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Newton Historic District


The Newton Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document for the Woodbury Multiple Resource Area. [1] Adaptation copyright © 2010, The Gombach Group.

Historic District [1]

The Newton Historic District derives its significance from the distinctive style of brick Victorian structures erected between 1880 and 1920, and the planning done in conjunction with its development by Mahlon Newton. He is considered by many to have been the second largest influence on the city of Woodbury in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, next only to George G. Green. His landholdings, as evidenced by an 1892 map, were extensive. In addition to purchasing the Newton Hotel in 1878 and turning it into one of the finest, most up-to-date hotels of the 1890's, Newton also "restored" two Colonial structures in Woodbury creating an early interest in preserving Woodbury's past. These two structures still stand as the Franklin house and the Mickle-Summerill house. Newton also planned and laid out Newton and Curtis Avenues and Aberdeen Place. Properties were purchased by Newton at the terminus of both Newton Avenue and Curtis Avenue so that buildings situated on those parcels could be removed and the streets extended to connect with Broad Street. As early as 1891, newspaper articles were bemoaning the loss of the earliest public buildings in Woodbury for the sake of road throughways. Newton was also part owner in the tract development taking place on Delaware Street in 1909. Other streets in the Newton Historic District, apart from Curtis, Newton and Aberdeen Place, maintain the Victorian character of the district although they were developed independent of Newton's influence. Euclid Street was one of the most fashionable streets in Woodbury during the late nineteenth century with large cross gable Victorian homes set on embankments with elaborate plantings. Its situation, one block from Broad Street and a block from the train station, made it a desirable location. Hunter Street, formerly known as Bank Street, was originally named such for the Greek Revival bank that once stood at the street's intersection with Broad. It was renamed c.1895 to honor Reverend Andrew Hunter, a prominent Woodbury citizen. Rev. Hunter was well-known as one of the "tea burners" at Greenwich, New Jersey, before the Revolutionary War.

The north side of Hunter Street was originally part of the large Matlock Estate. One of Hunter Street's two "moved buildings" was the Matlock house. It was dismantled from its location on Broad Street and reconstructed, brick by brick, by Joseph B. Best for the Matlock Sisters in 1907. In a similar fashion, the frame Speakman-Stratton house was also moved to Hunter Street. East Centre Street first appeared on maps as Chester Street (1876) with six houses. It was later known as Canter Street and finally, in 1880, as Centre Street with nineteen buildings. Its importance as an activity center resulted from the location of Woodbury's first school, the Old Academy/Presbyterian Church (1791 through 1920) and the farmer's curbside market (circa 1916), and the undeniable influence of Green's Block, all at the intersection of Broad and East Centre Streets. The eastern end of the street, away from the intersection with Broad, was rural. The vernacular Victorian houses had large backyards and pasture or orchards behind them until Mahlon Newton put through Curtis Avenue and Aberdeen Place, cutting the yards in half. Three distinctive concrete block residences were built in 1903 on Curtis Street. The surviving example was designed by George Savage of Philadelphia. It was built of rusticated concrete block produced in Woodbury by the E.P. Henry Company, whose business was responsible for much of the masonry and concrete work in Woodbury from 1903 to present. In 1929, the other two concrete structures fell victim to the construction of a new telephone company building. This massive, brick building was designed by John T. Windrim of Philadelphia in 1929. It was one of Woodbury's first all steel reinforced structures. It was designed to harmonize with the rest of the community, but due to its scale it has never become harmonious with the surrounding residential neighborhood.

  1. Woodbury Multiple Resource Area: Partial Inventory of Historical and Architectural Resources, nomination document, 1988, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Newton Historic District Map

Street Names
Centre Street East • Cooper Street • Curtis Avenue • Euclid Street • Hendrys Court • Hunter Street • Newton Avenue • Railroad Avenue • Route 706

**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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