Name:
Leigh Avenue
Laid Out:
1905
Last Entry Update:
Description:

This flat street was laid c. 1900, however Albert Leigh’s slaughter house, on the north side of the street, was located there thru the first decade of the 20th century, but by 1918 (Sanborn), several of the buildings had been taken down and several dwelling units line the street.

Photographs
Leigh Avenue
Leigh Avenue, facing east from Race Street (2015)
Leigh Avenue
Leigh Avenue, facing east from Race Street (2015)
Leigh Avenue
Leigh Avenue, facing west from Race Street (2015)
Leigh Avenue
Leigh Avenue, facing west from John Street (2015)
History
Leigh Avenue (between Witherspoon and John Streets) - 1109-7-S8 (revised 2015)*

This flat street was laid c. 1900, however Albert Leigh’s slaughter house, on the north side of the street, was located there thru the first decade of the 20th century, but by 1918 (Sanborn), several of the buildings had been taken down and several dwelling units line the street. The street is mostly shaded by medium-sized deciduous trees. It connects Witherspoon to Bayard Lane to the west; this section describes the eastern portion between Witherspoon and John Street. Mainly residential, the avenue’s houses are further from the curb (12-15’) than other parts of the Witherspoon-Jackson area. For the most part, the buildings here are well-kept. For the most part, the block between Witherspoon and John Streets is lined on either side by small, mainly vernacular early 20th century houses. Most dwellings are front end gabled and situated on small town lots. Lots on the southern side of the avenue are raised slightly so that flights of steps are necessary to reach for the floor and porch from grade. These steps create a visual rhythm along that side of the avenue. Most buildings here are clad in aluminum or vinyl siding; the 1980 streetscape survey indicated that many of the dwellings in this location exhibited a typical pattern of shingles from the top of the gable down to the first floor, which was clad in clapboard siding. One example that still exhibits this is 23 Leigh, constructed between 1911 and 1918. Nearly every one of these build buildings have a full width front porch. Most of the houses are single family dwellings, except numbers 14-16, a four-family double house. Number 17 is an except, the formerly one-story, red brick building (1980 survey) is now two stories; it was considered a noncontributing resource then and now. Compared to other streets in this neighborhood, Leigh Avenue houses retain more of their original cladding – about 70% overall (1980 survey); this this percentage has been greatly reduced in the ensuing 35 years. The majority of dwellings is vernacular or influenced by the Colonial Revival style. Leigh Avenue might be considered more intact than the others in the neighborhood, probably because it was cut through at a later time. 

Leigh Avenue contains a small commercial area at John Street with buildings constructed in the first decades of the 1900s. In 2015, most wer occupied by a handful of small stores and restaurants (all but one was empty as noted in the 1980 survey).

Approximate number of buildings: 27 in 2015; 27 in 1980

Leigh Avenue (between John Street and Bayard Lane) - 1109-7-S9 (revised 2015)*

This flat street was laid c. 1900, however Albert Leigh’s slaughter house, on the north side of the street, was located there thru the first decade of the 20th century, but by 1918 (Sanborn), several of the business’s build buildings had been taken down and several dwelling units line the street. The avenue is mostly shaded by medium-sized deciduous trees (it is rather uneven on the north side in places). Leigh Avenue connects Witherspoon to Bayard Lane to the west; this section describes the western between John Street and Bayard Lane. Mainly residential, the avenue’s houses are further from the curb (12-15’) than other parts of the Witherspoon-Jackson area. For the most part, the buildings here are well-kept. 

This portion of Leigh Avenue (as well as Birch Avenue) contains some of the the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood’s newer dwellings. Aside from a very few houses, most on the south side of the 100 block, houses here were constructed after World War I ended in 1918 (Sanborn). The majority were in place by 1930. The three-block long section is lined by 2 ½ story residences mainly 2 or 3 bays wide, with front-end gable roofs. The most notable architecture here is Nos. 100-04, a 5-unit, 2-story frame rowhouse comp complex with a flat roof and dating to c. 1900 and possessing original features. No. 107 is a fine 2 ½-story, front-end gabled house with original wood shingle (upper floor and gable) and clapboard cladding (first floor). 

The majority of the houses elsewhere on the avenue exhibit front-end gab gabled or gambled roofs, full-width porches, and replacement siding and window materials. Most are single-family residences, 2-family and multi-family, such as the aforementioned rowhouses, also exist. Princeton Nursery School stands at Nos. 82-84 Leigh Avenue. At the far west end of the the avenue is a new commercial building; its siting, modern style, massing, materials and scale contrast to the small-scale residences found elsewhere along the avenue. 

Approximate number of buildings: 51 in 2015; 50 in 1980

*Information regarding streetscapes is based a streetscape inventory conducted in 1980 with information placed on the NJ Historical Commission's Streetscape Inventory Forms. Pertinent information - description, history, number of resources, etc. was revised based on the 2015 survey of Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood resulting in the information below. Numbers such as "1109-7-S13" refer to the individual 1980 Streetscape forms. 

Historic Properties

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