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Historic Preservation

Preservation of the Woman’s Club of Red Bank Club House

Reckless Estate ~ Historic House Preservation

The Woman’s Club of Red Bank purchased the house in 1921. Since then it has served as a headquarters for the civic -minded organization. In 1982 the Reckless Estate was listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. Preserving this charming building is a key capital goal of the organization. From 2000 to date, a Preservation Plan has been developed and is underway. For more information on the work to be done, click on the Reckless Estate page.

Restoration Work Completed

  • Exterior Restoration completed in 2012
  • New Roof – Replaced in 2000
  • Stabilizing the foundation and first floor – Finished in 2004
  • Paint exterior with historic colors – Front Facade Finished in 2006
  • Water Line Replacement – Replaced the summer of 2007
  • Plumbing – Partially Replaced summer of 2007
  • Restoration Work TO BE DONE:
  • Installation of an ADA ramp to enhance th building accessibility – On the plans for spring 2009
  • Electricial Wiring (Second & Third Floors)
  • Interior Painting
  • Air Conditioning Replacement
  • Landscaping
  • Installation of an exterior elevator to provide ADA access to second and third floors
  • Interior restoration of the second and third floors

Historic photo of the Reckless estateHistory of the Club House

The Reckless Estate is on of Red Bank’s finest examples of a suburban residence in the Italianate style and a long-standing center of local civic importance. It was built in c. 1870 for one of the town’s founding fathers and leading citizens, State Senator Anthony Reckless, who brought the railroad to Red Bank making it an important business center. The house is the sole surviving structure associated with the Senator.

Anthony Reckless built this fine mansion designed by Chicago architect J.P. Huber and completed in 1874, a time when upper Broad Street was lined with homes of the wealthy on extensive tracts that typically extended west to Maple Avenue. He was a merchant, publisher, utility director and president of the New York and Long Branch Railroad, the key road that helped propel Red Bank’s growth. Reckless, who also served in the New Jersey Senate, died here in 1889.

The building remained a residence until the Red Bank Woman’s Club, which was incorporated in 1917, purchased the property in 1921. For decades the upper floors provided residential rooms for single woman. Now the entire premises are given over to the group’s public service activities. They maintain a strong focus on education, which includes literacy programs and awarding scholarships. In recent years, the club has dedicated itself to the preservation of the historic building. Thanks to grants from Monmouth County and the NJ Historic Trust, the exterior restoration was completed in 2012. While not maintaining regular hours for tours, the building, entered on the National Register of Historic Places, is open to the public for some events.

Chronicles of the Anthony B. Reckless Estate

  • 1874 House completed by Anthony Reckless – now called the Reckless Estate
  • 1896 Literary Society – Round Table Coterie – was formed
  • 1897 Round Table Coterie changed name to Philomathian Coterie
  • 1911 House relocated from Reckless Place to present location on Broad Street
  • 1917 Woman’s Club of Red Bank incorporated
  • 1921 The Woman’s Club of Red Bank purchased the Anthony B. Reckless Estate for $15,000.00. Upper floors were home to single women. House was wired for electricity. Two large rooms on south side of first floor were altered to become one large meeting room.
  • 1926 mortgage paid off
  • 1929 new floor installed in meeting room
  • 1982 listed on NJ State Register of Historic Places
  • 1982 listed on National Register of Historic Places
  • 2000 NJ Historic Site Management Award – NJ Historic Trust preservation plan
  • 2000 Monmouth County Historic Commission grant (kitchen stabilization)
  • 2001 Historic Building & Architects completes preservation plan
  • 2002 State of NJ grant (roof replacement)
  • 2003 NJ Historic Trust – Capital I Grant (structure stabilization)
  • 2003 Monmouth County Historic Commission grant (front porch structure stabilization)
  • 2003 First Night location destination
  • 2004 State of NJ grant (boiler repair, porch restoration)
  • 2004 Monmouth County Historic Commission grant (professional fees)
  • 2004,2005 First Night headquarters
  • 2005 Reckless Steamy monthly concert series with Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation
  • 2006 Monmouth County Historic Commission grant – (upper floor exterior [painting] restoration) – $4000 awarded