Community Life

A Peek Inside the Shady Rest Renovations in Scotch Plains

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Shady Rest Clubhouse at Scotch Hills Golf Course Credits: Sean Conklin
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Barton Ross is the architect who is overseeing the renovations at the Shady Rest building. Credits: John Mooney
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Shady Rest entrance is under renovation. Credits: Sean Conklin
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Work crews at the Shady Rest Credits: John Mooney
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John Shippen was the first American golf pro. He spent many years at the Shady Rest, America's first black-owned golf course in Scotch Plains. (It is now known as Scotch Hills).
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Shady Rest Clubhouse was gutted. Credits: Sean Conklin
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More renovation work. Credits: Sean Conklin
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Kitchen removation Credits: Sean Conklin
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Barton Ross explains the Shady Rest renovation project to the Scotch Plains Council and members of the public. Credits: John Mooney
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SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Renovations of the third and final phase on the interior of the Shady Rest Clubhouse at Scotch Hills Golf Course began last month.

Walls, flooring and electrical wiring have all been torn down as the historic building is set to receive a significant facelift to complete the renovation process. Work is expected to conclude by the Fall of 2017.  

Barton Ross, the architect who has overseen the restoration project, recently updated the Scotch Plains Township Council on the renovations. There has been demolition of parts of the building, which was originally built in the 1750s as a farmhouse. Lighting, plumbing, floors, and ceilings are being upgraded as part of the restoration project.

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In the 20th century, the Shady Rest became the clubhouse for the country’s first African-American-owned golf course. Some of the greatest jazz musicians who ever lived, including Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and Duke Ellington, all performed at the Shady Rest. To learn more about the building's history and its significance, click here.

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