Town of Clinton Historic District – Clinton, New Jersey

Isaac Kremer/ January 18, 2021/ architecture, downtown, preservation/ 0 comments

The Red Mill, Clinton, New Jersey

The Red Mill, built circa 1810, over the years processed wool, grist, talc, plaster, and graphite. River water power also later generated electricity. A limestone quarry here was mined from the 1800s up until 1963. The Red Mill today is one of the indisputable historic and scenic sites in this area, though the Town of Clinton has much to offer when it comes to historic resources in an easily walkable setting. A few of our favorites from a recent visit follow.

Pratt Pony Truss Bridge

Pratt Pony Truss Bridge. One of 3 of its kind built in Hunterdon County.

Hunterdon Art Museum

Handsome two-story commercial building with a projecting pedimented dormer.

Victorian commercial building has unique articulation with features seemingly pasted on. The projecting gable to the left is a dominant feature with a bay window on the 2nd floor and a Palladian-type window in the pedimented gable end. The middle of the building is slightly recessed, allowing for a porch with spindle frieze, spindle baluster, and turned posts. Above this is another bay window, and finally, the top level has a projecting gable dormer with another Palladian-type window. Finally, the right side has a bay window on the second floor that continues into a pyramidal roof tower with three handsome two-over-two round arch windows are in the attic story just below the roof. The ground floor of the far right side has a pair of twelve-over-twelve windows.

The treatment of alleys connecting to parking lots behind buildings is generally good. This alley has plantings, a free library, and lighting.

What might have been a bi-loggia, today has a 2nd floor balcony over a ground floor storefront. Note the round-arched window in the gable end.

Vernacular building with corner boards, frieze board and cornice. Windows have been replaced and alterations made, somewhat detracting from the historic character.

Two-story brick building likely with Italianate details, including paired brackets to the cornice that are now boxed in. A central projecting tower on the front has a pediment that raises above the roof level. Many of the windows appear to have been replaced.

These two-story buildings with bracketed cornice have shops on the ground floor and residences above. And, while similar, there are slight differences with the flat lintel over the windows to the left, and the segmental hoodmolding to the right. The vertically divided two-over-two windows add further visual interest to the facade.

Grandin Library, Clinton, New Jersey

The Grandin Library, built in 1898, is a wonderful example of an intact cast iron building. May of the details from the piers to the colonettes and the corbelled cornice and pediment are all erected from cast iron. An identification plaque recognizes “Mesker Bros., Front Buildings” of St. Louis, Missouri as the source from a patent recorded October 4, 1887. The sash windows on the second floor are in need of repair.

The fortunes of the town changed on October 30, 1891 when “The Great Clinton Fire” occurred. Later a plaque recognizing the 100 year anniversary of the event was placed on Main Street.

IOOF Hall, Clinton, New JErsey

This impressive three story building International Order of Odd Fellows building has two storefronts on the ground floor separated by an entrance leading to the 2nd and 3rd floors. Bay windows on the second floor are topped on the third floor by large segmental arched windows. A parapet across the top has two gables inset with a group of three rectangular windows aligned with the windows on the lower floors, and a unique squared central parapet rising above the other features.

While it was winter, still it was encouraging to see some attempts at a street life. These fixtures in particular with a crate on rollers, and shelves made from copper pipe supporting wood planks gave some visual interest for people walking along Main Street.

We also couldn’t pass this unique table at JJ Scoops without grabbing a quick photo. Rarely have we ever seen a bicycle used as a support for a tabletop.

One of the final buildings is a two-story parapeted wood frame building at the foot of the bridge. Effort has been made to create an outdoor patio/dining area.

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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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