Standish Road Historic District


Standish Road and various streets

Many residents of northern New Jersey recognize Teaneck as a community of cozy suburban houses, predominantly in the 1920s style known as Tudor. According to historian Gavin Townsend, 30-40% of the residential designs published in leading architectural journals during that Jazz Age decade could be grouped under that heading, second in popularity to "colonial" among American homeowners. The Standish Road district contains the richest and most distinctive concentration of Tudor houses in Teaneck, and one of the best anywhere in the East.

The district includes portions of Standish Road, Lincoln Place, Ramapo Road, Oakland Court, Fairidge Terrace and Wyndham Road to the east of Phelps Park and south of Route 4. Even the street names conjure up pictures of Merrie Olde England, as they were intended to do by developers during the 1920s. In Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania and Mamaroneck, New York, enlightened landowners such as George Woodward planned houses and apartments in styles associated with the most picturesque places in England - the Cotswolds, Lincolnshire, Stratford-on-Avon. Playing on ancestral heritage, snob appeal, sentimental and literary associations, those marketing Tudor residences sought to attract Americans of middle income means with architecture pretending to the styles popular with the rich, the aristocratic, and the learned. Many architects developed a specialty in these English cottage idioms - New York's Frank Forster and Philadelphia's Robert Rhodes McGoodwin worked extensively in these styles during the 1920s. Although the architects of the Standish Road houses are not known at present, there can be little doubt that designers of talent and direct knowledge of sources were responsible for many of the designs.

Most houses include garages and front their lots in a manner typical of later automobile suburbs. Their distinctive variety of materials, textures and deliberately anachronistic construction details mark them as products of an eclectic age. Most buildings feature some half timbering and faux oak cruckwork, mixed with rustic brick or stone veneers. Interiors are functional, with smaller rooms than are typical today, and handsome details attesting to their high quality construction despite modest costs.