Reprinted from the October 29th, 2018, issue of New Hope Free Press
Ask nearly anyone living along the Delaware River in Hunterdon County if they know the property, and the inevitable response is: “I know that house,” followed by questions about whether it’s been bought and going to be renovated.
The historic Richard Holcombe House, located on Route 29 just north of Lambertville, sat empty for more than a decade after being purchased by the State of New Jersey as part of a larger Green Acres Program parcel.
Now, a local family has purchased the house, barns, outbuildings, and the seven acres surrounding them, and plans to renovate the property using green materials and sustainable construction techniques.
The Richard Holcombe House is one of three historic Holcombe family properties located within a one-mile stretch of Route 29. Collectively, they are some of the oldest structures in Hunterdon County.
Architect Jason Kliwinski, wife Lia Nielsen, a construction manager and designer, and Lia’s mother Mary Jane Augustine, a retired attorney, purchased the property from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in September 2017. Pending municipal approvals, the family hopes to begin preliminary construction to stabilize the house before winter sets in.
The new owners are well suited to take on the renovation project. Jason Kliwinski and Lia Nielsen are co-owners of the Green Building Center at 51 Bridge St. in Lambertville, an 18-firm collaborative of architects, engineers, contractors and specialty consultants emphasizing sustainability in their respective fields. Nielsen and her mother co-own Simply Sustainable, which provides healthy and sustainable building materials to the public from their showroom, also located at 51 Bridge St.
“The purchase of this property has been a long time in coming,” said Kliwinski. “But now we are looking forward to getting started and to returning this architectural gem to prime condition.”
“It’s been a hurry-up-and-wait process,” observed Nielsen. “We have big plans that we’re itching to implement.”
Track the progress of this exciting project online in the months ahead.