Gregory Costa Building, 416 Main Street – Metuchen, New Jersey

Isaac Kremer/ May 23, 2022/ Writing/ 0 comments

Gregory Costa

The 1915 Census of the State of New Jersey shows Gregory Costa, his wife, two sons, and a maid living at 416 Main Street. They were all born in Italy. Costa’s occupation was confectioner. Costa had paid $2,000 for the lot which was the largest price ever paid for a lot with 25 foot of frontage in the Borough.

September 19, 1914

He proceed to build a modern and richly furnished ice cream parlor. Cost for the building was $7,000 and fixtures another $3,000.[1] In 1916 Gregory Costa appealed the assessment of $7,500 and had it reduced to $6,500.[2]

September 15, 1933

As their business expanded and grew, Costa added to his real estate holdings. This included a house at the end of Ocean Avenue in Point Pleasant that his family used in the summers,[3] and a $20,000 mansion he had built in Miami Beach, Florida.

February 8, 1941

In 1940 Gregory Costa listed his address in Metuchen at 401 Main Street.[4] He had a new single family house built at 10 Southfield Road near the Metuchen Country Club in the early 1940s.[5] Their production facility was at 16 Pearl Street[6] from 1923 until the 1940s when the moved to a new custom built location in Woodbridge.[7] Gregory’s son Joseph Costa would go on to become Mayor of Metuchen.[8] Costa Ice Cream Company closed their doors on August 20, 1976 and the business was sold to new owners.[9]

ArteVino

Terrace Plant Shop

Photo from July 2022.

Historical Maps

1876 Atlas shows nothing on the block between the Pennsylvania Railroad and Union Street (later Hillside Ave)

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, 1903, Sheet 2. Shows vacant lot at future 416 Main Street.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, 1910, Sheet 2. Shows vacant lot at future 416 Main St.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, 1920, Sheet 2. First time building appears at 416 Main Street.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, 1929, Sheet 2. Two-story building at 416 Main Street.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, 1949, Sheet 2. Two-story building at 416 Main Street.

Chain of Title for 416 Main St, Metuchen

Block 121, Lot 9

YearActivitySource
1891Estate of Ellis F. AyresMap of 94 Building Lots, the Estate of Ellis P. Ayers, Metuchen, N.J., 1891
   
1906, February 8Charles and Clara Frank to Frederick C. FrankBook 377, Page 502
1923, July 30Oscar Frank to Gregory CostaBook 750, Page 231
1923, July 30Frederick C. Frank to Gregory CostaBook 750, Page 229
1923, September 25Gregory and Matilda (wife) to Frank CostaBook 758, Page 149
1925, January 6Frank Costa, et. ux., to Gregory CostaBook 797, Page 5

[1] Metuchen, Perth Amboy Evening News, September 14, 1914, p. 5.

[2] Metuchen Appeals, The Daily Home News, January 18, 1916, p. 6.

[3] Beach Combing, The Daily Home News, July 10, 1938, p. 13.

[4] Residential Building Contracts Hit $64,000 for Past Two Weeks, The Sunday Times, July 14, 1940, p. 14.

[5] New Home in Raritan Township, The Courier-News, February 8, 1941, p. 11.

[6] Truck Company Buys 2.3 Acre Metuchen Site, The Sunday Times, July 20, 1947, p. 17.

[7] Popsicle Paradise Produces Plenty of Pops for Populace, The Sunday Times, July 31, 1949, p. 2.

[8] Nearly 300 Attend Testimonial Dinner Honoring Joseph Costa, The Daily Home News, September 27, 1950, p. 8.

[9] New day for Costa, The Courier-News, January 27, 1977, p. 53.

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About Isaac Kremer

A nationally recognized downtown revitalization leader, downtowns Isaac managed achieved $350 million of investment, 1,300 jobs created, and were 2X Great American Main Street Award Semifinalist and a 1X GAMSA winner in 2023. His work has been featured in Newsday, NJBIZ, ROI-NJ, TapInto, and USA Today. Isaac is a Main Street America Revitalization Professional (MSARP) with additional certifications from the National Parks Service, Project for Public Spaces, and the National Development Council.

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