Listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, the Stockton Street Historic District includes fifty-six beautiful dwellings, twenty-six support structures, one monument and one magnificent church. The district runs approximately four blocks in length along Stockton Street, a portion of Rogers Avenue, and includes approximately 14.35 acres in the Borough of Hightstown. The district contains mostly residential dwellings dating from just prior to the Civil War through the turn of the twentieth century. The large stone United Methodist Church, is situated in the center of the district. A small triangular park with a marble monument to the Civil War is located at the intersection of Rogers and Stockton Street.
The Stockton Street Historic District is recognized as significant to Hightstown’s history for its historic architectural styles, which is evident in the many examples of early Federal, high-style Victorian, ecclesiastic, and turn-of-the-century eclectic. Starting at the intersections of Main Street and Stockton Streets and expanding westerly along Stockton Street, these homes represent an architectural “timeline” that followed the building out from the center of town.
Additionally, the district has historic roots in its ties to early transportation. Most notably the John Bull, the first passenger train in the Untied States that ran between New York and Philadelphia, regularly passed through Hightstown. Hightstown prospered greatly by having a busy railroad stop along this route, and while the train tracks are long since gone, there still remains a few of the stone buttresses that the train tracks used to sit upon – most notably the one at the intersection of Franklin and Main Streets that now proudly displays the sign, “Historic Hightstown, Est. 1721.”
The Stockton Street Historic District is currently undergoing a grass-roots revitalization, one beautiful home at a time. On weekends and warm summer nights you can find many homeowners diligently working on their homes or tending to their gardens. Stop by and chat with them – they will be more than happy to speak with you regarding their home, the Historic District and small-town life in Hightstown.
Stockton Street Historic District Streetscape Infrastructure Project
Hightstown, New Jersey was recently awarded $1.69 million federal Transportation Enhancement grant funding for their Stockton Street Historic District Streetscape Infrastructure Project. The National Transportation Enhancement website has chosen to profile this project as a premier example of the use of TE funds for historic preservation. The project begins construction in August 2010.
Click here to view the story in pictures about the Hightstown Historic District’s restoration and preservation project.
UPDATE – 10/26/10
The first stage of the Stockton Street Historic District Streetscape Project, from Main Street to Academy Street, is nearing completion. As you can see from these before-and-after images, the transformation has been rather amazing thus far.
The herringbone brick and bluestone sidewalks, coupled with granite curbing, while beautifying the entire area, allow for better pedestrian accessibility as well as bring the entire Historic District into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Our historic district is one of the assets that provide Hightstown with her unique identity. This project will further bolster Hightstown’s historic preservation efforts as well as provide all residents and visitors the ability to safely walk through and enjoy this area of our town. While strolling on these new walks, be sure to notice the sections underfoot whereby the original blue stone and brick have been incorporated into the streetscape design, preserving these parts of Hightstown’s historical development.
The large scale of the project area includes streetscape portions of Academy, Church and the length of Stockton Street from Main to near Summit Ave, as well as portions of Rogers Avenue and the restoration of the Civil War Monument and associated landscaping.
Soon trees will be installed to complete the first section of the project’s scope – east of Academy to Main Street. Construction will continue into December in order to reach a midway point in the project prior to winter. Construction will resume in the spring with a targeted summer 2011 project completion.
This project is funded by a $1.69 million federal Transportation Enhancement grant awarded to Hightstown Borough.