Thursday, February 19, 2015

The John C. Hopewell House, Flemington, NJ

The John C. Hopewell House, Flemington, NJ. 1850s Photos: HABS

The Hopewell house in Flemington is another impressive Italianate in this historic town. It was built in the 50s but displays a variety of interesting, elaborate features. It seems to me that when Italianate design was executed in wood, even in the spare 1850s, there was a tendency to greater ornamentation and experiment. The house broadly follows the irregular plan although instead of the usual tapering volumes, the tower just out beyond the projecting pavilion. Similarly, the recessed wing goes up a floor more than the gabled pavilion creating a lack of balance in the design. The windows on the lower floors are mostly rectangular with Greek Revival eared surrounds and bracketed cornices. The porches, which surround the house have an interesting round arch that has flattened sections with simple pillars. The main entrance was definitely once open. A Juliette balcony graces the double window on the projecting pavilion with simple crossed balustrade.

The tower is perhaps the coolest feature here. It displays the window variation on each floor that you sometimes find and is always fun to look at. The lower stage has the arched entrance porch, while the second has a segmental arched window with a molded pediment. The third floor has a spectacular round window with wheel tracery and a pediment, while the top stage is particularly fancy with a heavy molding around the arched windows with Venetian tracery. Photos of the interiors can be seen here.

Also of interest in the HABS archive for Flemington is this Greek Revival, the Reading House, that seems to have been demolished.


  1. The INCREDIBLE Greek-revival was demolished???????

    Ouch! Too painful.

  2. This structure still stands but has had the elaborate ornamentation above the cornice removed some time ago. It had been used as offices and I believe it is currently empty.

    1. Thanks for letting me know! Sad that perhaps the most interesting part would be taken down.