldn’t, but I kind of like that dated 50s/60s/70s hodgepodge feel it has. I’m sure that’ll be obliterated forthwith.

by Anonymousreply 18April 2, 2024 1:33 PM

What blows my mind is that this huge house is significantly cheaper than generic-looking 3-bedroom "luxury" townhouse condos on Nassau Square (less than a mile away). I guess people just don't want to keep up with so much house/property any more.

by Anonymousreply 19April 2, 2024 1:43 PM

Sorry, Palmer Square (not Nassau).

by Anonymousreply 20April 2, 2024 1:45 PM

Who needs 8 bedrooms?

by Anonymousreply 21April 2, 2024 1:47 PM

I don't like the wallpaper or white cabinets in the kitchen. The blue carpet on the stairs is . . . something else. Why didn't they have someone blow the leaves off the courtyards? It gave me Downton Abbey vibes.

by Anonymousreply 22April 2, 2024 1:55 PM

[quote]Who needs 8 bedrooms?

Who needs more than two pairs of pants, three shirts, and three pairs of underwear and socks?

It's a big house (6180 square feet.) No one says the owner has to have 7 kids or take in boarders. You can do what you want with most of the rooms, make one of them an office and turn the existing office into a room for your gimp. Go mad and have a huge dining table (for all those kids) in the Library and make the existing Dining Room a library, or a ribbon room.

by Anonymousreply 23April 2, 2024 2:02 PM

I’d run out of things to do with that many rooms. There really aren’t that many uses for a bunch of small, upstairs rooms.

by Anonymousreply 24April 2, 2024 2:07 PM

[quote]Who needs 8 bedrooms?

Poor people.

by Anonymousreply 25April 2, 2024 2:22 PM

Take in boarders, ie students?

by Anonymousreply 26April 2, 2024 4:18 PM

Like it all except for that ghastly kitchen.

by Anonymousreply 27April 2, 2024 6:25 PM

Its more house than I need, but its pretty nice, and I could live with the kitchen just fine, I actually like the wallpaper in there. The stairwell/ foyer is a bit too white, but that wouldnt be hard to fix. Ceilings are a little plain, but that is just how they were, it does look as if was built earlier than 1860

by Anonymousreply 28April 4, 2024 3:05 PM

They probably don't want to need the stairs for laundry and the kitchen is where you have plumbing and an easy place for a dryer vent. Having laundry equipment in the kitchen was a popular in some mid-mod houses, especially "California-style" ranches that didn't have full basements .

The 3rd floor probably was a former servants quarters plus attic storage, so the 8 bedrooms is an exaggeration of sorts.

by Anonymousreply 29April 4, 2024 3:18 PM

It's got curb appeal in spades.

Seriously, the outside is more attractive to me than the interior. The kitchen is horrendous, though kitschy (love the 60s stool that sits within, we had one of those for the longest time!). And as said upthread, the blue carpeting on the stairs is...something else. However, (bonus!) no one is likely to have a "Staircase" moment on those steps.

That said (and I know it's terribly impractical), I love that many of the rooms still have fireplaces in them.

by Anonymousreply 30April 4, 2024 3:19 PM

It it seems very fairly priced, but the giant library room is weird. I understand that not everyone likes the open kitchen family room concept, but that room is too removed from the rest of the house. If it were a little smaller and directly off the kitchen it would be perfect as a casual living area. And then you still have a living room / “cocktail room” / grown-up den, dining room and office on the first floor. But positioned as it it, it’s like a ballroom or studio. I’m sure it would work great for some people, but not most and that’s probably why the price is low.

You can just ignore the third floor when you don’t have guests, making the house a manageable size.

I think the condition is perfect. Nothing has been ruined, but it’s livable, and even the kitchen has a 1950’s retro charm. I’d live with that for a while. It looks classy lived-in, not decrepit.

by Anonymousreply 31April 4, 2024 3:32 PM

R28: Some listings state that it's an 1860 house, but if so it was fundamentally remodelled in 1920. There's nothing in the exterior walls or roof or windows and doors, nothing in the interior to suggest 1860. It easy to think it might be earlier than 1929 by virtue of the rather academic revivalism, but for a few details unusually archaeologically correct in following 1760s-1770s models.

Not far away in Delaware is this 1774 house with the same footprint, the same four symmetrical bays across the street facade but no door, it too I'd oriented st the sude elevation, and with a secondary recessed wing to the left side. (The interior of the Delaware house, however has a true 18thC plan which the Princeton house does not.) If not this very house in Delaware, others of the 1760s-70s in a big circle drawn around Philadelphia were certainly models for the exterior.

I'll trust the 1860 house was built upon and over, but its presence is more historical than material

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by Anonymousreply 32April 5, 2024 8:12 PM
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