Tuesday, August 30, 2005

My wife and I purchased this 1910 foursquare because we knew there was something great hiding under its wicked '60s remodel and lovely aluminum siding; six months later we found a photo to prove it. The top shot of the house was taken in 1930, apparently there was a traveling photographer who took shots of the houses in town, then sold postcards made from the pictures to the homeowners.

An Excerpt from the Highland Park Historical Society website:

600 Highland Park House Photos

In 1933, James Lloyd Grimstead traveled the streets of Highland Park snapping photographs of people's houses and then selling printed photo postcards to the occupants. The Metuchen-Edison Historical Society has the negatives of over 600 Highland Park houses. If you would like a reprint, please first look at the list of streets (below) to see if your street was photographed at all. Grimstead did not photograph every house in Highland Park nor every house on the streets he was on.

The streets Grimstead photographed are: Abbott St., South Adelaide Ave., Benner St., Cleveland Ave., Cliff Court, Donaldson St., Graham St., Grant Ave., Harrison Ave., Hill St., Lawrence Ave., Lincoln Ave., Magnolia St., North Second Ave., North Third Ave., North Fourth Ave., North Fifth Ave., North Sixth Ave., North Seventh Ave., North Eighth Ave., South First Ave., South Second Ave., South Third Ave., and Wayne Street.

If your street is listed, please call Marie Vajo at (732) 985-3217 or e-mail her at MarBil61@webtv.net to find out if your house was photographed. She handles the orders for black and white photographic reprints.

Now on to the "after" photo. The slate roof is still pretty much intact, but the previous owners ripped off the glassed in front porch and replaced it with concrete steps and a coat closet. Our plan is to replace the porch, tear off the siding and restore the clapboard and shakes underneath. And since we don't think the steps are going to make it through the next winter--the porch will probably happen sooner than we originally planned.