THE RESTORATION

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Restoring TraditionThe John Fredrick Peto House and Studio is a pivotal (contributing) resource within the Island Heights Historic District, a New Jersey State and National Register historic District placed on the National Register in 1981.
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The John Fredrick Peto House and Studio is a pivotal (contributing) resource within the Island Heights Historic District, a New Jersey State and National Register historic District placed on the National Register in 1981.

The National Register nomination states: now a museum dedicated to the renowned
American still-life artist John Frederick Peto
(who also designed much, if not all, of the house), the building is a Queen Anne structure on an irregular plan. It was built in 1890, and is 2-1/2 stories high.

The John Frederick Peto House and Studio possesses historical and architectural significance of great value to the Borough of Island Heights. It is a monument to the life and work of renowned still-life painter John Frederick Peto, often called the American Rembrandt. Peto designed the house and studio; at the start of this project they still contained some of his furniture and the artifacts depicted in his paintings. Although previously identified as being designed in the Queen Anne style, the architecture is more characteristic of the geometric and simpler Shingle Style. Although the house had been altered, it still conveys the feeling of a late nineteenth century rustic Victorian house. It is unique as an example of an artist’s home and studio, as designed by the artist, and is evocative of his art and his personality. The property is also one of only a handful of historic house museums that celebrate the life of a famous American artist. It has remained in, and been cared for, by the Peto Family for 115 years.

Click here to view the entire Peto Restoration Story

Preservation Architect: Michael Calafati Architect, LLC
P.O. Box 2363, Cape May, NJ 08204

General Contractor: Robert Frizell Builders
2820 Dover Road, Bamber Lake, NJ 08731

Landscape Architect: Barreto/Dowd Landscape Architecture
100 Old Tavern Road, Howell, NJ 07731

Historic Research: Zakalak Associates, LLC
4 Beacon Way, Suite 302, Jersey City, NJ 07304

Site Planning and Site Engineering: East Coast Engineering, Inc.
508 Main Street, Toms River, NJ 08753

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Historic photograph, circa. 1900. The project undertaken in 2006 and 2007 addressed deferred maintenance and necessary repairs to the building’s exterior envelope, namely decorative woodworking, shingles, clapboard, trim, windows, and doors, and structure and will restore the building’s exterior to the appearance that the artist knew as shown in this image. Note the artist himself in the foreground.

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Late 2005, The building was transformed and remodeled over time. Rooflines were altered, first and second floor rooms were extended west towards Cedar Avenue (since removed), original clapboards were covered by
aluminum siding, and an oil tank was exposed to street view.

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Mid 2006, Exterior restoration work begins by replacing non-original asphalt shingles with new cedar shingles. A later two-story addition nearest Cedar Avenue was demolished to re-establish the image of the house that Peto knew.

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