Olcott Avenue was the first street in Bernardsville designed to appeal specifically to the rising class of local merchants and entrepreneurs. It was a planned neighborhood of comfortable homes constructed in the most fashionable architectural styles, on a broad new avenue set apart from working class neighborhoods. Restrictions were written into each deed by the developer to control how each buyer could use his property. The result was a residential district of substantial dwellings in a homogenous setting. A number of architectural and technological innovations of the period are evident in the district, as a result of designs created by some of the most notable architects in America. The Historic district, established in 2009, has fifty-six contributing buildings, including a school, a church, a parsonage and thirty-seven dwellings, as well as carriage houses, garages and World War I memorial plaques. As a whole, the district possesses excellent historical integrity.
Welcome to the Olcott Historic District Walking Tour. The tour covers a distance of approximately 1.6 miles. The tour starts at the Bernardsville United Methodist Church on Wesley and Church Streets, where parking is available nearby, and ends at the Olcott Building. Please refer to the attached map.