The Charles Suydam House, located on Hoe’s Lane West in Piscataway Township, was originally constructed circa 1740 and added to over the next century and a half so today it reflects the Greek Revival period of architecture with late-nineteenth-century architectural decorative features of Italianate influence. Charles Suydam was a prosperous farmer and businessman who constructed the first mill on the Raritan River located above Raritan Landing circa 1750. Raritan Landing was a vital port in the mid-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries; Suydam’s house is indicated on a map prepared by Cornelius C. Vermeule in his study of Raritan Landing published by the New Jersey Historical Society in the 1930s. Suydam was active in local government serving as surveyor of roads, as a constable, and as overseer of the poor. In 1772, he was also responsible for building a bridge over the lower Raritan. The property stayed in the Suydam family until the early-nineteenth century and was owned by a series of individuals until about 1885 when it and the surrounding farmland were purchased Charles R. Hoe. The Hoe family owned the property into the early-twentieth century and then again it was owned by a series of different owners until 2003 when it was purchased by Rutgers, the State University. Unfortunately, the building has been vacant for over ten years and its conditions are poor. It is unclear what the intent of Rutgers is with regard to the use of the property but the fear is that the longer the building remains vacant the rate of deterioration will accelerate providing the University justification for its demolition. PNJ encourages Rutgers to evaluate the history and significance of the Suydam House in the context of Piscataway and the region’s development and to plan for future adaptive use of the property; it is set on a large expanse of land on a major thoroughfare in Piscataway and in close proximity to its main campuses and stadium.
Preservation New Jersey