Taylor-Bliss House

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Taylor-Bliss House
Taylor-Bliss House
Location 509 Engle St., Englewood
Area less than one acre
Architect Unknown
Governing body Private
Added to NRHP Not yet added

The Taylor-Bliss House, is located at 509 Engle St., in the Highwood section on the NE corner of Engle Street, in Englewood, Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. While not yet listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it is considered one by both the City of Englewood's Master Plan, and the NJ DEP's Bergen County Register (see below).

In 1912, Archibald Taylor, its first owner, sold it to Delos Bliss, general manager of a Jersey City Company, and vice president of Palisade Trust and Guaranty Company. Bliss's daughter Laura married Thomas B. Cuming, a noted athlete. [1]

Today the building is owned by Kesher synagogue, and is currently being encapsulated by two modern structures. [1] The house was built in ca 1860's, bought in the 1980's by Raymond Flaherty , a Fort Lee contractor, who bought the large Victorian home. It was with the thought of tearing it down. But after a second look, then a third look and a lot of daydreaming, Mr. Flaherty decided that the 120- year-old home should remain for other generations to appreciate. The Taylor-Bliss House, a local showplace around the turn of the century as a striking example of Second Empire architecture with a wide peak tower, was painstakingly restored to its original grandeur because, Mr. Faherty said, too many such homes are yielding to the bulldozer and becoming parking lots and office buildings. Mr. Faherty said that the restoration project, which took less than a year, was one of love. Vacant for nearly a year, the house was a shambles. When it rained, he said, you went outside to keep dry. Mr.Flaherty added that he had spent almost $450,000 for repairs and restoration work. [2]

With an eye for turn-of-the-century detail, Mr. Flaherty commissioned an artist who specialized in stained glass to reproduce front-door panels that had been broken or were missing. Delicate plaster medallions surrounding ceiling light fixtures were reproduced where they were damaged beyond repair, each at a cost of $350. The cream-and-maroon 14-room house was then placed for sale (abt 1984), but Mr. Flaherty was quick to add that he would just as soon keep it because of all the hours of meticulous work that had gone into keeping the house's historical structure. [2]

The Bergen County Office of Historical Affairs notes that while Victorian-era homes are still quite common in the area, their numbers are diminishing because of neglect and escalating property values that make the sale of such homes and the land they sit on appealing to profit-minded homeowners. The restoration has been hailed by the office as a victory for the area's history, its elegance and charm. [2]


The building today

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bouton-Goldberg, Bobbie; Arnold Brown, Mary Buchbinder, Betty Grossman, Lisa Levien, and Irmari Nacht (1998). Englewood and Englewood Cliffs. Arcadia Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 0-7524-1324-4. http://books.google.com/books?id=D6cDENmTV6MC&q=Taylor-Bliss#v=snippet&q=Taylor-Bliss&f=false. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Parisi, Albert J. (Aug. 12, 1984). "NY/ Region". New Jersey Journal. N. Y. Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1984/08/12/nyregion/new-jersey-journal-136242.html. Retrieved 1/25/2015.