A slice of local and architectural history is on the market for $3.8 million. Sitting on 4.3 acres, the “Rothers Barrows” house at 52 Arreton Road is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the best central New Jersey examples of the Arts and Crafts style.
Current owners Scott and Jeri Schaefer purchased the home in 2000 for $2.55 million. They previously lived in a newly constructed home in West Windsor, but were enchanted by the 1919 house designed by Philadelphia architect Wilson Eyre.
“We had always said that our dream home would be reminiscent of friends’ homes who live in England in the countryside,” Jeri Schaefer said. “My husband was taken with the architecture of the home. I was taken with the four acres of gardening that could be done.”
Since then the Schaefers have been updating the six-bedroom house. The house previously operated on well water and septic and has since been connected to water and sewer lines. All the systems are modern, including expanded central air.
“It was a whole interior renovation, including new roof and new driveway,” Schaefer said. “It was a labor of love that we undertook. It’s a historic home and we wanted to keep in the style and intent of the architect.”
Assisting in the redesign was the New York-based firm Marshall Watson Interiors. The attic was renovated into a gym and TV room, and the Schaefers constructed a new pool house. The property also features a tennis court and patio.
In keeping with the house’s original style, the homeowners commissioned Doylestown-based Moravian Pottery & Tile Works to produce handmade tiles. Henry Chapman Mercer founded the pottery in 1898, and he also collaborated with house’s architect. Today, Mercer’s pottery is a “working museum” maintained by the Bucks County parks department.
The dining room floor has original Moravian tile and its design can be found at the museum. The Schaefers added Moravian tiles to various renovated rooms, including the kitchen, pool house, and the new wood ceiling of the foyer, which was featured in Woodworking Magazine.
The Moravian tile is just one component of Rothers Barrows’ Arts and Craft style. The National Historic Register also notes the house’s wrought iron hardware and carved dining room mantel — all incorporating pre-industrial handcrafted materials.
“The walls are two feet thick and made of stone and plaster. You really feel like you’re living in a castle, one that is warm and comfortable,” Schaefer said.
The house was once the centerpiece of a 117-acre equestrian estate owned by Donald G. Herring and his wife, Jessie Markham Herring. Herring graduated from Princeton University in 1907 and studied in Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He returned to Princeton to serve on the university faculty and coach football before returning to Europe in the Army Air Corps.
The house was built in 1919 after Herring returned home, and architect Wilson Eyre had designed a huge house triple the size of what was ultimately built. Horse breeding was centered in the northwest part of Princeton township then, and Herring built a show ring and 960-yard race track. The estate hosted horse shows, parties, and dances for the Stony Brook Hunt Club, whose members included the Pardee and Poe families.
However, financially impacted by the Great Depression, the Herrings sold Rothers Barrows 20 years after the house’s completion. Edmund Cook’s Holder Corporation acquired the property in 1949 and subdivided the current 4.4 acres from the rest of the estate.
The Schaefers have hosted a number of community organizations at their house, as well as Thanksgiving gatherings with 50 people.
“It’s a lovely house to have a party, whether a casual party at the pool or something more formal,” Schaefer said. “Guests can wander through French doors down to the sunken bluestone patio and onto the grounds, to the koi pond.”
Schaefer is the executive director of the university’s Princeton Internships in Civic Service program and she is a past board president of the Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County. Husband Scott works in finance and is the current president of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer.
With her two children are out of the house, Schaefer is looking to downsize, though having lived in the area for 30 years she is not sure about the next destination. “We travel a lot. We’re looking to stay local and we haven’t made a decision,” Schaefer said. “It’s been a big privilege to be able to caretake the house. We would love to see another family who will be interested in doing that as well.”
Zoning Board update
Of the two applications before the Zoning Board November 9, one was withdrawn and the other rescheduled.
The withdrawn application involved the office building at 338 Nassau Street, currently owned by the estate of architect Michael Graves. Developer Bill King of King Interests at 219 Nassau, is the contract purchaser, and he had requested the removal of a Zoning Board condition requiring the restoration of two apartment units totaling 1,200 square feet.
The building at 338 Nassau was originally residential and the Zoning Board previously approved the property’s conversion into a 3,000-square-foot office building with a small retail component, a Michael Graves gift shop. According to King’s attorney, Chris Tarr, as part of past approvals the deed was amended to stipulate the restoration of two apartment units if the property was sold. King likes the current building’s commercial use, which would be complicated by the restoration of two residential units.
The applicants withdrew their request in light of the Zoning Board’s response at the October 26 meeting, but they indicated an alternative plan to expand the building as a means to fulfill the deed condition. The proposal would adhere to bulk regulations and include raising the roof and installing a rear addition composed of two residential units. The property is currently assessed at slightly more than $1 million.
The second application for 428 Mount Lucas Road was rescheduled to Wednesday, December 14. The applicant is seeking variances to tear down the ranch and build a new house on the one-acre property. David Lang of D&P Private Lending LCC purchased the property last April from Victoria Hellen Covert and the estate of Rene Kessler for $400,000.
The following listings of residential home sales, which closed between July 29 and September 30, are based on public records and tax files. The number in parentheses after the closing price indicates the amount it was above or below the original listing price.
203 Bertrand Drive. Seller: Jane & Mark Davis. Buyer: Ari & Lauren Raivetz. 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. Two-story Colonial in Littlebrook neighborhood. $1,200,000 (+$5,000).
15 Marion Road West. Seller: Mark Weinerman & M.R.M. Construction LLC. Buyer: Seong Chung & Thuy Chung. 5 bedrooms, 6.5 baths. New house replacing teardown. $1,621,000 (-$329,000).
26 Haslet Avenue. Seller: Gary Krog & Lori Versaci. Buyer: Huali Tang. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. Ranch near Institute for Advanced Study. $925,000 (-$324,000).
13 Park Place. Seller: Mario Duckett & Alexandra Escobar. Buyer: Thirteen Park Place LLC. 4 bedrooms, 1/2 bath twin. $720,000 (+$1,000).
36 Moore Street, Unit 16. Seller: Marilyn Frasier & Michael Lewis. Buyer: Sarah Dobson. 1 bedroom, 1 bath condo. $401,000 (+1,100).
10 Battlebrook Lane. Seller: Jeffrey Little. Buyer: Kiran Kondakindi & Lavanya Komireddy. 5 bedrooms, 5 baths. New house replacing teardown. $1,180,000 (-$519,000).
310 Nassau Street. Seller: Robert & Michele Simonds. Buyer: Jennifer Brandt. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. Two-story Colonial. $889,000.
62 Patton Avenue. Seller: John Murray. Buyer: Peter Ramadge & Selina Man. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. Two-story Colonial. $838,000 (+$78,000).
36 Olden Lane. Seller: Cynthia Tocci. Buyer: Nathaniel Ferraro & Monica Skoge. 3 bedrooms, two baths. Two-story Cape near IAS. $850,000 (+$1,000).
92 Clover Lane. Seller: Bryan Grenfell & Catherine Williams. Buyer: Pamela & Matthew Walter. 4 bedrooms, 3 baths. Modern ranch on 100 by 200 feet lot. $870,000 (+$31,000).
588 Ewing Street. Seller: Ryan Deverin & KRD Properties LLC. Buyer: David Liu & Danju Tso. 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. Renovated split-level. $652,000 (-$47,000).
15 Harris Road. Seller: Roman Barsky. Buyer: Huang Fenglei & Yali Fu. 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. New house replacing teardown. $1,241,500 (+$12,500).
25 Moran Avenue. Seller: Shirley Meeker. Buyer: Bryan Grenfell & Catherine Williams. 4 bedrooms, 5.5 baths. Three-story Colonial on 40 by 63 feet lot built in 2000. $945,000 (-$20,000).
102 Moore Street. Seller: Nigel & Susan Trent. Buyer: Roland & Daniela Meier. 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. Three-story Colonial on 50 by 134 feet lot. $1,455,000 (+$56,000).
529 Prospect Avenue. Seller: Andrew Dietz & Prospect Avenue Realty LLC. Buyer: Joshua & Lara Winn. 4 bedrooms, 5 baths. New house replacing teardown in Riverside neighborhood. $1,885,000 (+$26,000).
90 Dempsey Avenue. Seller: Estate of Leonard Newton. Buyer: Darrell & Grace Penn. 5 bedrooms, 3 baths. Ranch house. $700,000 (-$150,000).
98 Nassau Street Unit 2. Seller: John & Heather Kreitler. Buyer: Gabyanna Inc. Buyer: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths. Condo above Hamilton Jewelers. $925,000 (-$50,000).
9 Maclean Street. Seller: William & Barbara Groce. Buyer: Andrew Magenau & Kristin Schroeder. 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. Two-story in Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood. $500,000 (+$20,000).
20 Hamilton Avenue. Seller: Chris Mario & Willoughby Enterprises LLC. Buyer: Daniel Suo & Lisa Yu. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath. Condo within ranch house. $540,000 (-$59,000).
73 Littlebrook Road North. Seller: Anthony & Adela Glover. Buyer: Wenyang Wang & Xuefei Liang. 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths. Two-story Colonial built in 2007. $1,756,888 (-$242,112).
546 Ewing Street. Seller: Jarrad Michalesko. Buyer: Zeeshan Qureshi & Asfa Shad. 4 bedrooms, 5 baths. New house replacing teardown. $1,235,000 (-$264,999).
88 Westerly Road. Seller: Stanley Raatz. Seller: Alok & Kanishika Bhargava. 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths. Two-story Colonial built in 2005. $1,525,000 (-$225,000).
159 Philip Drive. Seller: David & Mary Blair. Buyer: Shirley & Shudan Zhang. 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths. Three-story traditional house on Carnegie Lake. $2,775,000 (-$320,000).
69 Red Hill Road. Seller: Peter & Nancy Harisiades. Buyer: Kookeun Chung & Yeonsuk Cho. 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. Ranch off 206. $510,000 (-$65,000).