The Aquinas Institute’s former home at 65 Stockton Street is now being renovated by its new owners.
The Aquinas Institute’s former home at 65 Stockton Street is now being renovated by its new owners.

The Aquinas Institute moves across town

Where is a Catholic to go? For those living in the eastern half of Princeton, the answer is typically St. Paul’s, which had its start in Princeton in 1795 and has called 214 Nassau Street home since the mid-19th century.

For Catholics in the western section, the answer used to be the Aquinas Institute. But when the Aquinas Institute left its Stockton Street location in 2013, it left behind some history — the former home of the Nobel Prize-winning German novelist Thomas Mann — and some Catholics — residents of the Western section who for more than 50 years counted the Catholic church as a neighbor.

The Aquinas Institute is still alive and well: The historic mansion at 65 Stockton Street, with four bedrooms, five full and two half baths, and a grand 44-by-18 foot living room that accommodated Sunday masses, was listed at $4.2 million and sold for $2.275 million. With those proceeds the group purchased the sleek contemporary house at 24 Charlton Street for $1.8 million.

While the move represented a downsizing of sorts — the mansion on Stockton Street was more than 4,000 square feet while the Charlton Street house is only 1,390 square feet — it was planned to help the institute better fulfill its role as Princeton University’s Catholic chaplaincy with its closer proximity to campus. While no masses are held in the new home, it holds offices and has space for weekly fellowship meetings.

Aquinas still does hold masses during the school year, as it always has, in the Princeton University Chapel. But gone is the Sunday mass on Stockton Street that was within walking distance for many residents of the Western section.

Meanwhile, what became of the Mann house? An application by the new owners, Stephen and Carrie Grato of West Windsor, to demolish an existing detached garage and build an attached three-car garage was approved last year by Princeton’s Historic Preservation Commission. That work is underway and signs are up for Lasley Brahaney contractors and Dennison Dampier interior design. Stephen Grato is a co-founder of International Motor Freight, based in Port Newark.

And now that the Aquinas Institute has relocated to Charlton Street, what has become of Dr. Anthony Vasselli, who commissioned the distinct structure designed by Schmitt Anderson Architects of Metuchen? Another house with a striking architectural design is now rising at 12 Lytle Street. The architects: Schmitt Anderson. The owner: Vasselli, whose medical practice is located nearby.

The new Aquinas Institute home at Charlton and William streets.
The new Aquinas Institute home at Charlton and William streets.

Zoning agenda:

The following applications were expected to be heard at the September 28 meeting of the Zoning Board (after this issue of the Echo went to press):

397 Cherry Hill Road, Laura Edwards, applicant and owner. Minor site plan with use variance for bed and breakfast.

428 Mount Lucas Road D & P Private Lending LLC, owner;

Jeffrey Rogers, applicant. C1/C2 — Lot area, lot width or lot frontage, right side yard setback and building setback-height ratio to permit construction of a new single family house on a non-conforming lot.

342 Nassau Street, Jugtown Historic District, 342 Nassau Street LLC, owner, Eastridge Design Ltd., applicant. Use variance and minor site plan application to permit a retail use.

Recent transactions

The following listings of residential home sales, which closed between June 29 and July 8, are based on public records and tax files. The number in parentheses after the closing price indicates the amount it was above or below the listing price.

72 Adams Drive. Seller: William & Nancy Reichman. Buyer: Louis Denis & Ester Denis-Vrins. 4 bedrooms, 4 baths. Two-story contemporary near Carnegie Lake. $1,260,000 (-$35,000).

45 Erdman Avenue. Seller: Catherine Jones & Justin Sheffield. Buyer: Robert Matsukawa & Heidi Moon. 5 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. 60 x 150 lot. Colonial with new two-story addition. $745,000 (+$46,000).

171 Loomis Court. Seller: Sean Dolan & Shelly Hawk. Buyer: Guangtao Zhang & Hong Chen. 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. Split-level off Valley Road. $725,000 (+$50,000).

36 Moore Street, Unit 8. Seller: Lauren Rhode. Buyer: James & Tana Wentzel. 1 bedroom, 1 bath. Two-story condo. $354,500 (-$4,500).

58 Ettl Circle. Seller: Kate Song. Buyer: Laurence Lee. 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. Two-story colonial in Ettl Farm. Short sale. $1,175,000 (-$215,000).

43 Trewbridge Court. Seller: Lucile Clifford. Buyer: Jianbing Zhao. 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. Attached townhouse in Fieldwood Manors. $675,000 (+$5,000).

210 South Harrison Street. Seller: Hostetler Family Trust. Buyer: David & Rachel Mostafavi. 2 bedroom, 2.5 baths. One-story bungalow designed by Kevin Wilkes. $590,000 (+$35,000).

193 Ridgeview Road. Seller: Stephen King & Denise Pancari. Buyer: Amanda Nothaft & Andrew Weiss. 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. 5.32-acre lot. Two-story Colonial off Cherry Hill Road. $1,472,500 (-$22,500).

58 Linwood Circle. Seller: Samuel & Shannon Daley-Harris. Buyer: Christoph Heuck & Meghan Wurtz. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. Two-story Colonial near Littlebrook. $950,000 (+$25,000).

40 Van Dyke Road. Seller: James & Fran Jones. Buyer: Tsu-kai & Vida Chu. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. Ranch. $709,000 (-$50,000).
45 Cleveland Lane. Seller: Mark & Kara Glasgold. Buyer: Dany Labrecque & Johanna Mercier. 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths. 100 x 199 lot. Two-story Colonial. $2,400,000 (-$95,000).

35 Talbot Lane. Seller: Juan & Victoria Abellana. Buyer: Michael & Maureen Pellegrino. 6 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. Two-acre lot. Two-story Colonial off Gallup Road. $955,000 (+$5,000).

142 Winant Road. Seller: Alejandro & Anna Morena. 6 bedrooms, 5.5 baths. Two-story Colonial designed by Rolf Bauhan. $2,500,000 (-$150,000).

321 Cherry Hill Road. Seller: Daniel & Jennifer Brandt. Buyer: Lee & Michele Kushner. 4 bedrooms, 5/2 baths. Three-story colonial. $2,172,500 (-$102,500).

2 Cleveland Lane. Seller: Bo & Andrew Honore. Buyer: Danielle Coppola. 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. 116 x 151 lot. Two-story colonial off on corner of 206. $1,595,000.

2 Governors Lane. Seller: Albert Smith & Tatian Piotroff. Buyer: Pradeep & Taruna Vachani. 4 bedroom, 3.5 baths. Three-story attached townhouse. $740,000 (-$10,000).