Fairmount Park, Section 2 – Metuchen, New Jersey

Isaac Kremer/ April 8, 2020/ preservation, Uncategorized/ 0 comments

Earlier we recounted the development of Fairmount Park and the key people involved in real estate development in Metuchen, New Jersey, in the early 20th century. Then we gave a tour of the neighborhood looking at the Robinvale neighborhood anchored by a depot that Wright Robins had built for $25,000 to provide better access to this section. Finally, we shared more about the Uplands estate of E. Holden Spear, and the Robins Park estate of Wright Robins that was later occupied by a renowned French lawyer Frederic Coudert; J.C. McCoy – a copper and streetcar magnate; then by A.C. Case, a partner of Andrew Carnegie; and finally Abel Hansen of the Fords Ceramic Works and successive members of his family.

Now we’ll turn our attention back to one specific neighborhood where this story all began – Fairmount Park, Section 2. The best way to get a feel for development of this section is to look at the historical maps. There is the original plat map filed with the County Register of Deeds from 1916. This shows a compact neighborhood spanning three partial blocks abutting earlier development, and one complete block within the development itself. The boundaries are Woodbridge Ave, McCoy Ave, Hanson Ave, the half-block west of Sidney Place, Amboy Ave, and the half-block east of Eggert Avenue.

Additionally, there are Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from 1920, 1929, and 1949 that show the development of the neighborhood over time. The 1920 map showed no houses built from the time the neighborhood was platted in 1916. Nine years later there are seven houses.

Map of Fairmount Park, Section 2, 1916
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, Metuchen, New Jersey, 1920, Sheet 7
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, Metuchen, New Jersey, 1929, Sheet 17
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, Metuchen, New Jersey, 1949, Sheet 17

Among those seven houses in 1929 is the one that my wife and I bought and are now restoring – 63 McCoy Avenue. The Title Binder we received when purchasing the house yielded a number of helpful insights. At the very back was a reproduction of the 1916 plat map. Another was the chain of title which showed the property has been owned by only 3 families in nearly 100 years.

  • Anna M. Tyrrell and Raymond M. Laing (1924-)
  • Sadie and Vanvert H. Tyrrell (-1960)
  • Rose and Eugene Mancuso (1960-2020)
  • Chrissy and Isaac Kremer (2020-)

In our next post we’ll begin to share our progress with restoring this nearly century-old house.

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About Isaac Kremer

Isaac Kremer is a transformational leader with a track record of success revitalizing downtowns in the United States. He has written and spoken extensively. He's always on the lookout for new and innovative ideas to unlock the potential of downtown areas.

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