The Ocean House B & B
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History

At 102 Sussex Avenue, The Ocean House, is designed in the Italianate Style.  It's style, categorized by the Victorians, a "Romantic Style" structure. Built-in 1878, this lovely Bed and Breakfast is now owned by the second generation of the Kaloostian Family.  It is now the eldest, always privately owned and operated, B&B in Spring Lake.

The land was purchased in 1876 from the Spring Lake Improvement Company by a Mr. Joseph Faniera, Jr. and was then sold to Margaret Devine. "Margaret Devine of Philadephia is building a large cottage boarding house on the north side of the Lake, according to the Ashbury Park Journal's edition of February 9, 1878. The hotel closed the century as the "Baltimore" and then became "The Colonial: in the early 20th century when it was purchased by O.H. Brown. Subsequently, it was purchased by the Taylor Family in 1928. (Legend has it being won by Mr. Taylor from O.H. Brown in a card game)
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Image may be subject to copyright
Image may be subject to copyright
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Built during an era when so many well to do Americans were taking holidays to Tuscany and Venice, this beauty is a seaside adaption of the Italianate Style of architecture. Spanning the period between 1840 and 1885, the identifying featured are found in the low pitched hipped roof with centered gable over the entrance and the widely overhanging eaves that expose the decorative brackets underneath. The stucco facade added in 1928 over the original wood clapboard, echos the Mediterranean influence.

The Italian Style is part of the rebellious "Picturesque" movement, a reaction to the formal classical style of architecture that had been popular for the previous two hundred years.

The long rectangular windows with shutters are an element of the style. The wraparound colonnade style porch, with its flat roof and wise overhangs and decorative brackets are all indicative of the style. Most of the columns which are in the Early Classical Revival Style are original. Those that were replaced were reproduced in the same style. The front windows of the structure, recessed under the porch, are full story, opening out to incite in the ocean breezes during a hot summer sojourn. The front entry, double doors with beveled glass, original moldings, double wood pilasters, leased sidelights, and a curved leaded glass top window and molding is an original masterpiece. This general entry form can be identified as a classical revival, but the double doors are an adaption of the Italianate Style.

As one enters the hotel from the floors above into the tower, greets the visitors. The staircase was purchased from the 1876 Centennial in Philadelphia, all in one piece, and installed by cantilevering into the walls. The hotel was virtually built around this sculptured piece. The entire staircase proved to be too large for space and ten feet had to be cut and is installed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Through the foyer to the right is the original dining room. The striking stained glass windows were installed and purchased by the kaloostians from the Gloria Swanson Estate in Bergen County. The Anne, added in 1914, houses the original second dining room and bad been named Taylor hall. The present owners have restored the original wood floors moldings, and detailing. The planters in keeping with the Italianate Style. 
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Sunbathing and gossiping in 1906
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Typical Bath & Tennis attire for a day at the club in 1936.
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The now parking lot was a volleyball court!
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The perfectly styled gardens and landscaping the Kaloostians have painstakingly maintained up to the finishing touch on the unique B&B and complete the Mediterranean ambiance.

To quote our friend Joe Rizzo, "This is an ambitious and successful restoration and enhancement to what I believe is our largest remaining B&B. Some of our most distinguished old building are B&B's, and we should be promoting those who save them!"

So if you feel like you are in a Tuscan Villa right here in town, you can enjoy Ocean House, where every guest has " A Room with a View!" Than you Kaloostians for hospitality Italian Style!