It was always a dream of my clients to own an old home. Luckily, I was the designer chosen to put the team together and carry out the restoration and renovations. Fondly known as the” Davis House”, located in the Historic Village of Lawrenceville, NJ it has a storied past.
Main Street was built in 1828 as the Lawrenceville Female Seminary by a Latin teacher named James Porter. Porter taught at The Maidenhead Academy (Lawrenceville) until 1827 when he decided to build a school for girls. He died the year it opened and his wife took over the school. However, New Jersey law prohibited a woman from running a school so the then-principal of Lawrenceville, Alexander Hamilton Phillips, ran the Seminary and the Academy at the same time. It closed in 1883 and became a private residence. Lawrenceville rented the house around 1900 as a house for students. It sports a 1901 addition which may have been added at that time. One of the house masters was Thornton Wilder – 1927 – 1930. It is reported that he wrote The Bridge of San Luis Ray while living there. In 1941 it again became a private residence.
In 1978 the Junior League of Greater Princeton hosted a Designer Showhouse and Garden at the property. I would have loved to have visited then!