Residential Restoration Projects in the Greater Lehigh Valley and Nearby Areas

R. J. DOERR COMPANY has been instrumental in many residential restoration projects in the Greater Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas. We are dedicated to properly preserving historic homes from different eras.

Walker Residence – Pipersville, PA

We worked on the complete renovation and expansion of a mid-19th-century plank-framed Delaware Valley I-house as a family retreat. The original plank house and separate stone summer kitchen were joined with a connecting, architecturally sensitive addition to support the space requirements and amenities of a truly modern residence. Additions include a master bedroom and bath, family room, kitchen, dining, and breakfast room.

In addition to work performed on the residence, the residential restoration project required extensive infrastructural and site improvements and the restoration of multiple outbuildings, including an extraordinary Pennsylvania bank barn. The restored outbuildings were compromised by age, wear and tear, and multiple alterations.


The property is the subject of a Tinicum Conservancy Conservation Easement and remains a working farm.

Design-Build: R. J. DOERR COMPANY

Ruhle Residence Conservatory and Gardens – Springfield Township, PA

R. J. DOERR COMPANY was contracted to construct a conservatory addition, garden pavilion, and enclosure for a late-18th-century landmark, upper Bucks County, PA, residence. The conservatory, designed by architect Benjamin Walbert of Allentown, PA, is highlighted by an 8’ x 28’ venting skylight with insulated glazing and a motorized shade system. From the conservatory, four sets of custom French doors open onto an elevated terrace surfaced with Pennsylvania bluestone and bordered by red siltstone perimeter walls that are topped with bluestone copings.

Surrounding the conservatory addition and terrace is a design-build formal garden and enclosure developed jointly by R. J. DOERR COMPANY and Design Works, LLC of Charleston, SC. The gardens include a garden pavilion, privacy walls, and custom gate and fencing elements that feature hand-forged ironwork.

The property is the subject of a Tinicum Conservancy Conservation Easement and remains a working farm.

Design-Build: R. J. DOERR COMPANY

Eckert Residence – Brushwood – Bernardsville, NJ

The scope of this high-profile residential restoration project consisted of a detailed exterior restoration of a remarkable Classical-Revival-style country estate known as Brushwood that was constructed for Alice Isabel Ballantine of the famed New Jersey brewing family in 1904. This well-preserved residence continues to reflect the full grandeur of the Gilded Age.

The focus of the residential restoration project was the structural repair of the monumental portico that defines the mansion’s main facade. The restoration of the portico included the replication and replacement of its six original, 30” diameter, fluted ionic columns, each standing more than 20’ tall and weighing in excess of 1,200 lbs.

Structural Engineer: Barry Isett Associates, Allentown, PA

Featured in Journal of Light Construction

Matsen Residence – Clinton Township, NJ

We performed a comprehensive main facade restoration of a late-Georgian/early-Federal residence built c. 1825 in the heart of Hunterdon County, NJ. The residential restoration project included the replacement of a 20th-century porch addition with a more appropriate Greek Revival-style entry portico.

Work also included:

Architect: Pickell Architecture, Flemington, NJ

Strasser Residence – Willow Vale Farm – Asbury, NJ

The new owners of this long-neglected c. 1780 vernacular late-Georgian/early-Federal-era frame farmhouse hired R. J. DOERR COMPANY to completely restore the interior and exterior and enlarge the existing house. The residential restoration project was extensive. The home’s exterior was stripped, revealing a highly deteriorated mud and log-nogged timber frame. Several contemporary and deteriorated Victorian-era architectural elements were removed during the restoration to return the house to an appearance in keeping with its original construction.

The house’s earliest intact architectural features were retained and restored, while numerous missing details were faithfully replicated. New front and rear porches were added to the home to assume the place of long-removed originals, and the large central and end chimneys that define the house’s roofline were completely reconstructed as part of the project.

The schematic design for this residential restoration project was the work of Archive Ltd. of Easton, PA. The restored residence’s final form is, however, largely the result of a design-build program developed and carried out by R. J. DOERR COMPANY.

Caufield-Norman Residence – Blue Sky Farm – Williams Township, PA

R. J. DOERR COMPANY was contacted by the future owners of this property during their deliberations over the purchase. The multi-unit home they were considering was, at first glance, of little value. Yet certain qualities of the house, specifically its proportions and massing, suggested something more. Limited investigative demolition revealed a circa 1770s log house and a later-18th-century limestone summer kitchen, long hidden beneath layers of aluminum, plywood, and drywall.

Thus began a meticulous restoration and renovation project, including a design-build addition that effectively doubled the size of the residence. The scope of work was inclusive, interior to exterior, systems to finishes. Existing mechanical and electrical systems were completely replaced.

Structural Remediation Included:

Exterior Restoration Included:

Interior Restoration Included:

Private Residence and Bank Barn – Southeastern Pennsylvania

Work for this client began with a commission to coordinate the relocation and reconstruction of a circa 1830 Pennsylvania bank barn. The 47’ x 91’ barn was removed from its original site near Gettsyburg and, following the repair of its timber frame, reconstructed on a new hillside foundation in Eastern Pennsylvania.

To take advantage of sweeping views of the Delaware River Valley offered by its new locale, a 20’ x 14’ observation cupola was added atop the structure. The cupola is accessed by way of a new timber-framed central stair system. Both the cupola and its stairs were designed by R. J. DOERR COMPANY. Roughly 80% of the barn’s original construction was retained during relocation and reconstruction.

Construction of a New Residence

Soon after the completion of the barn, R. J. DOERR COMPANY was commissioned to construct a new residence on the same tree-covered hillside. The residence was designed by California architect Thomas Michna in a style that, while contemporary, expresses an affinity for the past.

The home is rich in architectural details that honor the use of traditional materials and craftsmanship, thus making a strong connection with late 19th– and early 20th-century design. A towering stone chimney and fireplace anchor the house’s interior arrangement. Surrounding this feature is an expansive great room with rough sawn trusses and a bedroom and services core that incorporate the timber frame of a 19th-century carriage barn.

Mejia-Hauke Residence – Plumbsteadville, PA

R.J. Doerr was engaged to replace an existing incompatible 1970 era addition to a late 19th century stone farmhouse. The project entailed the construction and careful integration of addition that utilizes like materials and construction methods that complement the original construction. Matching moldings, period salvage hardware are combined with modern finishes and a fully automated home and mechanical system. The project also included the restoration of various previously altered and missing architectural features and elements throughout.

Design: Faith Dietterich Van Camp

Engineer: Lock Ridge Engineering

Design-Build Components: R.J. Doerr Company

Greaney Residence – Tinicum Township, PA

R.J. Doerr was contracted to construct an addition and conduct interior re-configuring to a mid-19th century frame farmhouse. Utilizing matching materials, details of the original construction were replicated throughout the addition, which included random width re-sawn heart pine flooring, period hardware, and doors. The completed interior space is a seamless transition to the original construction. The exterior envelope, which is constructed largely of composite materials, is consistent with the region’s vernacular farmhouse style.

Architect: Eclectic Architecture Phillipsburg, NJ

Design-Build Components: R. J. Doerr Company