by Sara Pochedly

Looking for an Architectural day trip adventure?

Craftsman Farm, Morrisville, NJ: (A day trip) A quick 1.75 hour drive from Philadelphia.

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I grew up in an Arts and Crafts Style home with parents who are avid antique collectors.   

The Arts and Crafts Movement, also sometimes known as Craftsman Style or Mission Style, was an international design movement in Europe and North America that lasted from approximately 1880-1920.  The movement encouraged traditional craftsmanship and simple forms.

When I moved to the Philadelphia area my Dad was thrilled that he could finally make it to Morrisville, NJ to visit Craftsman Farm, Gustav Stickley’s Iconic Log House, and to date we have visited on 3 separate occasions.  Stickley was a very well-known turn-of-the-century (1900s) furniture maker who bought the land in New Jersey to get away from the busy New York life.  He had the intention of creating a farm school for boys, to get back to the basics of life.  Though the dream of a school never fully materialized, he built several buildings on the property including the club house which was originally intended for gatherings and meals, and later was turned into the Stickley Family Home.  He and his family lived there from 1911 until 1915 when he filed for bankruptcy and sold the house.  The house only had one other owner and was sold in 1989. The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms was formed in 1989 to protect and preserve the property.

Craftsman Farms was the only residence Stickley built for himself and is now considered one of the most significant American Arts and Crafts buildings.  Several distinctive details include the copper fireplaces, each with their own saying, the color palette, all very dark colors which give the spaces a particular ambiance, and of course, the space-specific furniture and furnishings,  many of which, have been re-acquired or replicated by the museum.

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The museum is open limited hours each week and makes for a nice weekend trip.  When you are up in the Morrisville area you can also check out the National Park Service - Morristown National Historical Park.

To learn more about Craftsman Farm or schedule your trip please visit https://www.stickleymuseum.org/

Sara is an Architect, Interior Designer and Sustainable designer who is a huge fan of Neil Zurcher’s One Tank Trips!

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