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   165-171 Birch Avenue

PROPERTY INFORMATION

Historic Name

165-171 Birch Avenue

Current Name

Address

165-171 Birch Avenue

Tax Parcel

1114_6902_56

Historic District

Witherspoon Jackson HD

Classification

Contributing

Number of Resources

1

Style

Vernacular

Number of Stories

2

Material

Vinyl

Historic Function

Domestic

Current Function

Domestic

Last Entry Update

11/1/2015


DESCRIPTION

Setting

The property is located on the northwest corner of the intersection of Birch Avenue and Race Street. Birch Avenue is a residential street with a tree- lined sidewalk on each side; Race has a tree-lined sidewalk only on this (west) side. The property has a small front lawn off each sidewalk. The property has off-street parking along each end of the house.

Description

This house is a 2-story, 4-bay vernacular twin that is one of two (and possibly as many as four) houses moved from Baker Street to Birch Avenue as part of the Palmer Square development. The house’s main features are its hipped-roofed front porch, low-pitched cross gable, and its chimney pots. It features a side-gable roof with a low-pitched, front cross-gable that is clad with asphalt shinglesand has aluminum eaves and features two, interior, brick chimneys, one located on the east gable and one located on the west gable. Each chimney sports its own chimney pot. The house is clad in vinyl siding. All of the house’s windows are replacements. The first floor of the south elevation features a one-story, half-length, hipped-roofed porch with two front doors in the center, one leading into 165 Birch Avenue (east door) and the other leading into 171 Birch Avenue (west door). The porch is accessed by two concrete staircases, one on each end of the porch. It features three iron posts with an iron balustrade. The front doorsare flanked on their east by one, single, one-over-one, double-hung sash window and on their west by a three-sided bay window with a single, fixed-paned window in its center side and one ten-paned casement window in each of the other two sides. The bay is topped by an asphalt- shingled pent roof.

On the second floor, there is one, single, one-over-one, double-hung sash window centered over the window on the first floor of 165 Birch Avenue, and one, single, six-over-one, double-hung sash window centered over the bay window on the first floor of 171 Birch Avenue.

There is a two-story, front-gable-roofed addition attached to the north (rear) elevation of this twin house.This addition forms the upright of the “T”. On the east elevation of the addition, there is a small porch nestled into the cruck where the addition meets the rear of the core of the house. This porch is accessed by a wood staircase and features a hip roof supported by a single, turned-wood post and with a wood balustrade. On the west elevation of the addition, there is a small porch nestled into the cruck where the addition meets the rear of the core of the house. This porch is accessed by a wood staircase and features a hip roof supported by a single, turned-wood post and with a wood balustrade.


HISTORY

Built

1910

Architect

 

Builder

 

History

The house was constructed c. 1910 and relocated here c. 1930. It was originally constructed on Baker Street (likely the east side) and was moved as part of the clearing of various parcels during the Palmer Square construction.

Historic maps and Sanborn Atlases indicate that this particular property was a vacant parcel as late as 1918. It was part of the land holdings of Albert S. Leigh. Following his death, his son Harry and daughter Adelia inherited the property. They had the lots on the north side of Birch Avenue laid out in 1925 and began selling lots. William L. Ulyat purchased several parcels, including this lot, as an investment. One month later, Ulyat sold the property.

Princeton Municipal Improvement Inc. purchased the lot from Ulyat in 1925. The company purchased several parcels along Birch Avenue that were derived from the Leigh estate. The house on Baker Street was moved here in the early 1930s and first appears on the historic aerial of 1940 (the 1930 atlas does not cover houses along Birch Avenue). The property was a rental property for 29 years. In 1954, Princeton Municipal Improvement Inc. sold the property to Silas and Julia Massey, who were then living at 37 Birch Avenue. As of 2015, the property is owned by a son and daughter of Silas and Julia Massey.

Sources

DEED RESEARCH

Reference

Date

Grantor

Grantee

Price

Size

Notes

2588-58

12/16/1991

Julia Massey Estate

Silas Massey Jr. and Sonja Massey Young (children)

$ 1

N.S.

Same as following; Julia had died 3/19/1991

1275-188

3/22/1954

Princeton Municipal Improvement Inc.

Silas & Julia Massey, then of 37 Birch Ave.

$ 1

N.S.

Part of the following.

561-399

5/28/1925

William L. Ulyat of Princeton

Princeton Municipal Improvement Inc.

$ 1

Many parcels; subject tract purchased with 560-250.

560-250

4/30/1925

Harry W. & Gertrude Leigh and Adelia B. Leigh

William L. Ulyat of Princeton

$ 1

Vacant lot; part of the following.

Descent

3/14/1922

Albert S. Leigh Estate

Harry W. Leigh and Adelia B. Leigh (children)

$ 0


LINKS AND ATTACHMENTS

UPDATE

If you have additional information or corrections to the existing information, send an email to ekim@princetonnj.gov.
Submitted information is reviewed by the Princeton HPC prior to updating the database.


PHOTO FROM 2015 SURVEY


2015 Photo
South (main) elevation


2015 Photo
South and east elevation, as viewed from Race Street


2015 Photo
South and west elevations


HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS

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