Business & Finance

'Large House' Renovations Are Underway

239c29397af6aab74625_P1052940.JPG
Credits: Curtis Leeds
348e97c7e2b7b303e8cb_large_tree.JPG
The tree at the left in this photo will need protection if the original clay sewer line needs to be replaced. Credits: Curtis Leeds / TAPinto Flemington-Raritan file photo
a37e429eda9e5f009a11_P1052948.JPG
Credits: Curtis Leeds
ba49592f00d710731098_P1052951.JPG
Work is underway to restore the building's original columns. Credits: Curtis Leeds
c2bf5576314404c175f1_P1052952.JPG
Work is underway to restore the building's original columns. Credits: Curtis Leeds
b53003ae873e6f6d8ac6_P1052959.JPG
Credits: Curtis Leeds
df2b906f13da9eefca56_P1052955.JPG
Credits: Curtis Leeds
c63545ddb743588e4793_P1052956.JPG
Credits: Curtis Leeds
fa6c0dd08b0f711e9e2e_P1052957.JPG
Credits: Curtis Leeds
1cdaff5b01a0c7bf07ad_P1052961.JPG
Credits: Curtis Leeds
562be66ede437cc8210e_P1052964.JPG
Credits: Curtis Leeds
33d8ed854e38044b9f82_P1052966.JPG
Credits: CFurtis Leeds
3df531f4a7b96e5d45a5_P1052969.JPG
George Eckelman with floor stain samples. Credits: Curtis Leeds
9d6b3042c49bb26144e6_P1052975.JPG
An original check found in the Large house safe. Credits: Curtis Leeds
aa6dab64b45f9f008f4f_P1052977.JPG
Credits: Curtis Leeds
f632b047290dd5711c2d_P1052982.JPG
George Eckelman (left) and Chris Phelan review the 1937 drawings of the house, made by the Historical American Buildings Survey, Credits: Curtis Leeds
05c90891c323439ae560_P1052986.JPG
The 1937 drawings reveal the building's elaborate crestline. Credits: Curtis Leeds
e73bf8c73e6bb64307bd_P1052988.JPG
New pipe (left) was connected to the original clay sewer line. Credits: Curtis Leeds
2308bad7eed8bdf8fc70_P1052989.JPG
Credits: Curtis Leeds
239c29397af6aab74625_P1052940.JPG

FLEMINGTON, NJ - Although it may not be readily apparent from the outside, contractors are hard at work restoring the landmark Large house, which the non-profit arm of the county Chamber of Commerce bought last year.

The Chamber plans to use the front part of the Main Street mansion for its headquarters and training programs. The group has established the Unity Bank Center for Business & Entrepreneurship, and its founders want it to become a place of training and support for the entire business community of Hunterdon. That will be housed in the back of the building.

It will also be the headquarters of Flemington Community Partnership, the management group that runs the borough’s business improvement district.

Sign Up for E-News

Mahlon Fisher built the house in 1847 for John Reading. It was chosen for inclusion in the Historic American Building Survey in 1937. According to documents on file with the Library of Congress, the two-story rear wing was added around 1900. In 1854, a masonry vault was built in the basement, and it served as the first office of what was then the Hunterdon bank.

The building is named for George Large, who bought the house in 1900. Large was named a special prosecutor in the trail of Bruno Richard Hauptmann in the kidnapping and death of the 20-month-year-old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. Large later served as president of the state Senate and also served as acting governor.

There was a lot of work to do on the building before renovations could even begin. For example, Chamber president Chris Phelan said workers removed about five tons of paper from the structure that had belonged to Hunterdon County National Bank. Care has been taken so that nothing of historical value was discarded.

The work will be completed in two phases, Phelan said. Interior work will allow the Chamber to move in by June, Phelan hopes. Exterior renovations will comprise the second phase, which Phelan hopes will be finished by the spring of 2018. Once complete, the building will be ADA compliant; that will require the installation of an elevator as well as other modifications to the building.

The exterior work will be complicated, in part because the building actually has five different roof lines. The building has extensive rooftop ornamentation, and students from Hunterdon Polytech are expected to help with the exterior work.

Phelan said the cost of the renovations is expected to be about $1.5 million. A public fundraising campaign will be held to help recoup that cost, Phelan said. The group has already raised about $600,000 for that work.

George Eckelman of Eckelman Brothers Construction has been amazed by some of the details he found while working on the project. Much of the wood is in much better condition than many might expect.

“It’s old growth lumber,” Eckelman said. “It’s better than anything we can get now.” That’s why he’s using the existing material whenever possible. When that can’t be done, wood is fabricated to match the original parts.

Improvements have already been made to the building’s sewer connections, which terminate in the original clay sewer pipe. Phelan said it’s likely the clay section may have to be replaced, an undertaking that may require some delicate work if the large tree in front of the house is to be protected.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Flemington/Raritan

Proposal for Flemington Candidates' Forum

July 17, 2018

To The editor,

This is an open note to Flemington Mayoral candidates Phil Greiner and Betsy Driver; and Borough Council candidates  Marc Hain, Brooke Warden, Chris Runion Caitlin Giles-McCormick

Re: Proposal for Candidate Forum[s] in Flemington

Folks,

Seeing how this is an extremely important election with many significant issues facing Flemington, I propose all ...

Malinowski Supports NJ Infrastructure

To the editor,

I support Tom Malinowski in the election to represent New Jersey’s 7th district this November because he will support infrastructure investments that are essential to the continued prosperity of this district.

Tom recognizes this district’s dire need for infrastructure appropriations, and he knows how essential the Gateway Project is for not only those who commute ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, July 23, 9:00 AM

Flemington Public Library, Flemington

Coding Camp at Mediatech

Education

Tue, July 24, 9:00 AM

Flemington Public Library, Flemington

Coding Camp at Mediatech

Education

Wed, July 25, 9:00 AM

Flemington Public Library, Flemington

Coding Camp at Mediatech

Education

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

Proposal for Flemington Candidates' Forum

July 17, 2018

To The editor,

This is an open note to Flemington Mayoral candidates Phil Greiner and Betsy Driver; and Borough Council candidates  Marc Hain, Brooke Warden, Chris Runion Caitlin Giles-McCormick

Re: Proposal for Candidate Forum[s] in Flemington

Folks,

Seeing how this is an extremely important election with many significant issues facing Flemington, I propose all ...

Notice of Hearing, Raritan Township

July 16, 2018

A public hearing will be held before the Raritan Township Zoning Board of Adjustment at the Municipal Building, located at 1 Municipal Drive in the  Committee/Court Meeting Room on Thursday July 19 at 7:30 p.m. on the following application: The above applicant is requesting approval of and any and all variances and waivers as may be required by the Board for an 28.56 kw Ground Mounted P.V.