ORANGE : Victorian Residence to House Drug Babies

A Queene Anne-style house, one of three Victorian homes in Old Towne, will be restored and used as a group home for drug-affected babies.

The Orange Redevelopment Agency last week voted to allocate $100,000 to rehabilitate the house for use by Child or Parental Emergency Services (COPES), which runs three homes for abused and neglected children.

COPES executive director William Arnopp said that the organization also has raised $50,000 in Community Block Grant funds but he estimates that another $100,000 is needed to complete work.

The Redevelopment Agency funds will not be disbursed until the group can demonstrate that it has enough money to finish the project. Once all the funds are in place, the organization will be given the deed to the house, which will provide shelter for six infants and toddlers.


Tita Smith, vice president of the Old Towne Preservation Assn., said the project serves the entire city. “We are preserving a lovely Victorian cottage for the people of Orange, and the community is being provided with a group home for needy children,” Smith said. “It is a partnership of the city, a community agency and a citizen’s preservation group on a project that’s going to benefit all of us for a long time.”

The Queen Anne house, with its pitched gable roof and angled bay windows, now sits on blocks, its windows boarded. It was built as a residence about 1895, but in more recent years, its location on Cypress Street was zoned for commercial use and soon it was the only home on the block.