SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Local architect Bill MacIntosh will present a plan for preserving the pre-Revolutionary era Squier House from demolition at the South Orange Board of Trustee meeting. The public portion of the meeting will begin with Macintosh’s presentation at 7:15 p.m. The public is welcome to access the streaming meeting.
Property owner Issac Lefkowitz has planning board approval to subdivide the property into two lots and build two new homes which would require demolishing the Squier House, but after hearing from neighbors and community groups including the SOHPS and the Meadowland Park Conservancy as well as the Historical Preservation Commission, he is investigating a plan to restore and renovate the original part of the Squier House and build the two new homes on either side.
Bill MacIntosh has worked extensively, pro-bono, with Lefkowitz to develop the plan. Lefkowitz has submitted another application to the South Orange planning board to divide the property into three lots and obtain variances with the intention of saving the Squier House. That application is currently scheduled to be heard on March 1.
MacIntosh, a Ridgewood Road resident and architect with extensive experience in historic preservation, will highlight a GoFundMe site sponsored by the South Orange Historical and Preservation Society to raise needed funds for historic preservation costs that will determine how the project can move forward.
Built in 1774 by Henry Squier, the farmhouse is significant not only for its architecture, but its history. Henry, a revolutionary war officer, was instrumental in starting the “Academy at Orange Dale,” now the Orange Public School System. His son, Nathan, served as a High Sheriff, a judge of the Inferior Court, a Free Holder, and a Trustee and President of the Board of the South Orange Columbian School. Nathan Squier owned cider mills and distilleries, an interest in a sawmill, and built and operated the South Orange Hotel. Circa 1795, Nathan Squier is credited with naming the Village of South Orange.
William Redmond bought the land inclusive of the Squire house in 1850 and rented it to Mr. Flood, who used the hill as his cow pasture for his home delivery milk service. The Squire House remained in the Redmond family until current owners purchased in 1988.
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