Haddonfield Historic District
The Haddonfield Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2013, The Gombach Group.
Haddonfield Historic District has one of the finest collections of 19th century architecture in Camden County.
While the period of time spanned in the Haddonfield Historic District is from the early 18th century to the 1920's, the bulk of the buildings range from the early 19th century to the end of the 19th century.
There are a number of colonial buildings in the Haddonfield Historic District, but most have had modifications to their exteriors. Eighteenth century examples such as the Shiver-French House at 309 King's Highway East (1758 — third floor 19th century) and the Estaugh Tavern at 8 Tanner Street (1740, original building in rear hidden by 19th century front) have been extensively altered. Other 18th century dwellings have had fewer modifications over the years — Indian King Tavern at 233 King's Highway East (1741), the Aspden House at 254 King's Highway East (1760), the Guard Houses at 258-260 King's Highway East (1732) and the Friends Meetinghouse on Lake Street (45 Friends Avenue).
The Federal style of architecture is extensively represented in the Haddonfield Historic District. Haddonfield possibly has the most intact and comprehensive collection of Federal style buildings in New Jersey.
Expressed in a 3-bay, side-hall format or in the more formal 5-bay, center-hall form, these buildings are two rooms deep, 2-1/2 stories high, constructed of brick or frame, and often have double gable-end chimneys connected by a curtain wall. Many of these buildings have attic dormers and paneled window shutters. The doorways often have standing seam metal roofs, a semicircular fanlight and occasional sidelights, but the elliptical fanlight is rare in Haddonfield. Examples of the 3-bay, side-hall plan are — 8 Roberts Avenue (1820), the William Githens House at 19 Potter Street (1821), 34 Potter Street, 227-231 King's Highway East (1836), 255 King's Highway East (1834) and the J.E. Hopkins House at 65 Haddon Avenue (1799). The center-hall plan is exemplified by Greenfield Hall at 343 King's Highway East (1841), 38 Haddon Avenue (1856), 436 King's Highway West, and the Roberts Homestead at 344 Kings Highway East (1810). A few Federal style duplexes are in the Haddonfield Historic District — i.e. 10-12 Tanner Street and 80-82 Grove Street (1811).
The finest Greek Revival edifice in Haddonfield is the Haddon Fortnightly Club (originally the Methodist Church). Built in 1857, this building had the front classical columns added in the 1920's, but beneath this extension the Greek Revival features are evident (simple pilasters, entablatures, and gable-end front with three classical entranceways). Other Greek Revival buildings in Haddonfield are basically transitional buildings of the earlier Federal period with Greek Revival entranceways — pattern book square column portico with entablature and rectangular fanlight and sidelights. Examples are 23 and 24 Potter Street, and the Nathan Willits House at 8 King's Highway West (1836).
The Italianate form is quite common in the Haddonfield Historic District. The finer Italianate Villas are three stories high, done in clapboarding, with a low-pitch roof, and usually a center cupola. All have a center hall and are 3 or 5 bays. Examples are 120 Warwick Road (1859), 134 Warwick Road, and 109 King's Highway West. Simpler Italianate buildings are at 74 Center Street and 8 Tanner Street (1850).
There are a number of Second Empire style houses in the Haddonfield Historic District. Exclusively frame, these buildings perhaps should be more appropriately termed Mansard style by the universal exhibiting of the patterned slate Mansardic roof. All the Mansard dwellings in the district are two stories plus roof and usually have a conventional 3-bay, center-hall entrance. Two examples in the Haddonfield Historic District — 120 King's Highway West and 51-53 King's Highway West — portray a center entry with flanking projecting bays falling just short of being a tower or a turret. Other Mansard buildings are at 141 Warwick Road (1873), 49 Grove Street, and 43-45 Kings Highway West.
The Gothic Revival is represented by 34 Center Street (ca. 1870). A 3-bay, center hall, 2-1/2 story masonry dwelling with steep gable roof and cross gable with pendants and Italianate portico, this is one of the few formal Gothic buildings in the Haddonfield Historic District. Two particularly fine Victorian Gothic buildings are at 127 and 200 Washington Avenue. Both were designed by noted 19th century architect Samuel Sloan. A more common example is the frame Carpenter Gothic. The frame Baptist Chapel at 402 King's Highway East is reminiscent of the Greek form, but the bell tower and painted arches are Gothic. 33 Colonial Avenue, the Bancroft School on Hopkins Lane, and 57 Chestnut Street are domestic examples of the Carpenter Gothic. Other examples are at 28-30 Tanner Street, 47 and 59 Potter Street, 119 Lincoln Street and 212 Warwick Road.
Later Victorian buildings are Queen Anne or Stick Style. Queen Anne examples are at 20 and 221 Kings Highway West, 232 and 235 Washington Street, 126 Center Street, 120-122 West Park Avenue, 15 Grove Street, and 114 Warwick Road. The Stick style is represented by 212 and 224 Washington Avenue, 114 Clement Street, and 115 Lincoln Street.
A number of large scale Neo-Classical edifices are in the Haddonfield Historic District along King's Highway East. The Haddonfield Memorial High School (1927), Christian Science Church at 355 King's Highway (1920), Borough Hall at 242 Kings Highway East (1928), the Masonic Temple at 16 King's Highway East (1921), and the Haddonfield Public Library at 60 North Haddon Avenue (1917) are all examples of this style. Georgian Revival is represented by the Bank at 28 King's Highway East (1922) and 125 King's Highway West.
From an architectural standpoint, Haddonfield has a good representation of nearly every style found in the towns of New Jersey up to the late 19th century. Colonial, Federal, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne, Stick and Late Victorian Electric styles are all well represented in the district. While many of these various styles of structures are quite dissimilar in appearance, their fine details and the overall human size and scale combined with other aesthetic features such as the tree-lined streets, granite curbs, and brick walkways give Haddonfield an architectural and physical ambiance which is one of the best in the state.
The Haddonfield Historic District has added significance in several areas. Generally, the District represents a visual history of the heritage of one of the first Quaker settlements in the old province of West Jersey. The existing structures present a composite portrait of the prevalent styles of early American architecture. They also served as residences and places of business for notable and successful men and women, who played an important role in the American Revolutionary War and in the cultural, social and economic life of the region.
The Haddonfield Historic District's origins go back to the initial settlement in 1701 by Elizabeth Haddon, daughter of John and Elizabeth Haddon of London, dedicated members of the Society of Friends. The land upon which Haddonfield grew was a part of the Newton Colony which was started by a group of Quakers from Ireland and England in 1681-82. Elizabeth's first home was a log cabin which she named Haddon Field. The cabin was refitted comfortably by her father and she brought with her a company of servants and dependents with various trades and occupations and this company formed the nucleus of the little village, Haddonfield. In 1702 Elizabeth married John Estaugh, a quaker preacher. In 1712 they built a handsome new brick and wood house on a site which is now bounded by Merion Avenue, Wood Lane and Hawthorne Avenue, included in the district. Unfortunately, the original Estaugh home burned in 1842. It was rebuilt on the original foundations in 1844 by Isaac Wood. It is now known as the Wood House and has always been used as a private residence. Still standing on the property is Elizabeth Haddon's Brew House, built in 1713. It is well made of brick and was used to mix and store medicinal potions to care for the sick, particularly the Indians with whom she was very friendly.
The village of Haddonfield grew along the oldest public road in the Western Division of New Jersey, the Burlington-Salem Road. The road had been an Indian Trail from East Jersey and Pennsylvania to the sea. This great road became the artery for rapid economic growth. Copper's Creek was the only thoroughfare to the Delaware River, a highway of commerce. Boats loaded with goods from Philadelphia.
The village of Haddonfield became the center of life for a considerable population. Stores were opened, new occupations found foothold. Needful crafts and industries multiplied as the population grew.
By 1861, Haddonfield consisted of about 150 dwellings, four houses for public worship — Friends, Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal; five mercantile stores, two grist mills, two tanneries and a large woolen factory.
Important Role in the American Revolution — During the Revolutionary War, Haddonfield became a place of some note. The town had joined other colonial towns in their struggle for independence. As a border town, it suffered indignities from both sides. The Friends Meeting House was used as a hospital by each side. Revolutionary War military heroes, Light Horse Harry Lee, Generals Anthony Wayne and Dan Morgan, Count Pulaski and General Lafayette were familiar figures along the streets of Haddonfield and were quartered at the Indian King Tavern on King's Highway. Haddonfield will go down in history for the political events which took place at the Indian King Tavern. It was the seat of New Jersey legislature during the crucial months of 1777 when the legislators were routed from one meeting place to another by the British Army, and decided on Haddonfield as a safe place to convene. Here, the New Jersey Assembly approved adoption of the Great Seal of New Jersey. On September 20, 1777 it enacted a law substituting the word "State" for "Colony" in all commission, writs and indictments. The Council of Safety also met at the Indian King Tavern.
Count Donop of the British Army was quartered in the handsome Gill House on King's Highway.
The Guard Houses at 258-260 East King's Highway, built in 1732 were used to imprison persons suspected of aiding the British cause and brought to trial before the Council of Safety then meeting in the Indian King.
Architecture and Environment — Haddonfield is one of the best preserved historic towns in New Jersey. The Society of Architectural Historians has made a special tour of Haddonfield because of its early architecture. The Historic District Ordinance, which has successfully safeguarded Haddonfield's rich architectural heritage from demolition and inappropriate alteration, is also a preservation bulwark against the urbanization of an area whose geographical location makes it particularly vulnerable to adverse change and urban sprawl. Haddonfield is only six miles from Camden, the county seat, and eight miles from Philadelphia, across the Delaware River.
The First Settlers of New Township — George Prowell — 1886 Elizabeth Haddon's Papers and Records. Preserved in Library of Haverford College, Haverford, Pa.
This is Haddonfield, pub. by Haddonfield Historical Society, 1963.
Records of Thomas S. Hopkins, Haddonfield historian, b. 1884.
Records of Judge John Clement, historian, whose works are preserved in the Pennsylvania Historical Society.
History of Potter Street, pamphlet by Sarah Crawford Hillman, Haddonfield Historical Society, pub. 1910.
Samuel Sloan; Three "Stick Style" Houses in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Melinda submitted for Master of Arts to Tulane University, 1976.
Historic American Buildings Survey, (1927-1937):
Camden Courier-Post, April 9, 1935.
† Louis H. Goettelmann, AIA and Joan L. Aiken, Society for the Preservation of Historic Haddonfield, Haddonfield Historic District, Camden County, New Jersey, nomination document, 1979, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.