In 1755, Henry Guest, who had a flourishing tannery somewhere between Commercial Avenue and Schulyer Streets, bought two and a half acres on what would become the corner of Livingston Avenue and New Street in New Brunswick. Five years later, Guest built a sandstone house in which he and his family lived until his death in 1815.
In 1817, it was advertised for sale as, “One of the best stone houses in the State of New Jersey.” A century after Henry Guest, the house was in imminent danger of being demolished. In 1924, this stone building was moved up Livingston Avenue to its present location next to the New Brunswick Free Public Library.
Henry Guest said, "If his descendants would only keep a roof on it, the house would stand till Gabriel blew his trumpet." Over the years, the roof and other parts of the building did deteriorate. In 1992, the City of New Brunswick and the New Jersey State Historic Trust funded a major exterior renovation including a new roof and repointing of the mortar to check the decline of this historic house. In 2011, the City funded an addition for handicapped access. The Guest House is now used for community meetings.
For more information about the Henry Guest House, see its page on our Archives website.