Annual Hoboken House Tour – 2006

10/23/2006 Update:


Next Sunday, October 22nd is the Hoboken House Tour. Pick your tickets up beforehand to save $5.00.

It’s a great way to see what many of the beautiful houses you drive or walk by every day look like on the inside.

From the Hoboken Historical Museum:

Hoboken, NJ – October 12, 2006 – It’s October, and once again some of the most distinctive homes in Hoboken are opening their doors to visitors as a benefit for the Hoboken Historical Museum. On Sunday, October 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., tour goers will be treated to an array of homes, from restored Victorian mansions to contemporary condos with the latest in design innovations and dazzling views, in the Museum’s Annual Hoboken House Tour.

The homes on this year’s House Tour reflect Hoboken’s rich architectural history, as well as the diverse decorating styles of today’s residents. Last year, more than 700 people joined the tour.
For a preview of some of the interiors, visit

Advance-purchase ticket vouchers will be available for sale at the Museum and six locations around town for $25 ($20 for Museum members).
Other locations include Sparrow Wine & Liquors (downtown), Battaglia’s Housewares, Hoboken Antiques, Amanda’s, Elysian Café and Swift Morris Interiors. On the day of the tour, tickets will cost $30 ($25 for members).

On tour day, ticket vouchers will be exchanged for tour maps at the Museum, 1301 Hudson St., so tour goers can plan their own itineraries.
The Museum gratefully acknowledges PNC Bank for renewing its sponsorship of the House Tour. Volunteers are also needed; call the Museum at 201-656-2240 for more information.

October 22, 2006

This year’s annual Hoboken House Tour comprised of 9 homes for you to view.

Before the overview begins, I’d like to get a bit of a rant out of the way. While it was most certainly nice to have the opportunity to see some of the historical locations, newly renovated brownstones and innovative designs and layouts, some of us felt a bit misled and short-changed.

We felt that a THIRD of the places (that’s 3 for the math-challenged) had some kind of developer influence behind getting added to this tour. Not for historical reasons, but to grab the attention of potential home-buyers and hand out sales literature.

One location was at The Sovereign rental building. A tiny and uninspiring one-bedroom place with a good view. The motivation here was some artwork and an “eclectic blend” blend of furniture. We saw nothing that stood out, and we were perplexed why this tenant made their visitors either remove their shoes or wear “booties”. It’s a rental for god’s sake. It was mentioned that this apartment was temporary until they move into the historic Elysian co-op building next year. That was featured in last years home tour.

Another pure sales tactic was The Hudson Tea Building. It was a working model for Toll Brothers. While it was certainly done very well, it was laid out for the sole purpose of marketing. Brochures, sales reps and the like. I can go to open houses and see models FREE OF CHARGE! Why would I have to pay to see this location? Insane.

Lastly, and this can be argued, was the Adams Square location at 5th and Adams. The building certainly does have historic meaning, as it was a school back in 1870, and it’s nice that many of the original items such as the marble walls and staircase in the lobby were preserved, but something suspicious was going on. The unit on display was just a rental, nothing specifically outstanding about it. HOWEVER, since it became converted to the Adams Square condos, of course the place was peppered with sales people. They re-directed folks to their working model on the 4th floor. Sales material, free mints (yay!), and a raffle for a gift card. Was this place supposed to be on the tour, or did the developer have any influence to use this as a segue to a sales pitch??

End of rant.

Next will be whatever photos we could take and snippits about each location, in the order in which they were visited. They specifically stated that photos could not be taken, unless permission was given by the owner. I saw no one taking any.
1. The Sovereign.
You can read the rant above, but here are some pictures. First with the pool area between the buildings:
And here’s the partial view of NYC they had in this unit:

2. The Hudson Tea Building
We didn’t photograph in here (picture #2 at the beginning of the post), but despite my rant, the developer unit was still very well done. The building still has it’s very costly in-wall climate-control systems. The two-bed two-bath unit we saw was over $1 million.

3. 1118 Bloomfield
This was a recently re-modeled unit that was originally built in the 1890’s. The owner had done a good job with the renovation, the kitchen was very nice, the yard was large, and it had a very warm overall feel to it. I found the 14 foot width to be too narrow for my tastes (even at 4 stories tall). But still well-done.

4. 921 Hudson Street
Most certainly the largest publicly-accessible home on the tour, even though we could only see the first two out of four floors. If you fancy Victorian era design, this residence would wow you (picture #1 at the beginning of the post). The owners spent over 10 years painstakingly restoring it, and it shows. My favorite part was the incredible modern wine cellar in the basement.

5. Hoxie House, Castle Point – Stevens Institue of Technology
This is the residence of the President of Stevens, Harold J. Raveché. He’s been living here since taking the tough job of running the college in the early 80’s. Most certainly the largest residence in Hoboken. We counted around 8 bedrooms, and they had recently built an extended patio. The views are fantastic.

6. 57 Sixth Street
We spent a small amount of time in this tiny four story home built in the 1870’s. It was essentially one room per floor. Lots of antique furniture and pottery. Not our bag of tea.

7. 501 Adams Street (Adams Square)
You can read the rant above.

8. 825 Willow Street
Was another decent renovation of a 20-foot wide brownstone built in the 1890’s. It was two floors with a basement. No photos.

9. 834 Bloomfield Street
This second floor unit was most certainly the most modern interior on the tour. The third picture way above is from this location. Built by a local architect, the unit was oozing with progressive amenities. Multiple plasma tv’s with surround sound throughout, a wet bar, a stainless steel plated interior door, a glass bedroom door, and nice bathrooms. No additional pictures here either.

Despite some of the negative feelings we had about this tour, it’s still a great way to get to know more about Hoboken and the homes contained within it. You get some exercise, meet some new people and change your usual Sunday routine, whatever that may be.

We just hope that the next Hoboken House Tour on October 21, 2007 will have MORE regular homes to tour (like 20 or more?) and less developer-driven sales promotions.

Anyone else try the tour? What were your thoughts?

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I have to say the model home on the 4th floor of the adams building doesnt copmpare to the model apts at hudson tea. I agree with the post about the 6th ave apt being gross. it smelled like something musty died under one of those couches. and we sad angry baby pics were scary. did you see santa had dirty nails too. how creepy.


Kat, someone bought the most miserably tiny one bed next to mine. I can’t imagine why – when it was being done I went in to peek at it, and it was so small I felt claustrophobic. But then, how many one beds were for sale out of the 18 that are “available”?

My 2 bed is easily about 150K overpriced, as I have seen similiar units in Hoboken for the same size but with much better amenities listed for 550-600K. Some of the 2 beds aren’t as bad, but still, they totally missed the boat.

kooky kat

Yea Mel, I live there too. And I have “heard” that the one bedrooms are all gone. But, that’s probably a lie, as realtors will tend to do!

My 2 br is definitely overpriced, but not sure 200K exactly, but in the end, they are pretty screwed because you’re right, they are about a year-year and a half TOO late. BURN!


I did not go check out the model this time, although I have seen the one on the second floor before, and have overheard a realtor bragging on how all the furniture in it was from Pier One, Crate and Barrel and West Elm. Hysterical. SOOO fashion forward. I don’t know who would have shown their place – maybe someone who moved out and the developers just put furniture into?

They have to be negotiable. They totally misread the market in Hoboken – badly, I might add – and are offering incentives to those of us living there ($1000 AmEx gift certificate – yippee). Knowing the layouts of the places, and the “amenities,” I would estimate that some of them – particularly the 2/3 bedrooms – are overpriced by at least 150-200K. Some of the one bedrooms are pretty cheap, but then again, they don’t offer parking for those. But they’re not quite as overpriced as some of the 2/3 bedrooms.

Red Haven
Red Haven

It’s one thing to put a building full of condos for sale or apartments for rent on the “house tour”, and quite another to have overbearing idiots breathing down every visitors neck trying to sell them a condo or rent them an apartment. The museum people should be more careful about this in the future, perhaps lay down some “ground rules” for the obvious sales pitches.

However, I wouldn’t be suprised if they let it go because the museum board of directors is stacked with developers. Why was the Sovereign on the list? Because Michael Barry of the Applied Companies is on the board perhaps? Just a guess…