Collingswood, New Jersey

Porch Brunch and House Tour

May 21 - Proud Neighbors of Collingswood Fundraiser: Porch Brunch, House Tour, & Wildlife Habitat Gardens

Satisfy your taste for homemade brunch, architecture, and gardens with the Proud Neighbors Porch Brunch, House and Garden Tour, Sunday, May 21, 2017.

Participants can tour seven private Collingswood homes and four Certified Wildlife Habitat Gardens from noon to 5:30 p.m. This popular fundraiser and annual salute to Collingswood home styles coincides with National Historic Preservation Month and is held the Sunday after Mother’s Day. 

Preservation Is Saving Our Irreplaceable Architectural Heritage. This theme recognizes that historic preservation enhances a community now and in the future, through a shared appreciation of its architectural identity. Collingswood Certified Wildlife Habitat Gardens demonstrate that beautiful and functional gardens can also be habitat gardens that attract butterflies, birds, pollinators, and other wildlife.  

Start your day with homemade brunch served on two historic porches.  Enjoy a savory egg strata of ham, pineapple, green onions, and cheese topped with crunchy fried onions; paired with a salad and fruit garnish.  Brunch is complimented with homemade muffins, breads, coffee/tea/iced tea, and dessert.

Brunch is offered by reserved seating at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 21, 2017.  Two outdoor brunch locations are available: the grand Greek Revival porch at 460 Haddon Avenue (wheelchair-accessible) or the gracious porch at 549 Grant Avenue. Both porches overlook lush greenery.

Combination brunch and tour ticket prices are $30 per person.  Advanced reservations are required for brunch.  Please call 609-238-5407 for brunch reservations.  The combination ticket provides delicious brunch plus access to all seven tour homes and four Certified Wildlife Habitat Gardens. Three Good Men, who sing in the barbershop genre, will harmonize at the tour home of Steven and Sharon Ritz, 624 Stokes Avenue. 

The Homes

624 Stokes Avenue

This Queen Anne Victorian was built circa 1893 by William Dorell, a shoe manufacturer, and remained in the family until the 1980s. The large front, wrap-around porch has a stone wall built in at seating level.  The roof of the house sports recreated copper lightning rods, faithful to the originals. A carriage house at the rear of the property is the only surviving one in Collingswood that has its original horse stalls and troughs.  

212 Lakeview Drive

At 117 years old, this Collingswood house retains its original architectural features and turn of the century charm. This beautiful family home also features museum quality original works of art. Additionally, a second-floor bedroom has a life-sized mural of a French ballet scene from Edgar Degas. The house has curb appeal and is a hidden gem from within.  

925 Stokes Avenue

Owner and Navy veteran is making strides to maintain that original 1934 bungalow character with ongoing projects which began in 2014.  She has shown plenty of design imagination. She has changed the interior layout in two ways:  1) transforming the former bedroom into a bath, which she tiled herself, and 2) installing sliding glass doors for a view of a new rear deck. Her ingenuity is also evident in the floating wall repurposed from an 1885 Gris Mill 30-pane glass window. Redesigned to meet building code, this 132-year-old historic glass was coasted with safety film to permit light penetration and serve as a stair wall. The kitchen sports a wood backsplash repurposed from wood pallets. 

15 East Franklin Avenue

This two-story Colonial-style home was built in 1945 and then completely transformed in 2012. The owners turned their “old house” into a “new-old house.” They added a 300+ square foot sunroom, with vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors, which were carefully selected to match the oak floors with chestnut banding in the rest of the home. Additionally, the kitchen was redesigned and virtually every room in the house was updated. New landscaping completes the picture.

111 E. Ardmore Terrace

This two-story Colonial was built in 1925. While the house maintains the original charm of plaster walls and oak floors with walnut inlay, an architect designed 2008 addition, by Lisa Soulas, brings this family home into the 21st century. Their media room has a special wall of niches designed by the owner that features vases and sculptures.

238 East Knight Avenue

The saying, “Good things come in small packages” could easily describe this anything but typical 1920s bungalow. This home has a side entrance leading to a spacious sun room with finished wood floors and a mix of antique thumb nail chairs and comfortable seating. A dormer was added to the attic and became a finished third bedroom.  Convinced that the original kitchen would not meet their needs, the owners designed and installed a new kitchen. They also transformed the basement into a woodworking shop and art studio. Downsizing from Vermont, the owners installed solar panels on the house and garage roofs which provides solar power for 95% of their power needs. 

418 Woodlawn Avenue

This is a classic Sears Kit “Americus” craftsman house. Charles Kurtz, who built the house in the late 1920s, sent Sears a testimonial praising the Americus kit, stating “I am perfectly satisfied with my Honor Bilt home, the Americus. It is well planned and well built, I saved considerable money”.  Sears went on to use Charles’ testimony in brochures selling more “Honor Bilt Sears Kit” homes.  Sears stopped producing the Americus model in the early 1930s.  After 2010 and for nearly sixteen years the house stood vacant and became severely deteriorated. The new owners completed renovations that took the 1,800 sq ft., 3 bedroom, and 1.5 bathroom home to a 2,500 sq ft., 4 bedroom, and 2.5 bathroom home. 

Certified Wildlife Habitat Gardens

Something wonderful is happening in Collingswood’s landscape because homeowners are adding wildlife-friendly features to their yards and gardens. At the forefront of this movement is the National Wildlife Federation and their Backyard Habitat Certification Program. The New Jersey Audubon Society has a new formal partnership with the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife program, which credits co-certification of each habitat created.

Collingswood is working with much enthusiasm to become the first Certified Wildlife Habitat Municipality in South Jersey. This means that many homes, schools, and Borough of Collingswood open spaces (such as parkland and Collingswood Community Gardens) will participate in sensitive selection of plant material that encourages food, water, shelter, and safety for birds and butterflies for example, so that our entire neighborhood flourishes in nature.

So far there are only two Communities that have earned their the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife Program’s  Community certification in New Jersey, both in the north, and only a total of 96 communities in the entire United States. Collingswood believes our town should be the 97th.  

To date, Collingswood has fourteen backyards that have won certification for their green space as wildlife-friendly habitats. Plus Collingswood Zane North Elementary School is the first school in town that received the Certified Schoolyard Habitat designation in town.  To learn how to get your garden certified as a wildlife habitat, visit or learm more on Facebook at  

This Proud Neighbors fundraising event attempts to encourage awareness and protection of town treasures for future generations. Spread the word this May by celebrating our community’s treasures and hidden gems! All proceeds from Proud Neighbors of Collingswood’s Porch Brunch & House Tour are donated back to the community to encourage historic preservation with emphasis on maintaining the historic character of Collingswood.

Come discover the history, charm, and style that exist behind the doors of Collingswood homes and experience nature protected by Certified Wildlife Habitat Gardens. Proud Neighbors hopes you will champion Collingwood’s irreplaceable architectural heritage and encourage respect of our local treasures. 

Courtesy Request: Proud Neighbors appreciates your visit and consideration for the privacy of homeowners. Please do not wear heels inside tour homes as heels may cause damage of floors. Thank you.  

Tour Homes 2017

624 Stokes Avenue
925 Stokes Avenue
212 Lakeview Drive
15 East Franklin Avenue
111 E. Ardmore Terrace
238 East Knight Avenue
418 Woodlawn Avenue

Certified Wildlife Habitat Gardens

610 Lees Avenue
671 Princeton Avenue
117 Lawnside Avenue
131 Lawnside Avenue

Event is held rain or shine.

Tours noon – 5:30p.m.

House Tours

Brunch Served at 11a.m. or 1p.m.

Brunch Reservations 609-238-5407


Combination; Brunch & Tour $30 

Tour-only; Advance: $18

Tour-only; Day-of-Tour:  $20


Tour-only Ticket Selling Locations

788 Haddon Avenue - Bauhaus Hair Design Studio 

678 Haddon Avenue  - Borough Hall 

647 Haddon Avenue  - Grooveground 

Collingswood Farmers’ Market – Proud Neighbors Table


Tour-day Ticket Selling Location

647 Haddon Avenue  - Grooveground 

Restrooms: Noon – 4pm at Collingswood Library, 771 Haddon Avenue. 

For more information e-mail:


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