Cape May Historic District

Coordinates: 38°56′24″N 74°54′46″W / 38.94000°N 74.91278°W / 38.94000; -74.91278
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Cape May Historic District
Stockton Cottages
Cape May Historic District is located in Cape May County, New Jersey
Cape May Historic District
Cape May Historic District is located in New Jersey
Cape May Historic District
Cape May Historic District is located in the United States
Cape May Historic District
LocationCape May, New Jersey
Coordinates38°56′24″N 74°54′46″W / 38.94000°N 74.91278°W / 38.94000; -74.91278
Area380 acres (1.5 km2)
Architectural styleLate Victorian
NRHP reference No.70000383
NJRHP No.3042[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPDecember 29, 1970[2]
Designated NHLDMay 11, 1976[3]
Designated NJRHPDecember 10, 1970

The Cape May Historic District is an area of 380 acres (1.5 km2) with over 600 buildings in the resort town of Cape May, Cape May County, New Jersey. The city claims to be America's first seaside resort and has numerous buildings in the Late Victorian style, including the Eclectic, Stick, and Shingle styles, as well as the later Bungalow style, many with gingerbread trim. According to National Park Service architectural historian Carolyn Pitts, "Cape May has one of the largest collections of late 19th century frame buildings left in the United States... that give it a homogeneous architectural character, a kind of textbook of vernacular American building."[4]


This 1886 map of Cape May includes advertisements for several of the hotels listed below, several of the builders and contractors, as well as for some of the original residents of the houses, such as attorney James Hildreth.

The City of Cape May sits at the south end of Cape May Peninsula which divides the Atlantic Ocean from the Delaware Bay. Cape May Point, about two miles west of the City of Cape May, borders the Bay, while Cape May City borders the Ocean. Cape Island Creek, a tidal "creek" and marsh, originally divided the site of the city from the rest of Cape May, but its southern end has long been covered with landfill. The Cape May Canal, built in 1942, now divides both Cape May City and Cape May Point from the rest of the peninsula.[5][6]

History of Cape May[edit]

Cape May was first discovered by Europeans by Henry Hudson on August 28, 1609. He landed on the shore of Delaware Bay a few miles north of Cape May Point before returning to the Atlantic Ocean. Cornelius Mey explored the area further in 1621 for the Dutch West India Company and by May, 1630 Samuel Godyn and Samuel Blommaert bought land for the Dutch from Native Americans covering the southern four miles of the Cape. In 1632 the Dutch established a fishing and whaling settlement in the area, but by 1638 colonists from New England had moved in. By the 1660s the English gained control and Daniel Coxe, a London Quaker, organized a government in 1687.[4] Early settlers worked in the lumber, shipbuilding, whaling, fishing and shellfish industries.[7] A road along the coast built in 1796 helped establish the hamlet of Cape May.[8]

The early emergence of Cape May as a summer resort was due to easy transport by water from Philadelphia to the Atlantic Ocean. Early Cape May vacationers were carried to the town on sloops from Philadelphia, and water transport was also easy from New York, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and points south.[8] Southerners later became a large proportion of summer vacationers.[9] The resort business in Cape May began to thrive when regular steamboat traffic on the Delaware River began after the War of 1812, carrying passengers from Philadelphia and New Castle, Delaware. Commodore Stephen Decatur made his summer home at the Atlantic Hotel about this time. The predecessor of the Congress Hall Hotel was opened in 1816 by Thomas Hughes. It took its current name in 1828, when Hughes was elected to Congress. In 1830 a visitor wrote that

Cape May Island is a noted and much frequented watering place, the season at which commences about the first of July and continues until the middle of August or the first of September. There are six boarding houses, three of which are very large; the sea bathing is convenient and excellent, the beach affords pleasant drives and there is excellent fishing in adjacent waters.[10]

Cartoon, c. 1840, about Cape May vacationing by Alfred Jacob Miller.

Early visitors included Henry Clay in 1847, and possibly Abraham Lincoln in 1849. Serving Presidents who visited included Franklin Pierce (1855), James Buchanan (1858), Ulysses Grant (1873), Chester Arthur (1883), and Benjamin Harrison (1889). Harrison made Congress Hall his Summer White House. From the 1850s through the 1880s up to 3,000 visitors arrived each day during the summer season. Newport, Rhode Island, Saratoga Springs, New York and Long Branch, New Jersey were the town's main rivals in the summer resort business, as Cape May's reputation rose and fell with the whims of fashion.[4]

During the 1850s summer cottages were first built and the construction of large hotels continued. Thomas U. Walter, the Architect of the Capitol, designed an addition to the Columbia Hotel. The Mount Vernon Hotel, which was designed to be the largest hotel in the world burned down in 1856, however, before its completion. Competition from Atlantic City appeared in 1854 with the construction of the Camden and Atlantic Railroad. Cape May was not connected to Philadelphia by rail until the completion of the Cape May & Millville Railroad in the mid-1860s.[9]

Architect Stephen Decatur Button began designing buildings in Cape May in 1863 when he remodeled and expanded the Columbia Hotel. During the next thirty years he designed over forty buildings in the town. His best known buildings there include the John McCreary House (1869–70), Jackson's Clubhouse (1872), the Stockton Cottages (1872), the Windsor Hotel (1879) and the Atlantic Terrace Houses (1891–92).[8] Plans for the George Allen House are believed to have been taken from a pattern book by Samuel Sloan. Architect Frank Furness is believed to have designed the Emlen Physick Estate, but may have otherwise visited Cape May only as a vacationer. Otherwise most of the buildings were built and designed by local builders in the vernacular style, borrowing from older buildings, pattern books and fashionable architects alike.[6]

Gingerbread trim on a house built in 1882

Several fires destroyed portions of the town and the mostly wooden, frame-built houses. The fire of 1878 destroyed about half the town, but many buildings were quickly rebuilt. This fire gave a particular boost to Button's career, and many of the local builders appear to have copied Button's style at this time.[6] These newer buildings were built with gingerbread trim, gables and turrets.[11][12]

A Stroll along Beach Avenue, Cape May, New Jersey (Video 3:35)

From about 1900-1920 larger bungalows and mansions were built, especially on Beach Avenue on the eastern end of town. Having lost its transportation advantage with the coming of the railroad and the automobile, Cape May fell out of fashion as a popular resort. Atlantic City became the popular New Jersey beach resort in the 1920s and in the 1950s and 1960s the automobile-oriented Wildwoods, just north of Cape May, became a strong competitor, with its own distinctive architecture.[6]

The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, and then listed as a National Historic Landmark District in 1976. The NRHP nomination form does not include an inventory of the buildings in the district, but rather refers to about 20 buildings that were documented by drawings or photographs by the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS). HABS now lists about 70 buildings in the district.[13]

Architectural historians George E. Thomas and Carl Doebley list 100 significant buildings in their 1976 book Cape May, Queen of the Seaside Resorts: Its History and Architecture.

Selected contributing properties[edit]

Contributing properties in the district include the following. Construction dates may be approximate. T&D reference gives the reference number from George E. Thomas and Carl Doebley's book with Roman numerals indicating the more significant buildings, and Arabic numerals the less significant buildings. Both lists are ordered by approximate date of construction. HABS reference links to the building's page in the Historic American Buildings Survey at the Library of Congress.

Name Image Address Date Architect Builder Notes T&D reference[14] HABS reference
Erwin Agnew House 20 First Avenue
38°55′52″N 74°55′57″W / 38.93111°N 74.93250°W / 38.93111; -74.93250 (Erwin Agnew House)
1886 Unknown Ware and Eldredge In the Mt. Vernon tract 43
George Allen House 720 Washington St.
38°56′8″N 74°55′8″W / 38.93556°N 74.91889°W / 38.93556; -74.91889 (George Allen House)
1863-64 Plans from Samuel Sloan Henry Phillipps An elegant Italianate villa, called "one of the State's most impressive 19th-century seaside structures."[4] II NJ0012
Arlington Hotel Grant and North Streets
38°55′52″N 74°55′39″W / 38.93111°N 74.92750°W / 38.93111; -74.92750 (Arlington Hotel)
1878 Unknown Joseph Q. Williams Also known as Huntington House. 25 NJ0928
Atlantic Terrace Houses 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 Jackson St.
38°55′52″N 74°55′21″W / 38.93111°N 74.92250°W / 38.93111; -74.92250 (Atlantic Terrace House)
1891-92 Stephen Decatur Button William Cassedy Seven essentially identical balloon frame houses built on the site of the Atlantic Hotel. Three stories in height, with a one-story porch and a bay window with an ogee roof at the second story, they face an off-street courtyard. XX NJ0013
Julius Baily House 907 Stockton Avenue
38°55′56″N 74°54′52″W / 38.93222°N 74.91444°W / 38.93222; -74.91444 (Julius Baily House)
1895 Frank Gugert Unknown 53 NJ0938
Baltimore Hotel 644 Hughes Street
38°56′2″N 74°55′8″W / 38.93389°N 74.91889°W / 38.93389; -74.91889 (Baltimore Hotel)
1867 or later Unknown Unknown In 1896 the Episcopal church established The Girls' Friendly Society here. 4
Beirn's Cottage 5 Perry Street
38°55′50″N 74°55′23″W / 38.93056°N 74.92306°W / 38.93056; -74.92306 (Beirn's Cottage)
1879 Enos Williams Enos Williams AKA Avenue House. 29
George Boyd House 1501 Beach Avenue
38°56′9″N 74°53′55″W / 38.93583°N 74.89861°W / 38.93583; -74.89861 (George Boyd House)
1911 Frank Seeburger Unknown Georgian Revival style with two-story porches. XXVI NJ0014
Charles Burns House 929-931 Beach Avenue
38°55′53″N 74°54′48″W / 38.93139°N 74.91333°W / 38.93139; -74.91333 (Charles Burns House)
1881-82 Enos Williams Williams and Cassidy Corner tower reflects the influence of the J. McCreary house. 33 NJ0952
Cape Island Baptist Church (1916) SE corner of Columbia Avenue and Gurney Street
38°55′56″N 74°55′09″W / 38.93222°N 74.91917°W / 38.93222; -74.91917 (Cape Island Baptist Church (1916))
1916 Ferdinand Witt Winchester Bonham 67 NJ0954
Cape Island Presbyterian Church (1853) 417 Lafayette Street
38°56′1″N 74°55′24″W / 38.93361°N 74.92333°W / 38.93361; -74.92333 (Presbyterian Church (1853))
1853 Unknown Peter Hand Wooden construction with an "onion-style" cupola. First of two churches built by the congregation. I NJ0016
Cape Island Presbyterian Church (1898) Hughes and Decatur
38°55′55″N 74°55′18″W / 38.93194°N 74.92167°W / 38.93194; -74.92167 (Presbyterian Church (1898))
1898 Isaac Purcell George West Third church built by the congregation and currently used by it. XXIII
Cape May City Firehouse 923 Washington St. 1875 none Enos Williams Across the street from the current fire station 19 NJ0354
Cape May High School Washington St. 1917 Henry Vaughn William Porter Now used as city hall 68
Carroll Villa 19 Jackson St.
38°55′52″N 74°55′21″W / 38.93111°N 74.92250°W / 38.93111; -74.92250 (Carroll Villa)
additions 1892 and 1895
Unknown Charles Shaw for George Hildreth. Eclectic Victorian style with Italianate motifs. Named for Charles Carroll to attract clientele from Maryland. XVII NJ0017
Chalfonte Hotel NW corner of Howard and Sewell St.
38°55′58″N 74°55′5″W / 38.93278°N 74.91806°W / 38.93278; -74.91806 (Chalfonte Hotel)
1875, 1876, 1879, 1888, etc.[15] Unknown C.Shaw, D.D. Moore & Sons, and others Originally built for Henry Sawyer. "Cape May's oldest and most ornate large hotel."[16] VIII NJ0018
Horatio Church House 921 Washington St. 1888 Unknown Hand and Ware Shingled walls and gable and turned porch posts. 44
Cold Spring Life Saving Station 1111 Beach Avenue
38°55′57″N 74°54′33″W / 38.93250°N 74.90917°W / 38.93250; -74.90917 (Life Saving Station)
1890 Albert Bibb Unknown Now Kiwanis Club 47
Colonial Hotel Beach Dr. between Ocean and Gurney
38°55′50″N 74°55′9″W / 38.93056°N 74.91917°W / 38.93056; -74.91917 (Colonial Hotel)
1894-95 William and C.S. Church William and C.S. Church South wing added 1905. XXI NJ0019
Congress Hall 251 Beach Dr. (between Congress and Perry)
38°55′51″N 74°55′28″W / 38.93083°N 74.92444°W / 38.93083; -74.92444 (Congress Hall)
1879 J.F. Meyer Richard Dobbins Three-story veranda with mansard roof. Very large hotel visited by several presidents, including Benjamin Harrison who had offices here in 1891. Third hotel on the site. S.D. Button addition 1880. X NJ0020
Cook's Villa 9 Perry St.
38°55′51″N 74°55′24″W / 38.93083°N 74.92333°W / 38.93083; -74.92333 (Cook's Villa)
1879 Unknown Wiliam L. Cummings Second Empire style, with two-story porch with pierced tile trimming. Also known as Fryer's Cottage. 28 NJ0021
Denizot's Ocean View House Decatur and Beach Avenues
38°55′50″N 74°55′16″W / 38.93056°N 74.92111°W / 38.93056; -74.92111 (Denizot's Ocean View House)
1879 Unknown Unknown 27 NJ0930
Ebbitt House 25 Jackson Street
38°55′53″N 74°55′21″W / 38.93139°N 74.92250°W / 38.93139; -74.92250 (Ebbitt House)
1879 Enos Williams Enos Williams Also known as Virginia Cottage. 30
J.R. Evans House 207 Congress Place
38°55′54″N 74°55′31″W / 38.93167°N 74.92528°W / 38.93167; -74.92528 (Evans House)
1882-83 Stephen Decatur Button Joseph Stretch Simple proportions and horizontal form typical of Button. XV NJ0512
Charles Ferguson House 101 South Lafayette Street
38°55′53″N 74°55′35″W / 38.93139°N 74.92639°W / 38.93139; -74.92639 (Charles Ferguson residence)
1870-71 Stephen Decatur Button Hand and Ware 13 NJ0934
First Baptist Church 727-731 Franklin
38°56′8″N 74°55′16″W / 38.93556°N 74.92111°W / 38.93556; -74.92111 (First Baptist Church)
1879 C.H. Brown Charles Shaw Congregation moved to Cape Island Baptist Church in 1916. This building became the Franklin Street United Methodist Church, and is now condominiums. One story built in the Gothic Revival style. The spire was destroyed by lightning in the early 20th century. XII NJ0015
John Forsythe House 1601 Beach Avenue
38°56′11″N 74°53′48″W / 38.93639°N 74.89667°W / 38.93639; -74.89667 (John Forsythe House)
1910-11 J.A. Dempwald Original cost $35,000 58
Frank Furness Cottage 261 Grant Street
38°55′59″N 74°55′49″W / 38.93306°N 74.93028°W / 38.93306; -74.93028 (Frank Furness Cottage)
1870 Unknown R.J.Dobbins Owned, but not designed, by famous architect Frank Furness 10
Christopher Gallagher House 45 Jackson Street
38°55′55″N 74°55′22″W / 38.93194°N 74.92278°W / 38.93194; -74.92278 (Christopher Gallagher House)
1882-83 Charles Shaw Charles Shaw Originally identical to the Hildreth Cottage. 38 NJ0943
J.H. Gemrig House 107 Ocean St. 1888 or 1889 Unknown Unknown 45 NJ0946
George Graham Cottage 20 Queen St.
38°55′55″N 74°54′48″W / 38.93194°N 74.91333°W / 38.93194; -74.91333 (George Graham Cottage)
1914 Unknown Otis Townsend 63
Charles Grange House 1229 New Jersey Avenue
38°56′07″N 74°54′15″W / 38.93528°N 74.90417°W / 38.93528; -74.90417 (Charles Grange House)
1912 Unknown Sherman Sharp First and most expensive of 5 similar houses. 60
Nelson Z. Graves House 1117 New Jersey Avenue
38°56′03″N 74°54′25″W / 38.93417°N 74.90694°W / 38.93417; -74.90694 (Nelson Z. Graves House)
1912 Lloyd Titus Unknown Eclectic style. XXIX
Douglas Gregory House 102 Ocean Street
38°55′54″N 74°55′14″W / 38.93167°N 74.92056°W / 38.93167; -74.92056 (Douglas Gregory House)
1881-82 Unknown Unknown Conservative, symmetrical, but rich design. 37 NJ0935
Joseph Hall Cottage 645 Hughes St. 1868 Unknown Unknown 5 NJ0686
Frederick Harding Cottage 1117 Beach Avenue 1916 Dehmond, Ashmead, Bickley Sherman Sharp Built on Cape May Real Estate Co. land after its liquidation. 66
Joseph Hanes House 206 Perry Street
38°55′57″N 74°55′30″W / 38.93250°N 74.92500°W / 38.93250; -74.92500 (Joseph Hanes House)
1879-80 Enos Williams Samuel Colladay Typical Gothic Revival center-gabled cottage with elaborate porch. XIII
Harrison, Warne and Morris Houses 615, 617, 621 Columbia Avenue
38°55′56″N 74°55′11″W / 38.93222°N 74.91972°W / 38.93222; -74.91972 (Harrison, Warne and Morris Houses)
1867-68 Stephen Decatur Button Hand and Ware All similar except that the Morris House has cast iron used on the porch. IV NJ0942
John T. Hewitt House 1311 New Jersey Avenue
38°56′08″N 74°54′11″W / 38.93556°N 74.90306°W / 38.93556; -74.90306 (John T. Hewitt House)
1914 Ferdinand Witt York Brothers Six bedrooms, 3 baths, 3 servant rooms and a garage with chauffeur's quarters. XXX
George Hildreth House 17 Jackson St.
38°55′52″N 74°55′20″W / 38.93111°N 74.92222°W / 38.93111; -74.92222 (George Hildreth House)
1882 None Charles Shaw Hexagonal porch reflects Button's influence. XVI NJ0022
James Hildreth House 815 Washington Street
38°56′12″N 74°55′07″W / 38.93667°N 74.91861°W / 38.93667; -74.91861 (James Hildreth House)
1885 Unknown Francis Duke 40
Francis Hill House 1001 Beach Drive 1910-11 Frank Seeburger Metzger and Wells Interesting double gable. Original cost $20,000. 57
House at 10 Broadway 10 Broadway
38°55′51″N 74°55′53″W / 38.93083°N 74.93139°W / 38.93083; -74.93139 (10 Broadway)
Unknown Unknown NJ0929
House at 815 Kearney 815 Kearney
38°55′52″N 74°55′20″W / 38.93111°N 74.92222°W / 38.93111; -74.92222 (815 Kearney)
Unknown Unknown Shingle style. NJ0925
House at 817 Kearney 817 Kearney
38°55′52″N 74°55′20″W / 38.93111°N 74.92222°W / 38.93111; -74.92222 (817 Kearney)
Unknown Unknown Shingle style. NJ0924
Dr. Henry Hunt House 209 Congress Place
38°55′54″N 74°55′30″W / 38.93167°N 74.92500°W / 38.93167; -74.92500 (Dr. Hunt House)
1881, renovated in the 1890s Unknown George Stretch 1890s addition added plumbing and ornament. 35 NJ0862
Jackson's Clubhouse 635 Columbia Avenue
38°55′58″N 74°55′9″W / 38.93278°N 74.91917°W / 38.93278; -74.91917 (Jackson's Club House)
1872 Stephen Decatur Button Hand and Ware Originally a gambling club. "S.D. Button's finest surviving design in Cape May."[17] VII NJ0025
J.F. Jacoby House Columbia and Franklin
38°56′02″N 74°55′04″W / 38.93389°N 74.91778°W / 38.93389; -74.91778 (J.F. Jacoby House)
1899-1900 Unknown York Bros. Colonial Revival style, with some decorative millwork. 52
Barclay Johnson House 1119-21 New Jersey Avenue 1913-14 Unknown Sherman Sharp Several features indicate a new "East Cape May" style. 62
Eldridge Johnson House 33 Perry St.
38°55′54″N 74°55′26″W / 38.93167°N 74.92389°W / 38.93167; -74.92389 (Eldridge Johnson House)
1882 Unknown Unknown Moved from 225 Congress St. in 1970. Now known as the Pink House. "A tour de force in decorative millwork."[18] XIV NJ0026
E.C. Knight House 203 Congress Place
38°55′53″N 74°55′32″W / 38.93139°N 74.92556°W / 38.93139; -74.92556 (Knight House)
1882-83 Stephen Decatur Button Unknown Nearly identical to the Evans House next door. 36 NJ0500
Jacob Leaming House 712 Columbia Avenue
38°56′01″N 74°55′04″W / 38.93361°N 74.91778°W / 38.93361; -74.91778 (Jacob Leaming House)
1879 Unknown Unknown Permanent awning a recent addition. 31
James Leaming House 130 Decatur St. 1895 Unknown Ware and Eldredge Tiny cottage (on left in photo) with complex front. Roseman Cottage on the right. 51
Joseph Leedom House 111-113 Congress St.
38°55′54″N 74°55′34″W / 38.93167°N 74.92611°W / 38.93167; -74.92611 (Joseph Leedon House)
1887 Charles Collum Unknown Queen Anne style. XIX
Joseph Lewis House 819 Beach Dr.
38°55′52″N 74°54′56″W / 38.93111°N 74.91556°W / 38.93111; -74.91556 (Joseph Lewis House)
1870 Unknown Unknown Stone basement and porch with Doric columns added 1905. 14 NJ0028
S.R. Ludlam House Kearney and Jefferson Streets
38°55′58″N 74°54′56″W / 38.93278°N 74.91556°W / 38.93278; -74.91556 (Ludlam House)
1875 Unknown Unknown Moved from Ocean and Columbia Avenue around 1900 23
Macomber Hotel NW corner of Beach Dr. and Howard St.
38°55′52″N 74°55′1″W / 38.93111°N 74.91694°W / 38.93111; -74.91694 (Macomber Hotel)
1919 or later Unknown Unknown Reflects the "quiet middle-class resort of the 1920s." 69 NJ0024
Peter McCollum development houses 705 & 725 Columbia Avenue 1868-72 Peter McCollum (possibly) Richard Souder (probably) A basic formula was used by developer Peter McCollum, usually with contractor Richard Souder. After one house was built and sold, another would be built nearby. 7
John McConnell House 13 Jackson Street
38°55′52″N 74°55′20″W / 38.93111°N 74.92222°W / 38.93111; -74.92222 (John McConnell House)
1882 or later Unknown Unknown Sophisticated form, possibly from a Philadelphia architect. 39 NJ0033
George McCreary House 606 Columbia Avenue 1873 Stephen Decatur Button Ware and Eldridge 18
John B. McCreary House SW corner of Gurney and Columbia St.
38°55′56″N 74°55′10″W / 38.93222°N 74.91944°W / 38.93222; -74.91944 (John B. McCreary House)
1869-70 Stephen Decatur Button Richard Dobbins Also known as the Christian Science Society. V NJ0030
Kate McCreary House 1005 Beach Avenue
38°55′54″N 74°54′45″W / 38.93167°N 74.91250°W / 38.93167; -74.91250 (Kate McCreary House)
1922-1924 Zantzinger, Borie, and Medary
W.L. Cummings
Known locally as the "Mae West house" due to its protruding porches. 70 NJ0951
Evan Morris Cottage 17 Ocean St.
38°55′52″N 74°55′11″W / 38.93111°N 74.91972°W / 38.93111; -74.91972 (Evan Morris Cottage)
1888 Charles Shaw Charles Shaw 46
William Morice House 937 Beach Avenue
38°55′54″N 74°54′47″W / 38.93167°N 74.91306°W / 38.93167; -74.91306 (William Morris House)
1912 Brochie and Hastings Sherman Sharp & Co. Colonial Revival 59
Jacob Neafie House 26-30 Congress Street
38°55′53″N 74°55′33″W / 38.93139°N 74.92583°W / 38.93139; -74.92583 (Neafie House)
1865-66 Unknown Unknown Built as a twin house for Jacob Neafie and John Levy, proprietors of Neafie, Levy, and Co. 2 NJ0824
Jacob Neafie and John Levy stable 33 Windsor Street
38°55′52″N 74°55′35″W / 38.93111°N 74.92639°W / 38.93111; -74.92639 (Neafie and Levy stable)
1865-66 Unknown Unknown Converted from a stable into a cottage. 3
New Jersey Trust and Safe Deposit 526 Washington St.
38°56′0″N 74°55′17″W / 38.93333°N 74.92139°W / 38.93333; -74.92139 (New Jersey Trust)
1895 Thomas Stephens Samuel Wiley Small Renaissance Revival style first used as a bank, then as city hall, now as a store. XXII NJ0031
New York Avenue Development House 1021 New York Avenue 1909-11 C.E. Shermerhorn (possibly) Unknown One of 21 originally identical houses, all modified in 1916. 56
George Ogden Cottage 737 Washington St. 1895 Unknown George Ogden (probably) Ogden was a lumberyard operator and contractor. He may have sold the "standard gingerbread" elements from his lumberyard. 48
Henry Parker Cottage 22 Jackson St. 1896 or later Unknown Unknown Similar in design to Aaron Roseman Cottage 49
Emlen Physick Estate 1048 Washington St.
38°56′26″N 74°54′52″W / 38.94056°N 74.91444°W / 38.94056; -74.91444 (Physick House)
1878-79 Frank Furness (attributed) Charles Shaw Very similar to Furness's William Rhawn House (1879) in Philadelphia. IX NJ0034
Potts Cottage 511 Hughes Street
38°55′56″N 74°55′17″W / 38.93222°N 74.92139°W / 38.93222; -74.92139 (Pott's Cottage)
1881 Unknown Unknown Tiny cottage with an elaborately infilled gable. 32 NJ0937
Russell Robinson Development House 1607 New Jersey Avenue
38°56′15″N 74°53′48″W / 38.93750°N 74.89667°W / 38.93750; -74.89667 (Robinson Development House)
1914-15 Unknown Russell Robinson One of 6 adjoining houses, all built on speculation. 64
Aaron Roseman Cottage 132 Decatur St.
38°55′56″N 74°55′21″W / 38.93222°N 74.92250°W / 38.93222; -74.92250 (Cherry House)
1895-96 Unknown Walter Peterman Similar in construction to Parker Cottage. 50 NJ0957
St. John's Episcopal Church Washington and Franklin St.
38°56′5″N 74°55′11″W / 38.93472°N 74.91972°W / 38.93472; -74.91972 (Episcopal Church of the Advent)
1867-68 Henry Sims Richard Souder Original stained glass windows by I.C. Spence of Montreal. III NJ0036
St. Mary's Catholic Church Washington and Ocean Streets
38°56′0″N 74°55′16″W / 38.93333°N 74.92111°W / 38.93333; -74.92111 (St Mary's RC Church)
1911 George Lovett William McShane Norman revival. Ceiling decorated with stars. XXVII NJ0949
Jeremiah Schellenger House 1284 Lafayette St.
38°56′45″N 74°54′42″W / 38.94583°N 74.91167°W / 38.94583; -74.91167 (Jeremiah Schellenger House)
1860 Unknown Unknown 2 story octagon house with Italianate details. 20 NJ0032
General Sewell House 249 Grant
38°55′58″N 74°55′46″W / 38.93278°N 74.92944°W / 38.93278; -74.92944 (General Sewell House)
1870 Unknown R.J. Dobbins Built or sponsored by the West Jersey Railroad. 11
William Sewell, Jr. House 1507 Beach Avenue
38°56′10″N 74°53′54″W / 38.93611°N 74.89833°W / 38.93611; -74.89833 (William Sewell, Jr. House)
1912 Zantzinger, Borie & Medary William Cummings XXVIII NJ0950
Peter Shields House 1301-1303 Beach Avenue
38°56′4″N 74°54′11″W / 38.93444°N 74.90306°W / 38.93444; -74.90306 (Peter Shields House)
1906-07 Lloyd Titus William Cummings First owner also was president of Cape May Real Estate Company. XXV
Moses Simon Cottage 631 Columbia Avenue
38°55′58″N 74°55′10″W / 38.93278°N 74.91944°W / 38.93278; -74.91944 (Moses Simon Cottage)
1870 Unknown Unknown 9
Selina Slaymaker House 11 North Street
38°55′56″N 74°55′39″W / 38.93222°N 74.92750°W / 38.93222; -74.92750 (Selina Slaymaker House)
1877 Unknown Unknown Also known as Dolores Cottage. 24
Peter Small House 14 Broadway 1885 or earlier Unknown Unknown In the Mt. Vernon tract. Developed by Mark Devine. Porch added later. 42
Morning Star Villa 1307 Beach Avenue
38°56′04″N 74°54′10″W / 38.93444°N 74.90278°W / 38.93444; -74.90278 (Star Villa)
1884-85 and later additions Collins and Autenreich Ware and Eldridge Fourth floor built 1893 above the mansard roof. XVIII NJ0963
Dr. R. Walter Starr Cottage 1500 New Jersey Avenue
38°56′11″N 74°53′57″W / 38.93639°N 74.89917°W / 38.93639; -74.89917 (Dr. Starr Cottage)
1906 R.E. White Metzgers and White 55
Joseph and John Steiner Cottages 22 and 24 Congress Street 1851 Unknown Unknown 1
John K. Stites Cottage 659 Hughes Street 1869-70 Unknown Hoffman and Williams 8
Stockton Cottages 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 Gurney St.
38°55′54″N 74°55′9″W / 38.93167°N 74.91917°W / 38.93167; -74.91917 (Stockton Cottages)
1872 Stephen Decatur Button Harden and Bro. Lavish exteriors, simple interiors. All very similar except for larger porches on 26-30. VI NJ0039
John Tack House 715 Columbia Avenue 1872-73 Stephen Decatur Button Joseph Q. Williams 16
Henry Tatham House 805 Beach Avenue
38°55′52″N 74°54′58″W / 38.93111°N 74.91611°W / 38.93111; -74.91611 (Henry Tatham House)
1872-73 Stephen Decatur Button Hand and Ware Also known as Stockton Manor 17 NJ0944
Otis Townsend House 115 Reading St.
38°56′6″N 74°54′22″W / 38.93500°N 74.90611°W / 38.93500; -74.90611 (Otis Townsend House)
1915 Unknown Unknown On long narrow lot. Built by carpenter-developer Townsend. 65
James Trindle House 1120 New Jersey Avenue 1913-14 Duhring, Okie, and Ziegler Thompson, Dickson, & Co. Colonial Revival 61
Thomas Wales House 1033-1035 Lafayette Street
38°56′27″N 74°55′0″W / 38.94083°N 74.91667°W / 38.94083; -74.91667 (Thomas Wales House)
1870 Unknown Unknown Modernized in 1898 by McCollin and Fast. 12 NJ0140
Dr. Ware's Drugstore Ocean and Columbia Streets
38°55′55″N 74°55′13″W / 38.93194°N 74.92028°W / 38.93194; -74.92028 (Dr. Ware's Drugstore)
1876 Unknown Unknown 22 NJ0955
J. Stratton Ware House 653 Hughes Street 1868 or later Unknown Probably J. S. Ware 6 NJ0825
Thomas Webster House 933 Washington St.
38°56′20″N 74°55′01″W / 38.93889°N 74.91694°W / 38.93889; -74.91694 (Thomas Webster House)
1876 Enos Williams Enos Williams 21
William Weightman House Trenton Avenue near Beach
38°56′06″N 74°54′13″W / 38.93500°N 74.90361°W / 38.93500; -74.90361 (William Weightman House)
1881-82 (alteration) Unknown Ware and Eldredge (alteration) Moved from Washington and Franklin to Ocean and Beach avenues, then to Reading Avenue. 34 NJ0947
Thomas Williamson Cottage 501 Hughes Street 1885 Unknown Unknown 41
John Wilson Cottages 15 & 17 Jefferson St. 1901 Unknown William L. Cummings 54
Windsor Hotel Beach Drive between Congress and Windsor
38°55′49″N 74°55′30″W / 38.93028°N 74.92500°W / 38.93028; -74.92500 (Windsor Hotel)
1879 Stephen Decatur Button Hoover and Hughes Built immediately after 1878 fire. The fourth floor and elevator were added in 1899. Destroyed by fire on May 18, 1979. XI NJ0004

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Cape May County" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Historic Preservation Office. March 1, 2011. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 28, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  3. ^ "Cape May Historic District". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. June 23, 2008. Archived from the original on February 25, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d Pitts, Carolyn (1976). "NRHP Nomination, Cape May Historic District" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  5. ^ See Aerial Tour of Cape May, NJ Archived September 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved September 21, 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d "Cape May History". City of Cape May. Archived from the original on October 6, 2011. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  7. ^ Dorwart, p. 38-39
  8. ^ a b c Gatza, Camille (1991). "Town of Cape May City". Historic American Buildings Survey. National Park Service, Library of Congress. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  9. ^ a b Dorwart, Ch. 5, The Railroad and the Civil War, pp 93-140.
  10. ^ quoted in the NRHP Nomination
  11. ^ "Victorian Cape May". Cape May Times. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  12. ^ "Textbook Victorians". Old-House Journal (October 2009): 54. October 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  13. ^ HABS geographical listings from this page search first for "New Jersey" then for "Cape May County" and finally for "Cape May." Some of the buildings listed are outside the Historic District.
  14. ^ Following page 99 in Thomas and Doebley
  15. ^ "Chalfonte History". Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  16. ^ "NJ0018". Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  17. ^ Thomas & Doebley
  18. ^ "HABS NJ0026". Retrieved November 16, 2013.


External links[edit]