2005 Gems of South Orange House Tour

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Presented by the South Orange Historical and Preservation Society


The area surrounding our Prospect Street tour site is rich in history and has many wonderful architectural details. Much like other areas of South Orange builta t different times in our Village's history, there are homes from nearly each century since development began.

You may find that some of the home have been modified - and not always to the liking of many historians. But this allows us to walk in our founders' footsteps as modernization in various forms took hold during each successive era.

The Prospect Street area was developed by many people whose names are well-known to us. One of the recognized builders of times past was Henry Becker. He built one of our tour homes (you have to discover for yourself which one!)/ Becker & Sons were known for their construction expertise throughout this area and as far West as "The Newstead" on the Mountain.

Familiar names such as Meeker, Tichenor and Degen lived here. Even Mrs. Torrance's "House of Weddings" still exists and was known as a grand Victorian party house still remembered by older residents. Many past residents were noted scientists, botanists and inventors.

Off West numbered side streets had known residents such as Peter Stewart and Luther Milligan. Milligan is the man who advertised this area as "Little Switzerland." Homes continue to retain "Swiss Chalet" details. The area surrounding Irvington Avenue had small homes and back land plots called "farmettes."

Academy Street is so called because of the fact that it was the center of three important schools in our Village. Each successive immigrant population came seeking quality education and expanded the area. We being our tour at a local landmark, Our Lady of Sorrows Church which can be seen from points far away from the village.

In addition to the past you can observe the community spirit of South Orange today in the triangle community garden. You can see how the gardens and sidewalks provide another connector from the past to the present. Each neighborhood, each neighbor, each memory, each builder, has served, and continues to serve, a valuable role in making this a unique area.

STARTING OUT: From Our Lady of Sorrows #1, tour heading North or South on Prospect.
Following The Numbers: Heading South #2 through #9
Turn right turn(east) onto Prospect(south) to Garfield Place. Turn left(north) onto Garfield. To richmond Rd. Turn left(north) onto Richmond to Village Rd. turn left(west) to Prospect, St. Turn left(south) onto Prospect St. to OLS.
Reversing The Numbers: Heading North #9 through #2
From Our Lady of Sorrows, turn left(north)North on Prospect St, to Village Rd. Turn right(east) onto Village to Richmond. Turn right9south) on Richmond to Garfield Place. On Garfield, turn right(north) on Prospect Street to OLS.

BUILDING/SITE LOCATION:Architecture/StyleDates:
1.Our Lady of Sorrows ChurchGothic1929-1391
dedicated May, 1931
2.225 Prospect StreetEastlake Stick Style Victoriancirca 1875
3.305 Prospect StreetColonial Revivalcirca 1900-10
4.340 Prospect StreetClassic, Federal w/Victcirca: late 1700's
Stroll Site A. The Triangle Garden - Village Colonials Community Garden - "Shepard's Green" Plaque to Fallen Soldier Francis B. Shepard (1918)
5.163 Garfield PlaceColonial Revival/Arts & Craftscirca 1913/7
Stroll Site B. Front and Backyard Gardens at 199 Garfield Place
Stroll Site C. Front Yard Garden at corner Richmond, Montague
*Features 1928 Victorian Iris Collection
6.330 Richmond RoadColonial Revivalcirca 1923
Stroll Site D. Front and Back Gardens at 27_? Richmond nr Village Rd. Points of interest: Art Moderne Home at Richmond & Village Rd. Front yard Azalea Gardens of South Side Village Rd. Homes
7.181 Village RoadClassic Victoriancirca 1874
8.170 Village RoadColonial Revivalcirca 1903

We have included notable gardens, stroll sites, points of interest for you!

Built to replace a small wooden late 19th century church, construction of the current Our Lady of Sorrows church began in and was completed in 1931. The Boston architectural firm, Maginnis and Walsh, designed it in French Gothic style, with