Ballantine House


Ballantine House



The Ballantine House is the only remaining 19th century town house in Washington Square. It was built to be a seventeen-room, three-story structure with a full basement and attic. This house was built in 1884 as a residence for John H. Ballantine, owner of the famous Ballantine Brewery.
Ballantine commissioned New York-based architect, George Edward Harney, to design a luxurious residence in the Romanesque revival style. Harney is noted for designing, among other buildings, the William Roebling House in Trenton.
The exterior main fa├žade consists of a three-bay organization with a central trefoil arch porch entrance defined by four polished granite columns with Corinthian capitals. The exterior has been finished in Philadelphia pressed red-brick in common bond and Wyoming sandstone used in trims and belt courses. Carved floral and foliate designs crown the first floor bay window and porch. A modified mansard roof with gabled dormers tops the three-story structure.
The interior recreates the Victorian Age in its opulent woodwork supplied by the Kirk and Jacobus firm who supplied the finest cherry, ash, maple, and mahogany. From a historical perspective, we have a detailed documentation of construction and furnishing costs, architectural plans and specifications for this house.





Condition History

This house was commissioned as a residence to John Ballantine in 1884. Following his death in 1895, his family remained in the house until 1920, when they sold it to the Continental Insurance Company. The Newark Museum of Art, that had acquired the house in 1937, carried out a substantial restoration in 1976 and opened the house to the public. Today, the house serves as a wing of the museum and its rooms host various exhibitions.
The Ballantine House has been preserved virtually intact except for interior decorations initiated by the Ballantine family who employed the services of D.S. Hess, and consequently of Roux and Company.



"Ballantine House Restoration"
"Ballantine House Restoration." American Antiques, vol. 5, no. 10, 1977, pp. 21-23.

"In Newark Manor, Remains of the Day."
Louie, Elaine. "In Newark Manor, Remains of the Day." The New York Times. 17 November 1994.

"Newark Museum Opens Ballantine House." Victorian. Newsletter Of The Victorian Society In America 5.1 (1977): 2. Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals. Web. 9 Sept. 2016.


Gordon, Mark W., and Anthony Schuman, editors. Newark Landmark Treasures: A Guide to the Landmark Buildings, Parks, Public Art & Historic Districts in New Jersey’s Metropolis. Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee, 2016, p. 6.

Gibson, Kenneth A., Dennison, David S. & Allen, Wilbert. James Street Commons: The James Street Study Report - A Plan of Action for the Resoration of an Historic Neighborhood. Mayor's Policy and Development Office. 1976. Print, p. 6

Files (see attached):

National Register of Historic Places, Ballantine House, Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, National Register #73001093.


Romanesque Revival exterior
Victorian interior

Web Resources

Historic American Buildings Survey. "John Holme Ballantine House, 43 Washington Street, Newark, Essex County, NJ." HABS NJ-757


Related Entries

Item Relations

This Item Is Referenced By Item: The Ballantine House: Preserving a Newark Landmark
This Item Is Referenced By Item: Ballantine House Restoration
This Item Is Part Of Item: Newark Museum
Item: George Edward Harney creator of This Item


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