Hettel Sr.

JOSEPH NORMAN HETTEL was born in at 2914 High Street in Stockton Township, present day East Camden on May 19, 1885. He lived at the High Street address until 1915. He married Anna Louise Hubbard on December 12, 1914. At the time of the 1920 census, the Hettel family lived at 306 North 41st Street in Camden. He moved to  223 Westminster Avenue in Merchantville NJ shortly afterwards. 

After studying and working in Philadelphia, Joseph Hettel became a prominent architect in Camden. He was licensed in New Jersey in 1910. A partner in the firm of Lackey & Hettel, he designed the South Camden Trust bank building which stands at Broadway & Ferry Avenue in Camden. In October of 1937 he became the technical advisor to the Municipal Low Cost Housing Committee of Camden NJ, a precursor of the Housing Authority of the City of Camden, which was organized in April of 1938 after the construction of Westfield Acres. He held the same post for the Housing Authority into the 1940s. Joseph N. Hettel played a great part in the design and construction of the Clement T. Branch Village project in South Camden. Other Camden buildings included the East End Trust, the North Camden Trust, the West Jersey Trust, the Henry H. Davis Elementary School, Calvary Presbyterian Church, Westminster Presbyterian Church, the YWCA building, and an office building at 509 Cooper Street. He also designed commercial buildings for Sig Schoenagle at 538 Federal Street, Louis Goldberg at 2611 Westfield Avenue, and factories for Reynolds Leather and the Camden Daily Courier, the predecessor to the Courier-Post. On the Admiral Wilson Boulevard he was responsible for the Camden Athletic Club's building at Baird Boulevard, known from the 1960s through its demolition in 1999 as the Oasis Motel. Joseph Hettel also was responsible for the Log Cabin Lodge in Medford NJ, more popularly known in these times as the Settlers Inn, and many other buildings in the Delaware Valley.

Joseph Hettel was also active in civic activities, and was in 1926 the President of the Lions Club of Camden. Another officer of the Lions that year was William Partenheimer Jr. Other Lions of that era included Wayland Post Cramer, whom had been a boyhood neighbor of Hettel's. In the 1920s he was also involved in the fund raising drive that culminated in the building of the Walt Whitman Hotel at Broadway and Cooper Street in 1925, and was active with the Masons and the Elks.

Joseph Hettel's son Joseph N. Hettel Jr. went on to have an interesting career as a pilot and businessman. He at one time owned Camden's Walt Whitman Hotel

South Jersey: A History 1624-1924

JOSEPH NORMAN HETTEL—Leaving school at an early age and while working in the window shade, upholstery and hardware business, Joseph Norman Hettel developed by diligent study a latent talent for architecture, which profession he follows in Camden, New Jersey, where he is a member of the firm of Lackey & Hettel, practicing general architecture. 

Mr. Hettel was born at No. 2914 High Street, Camden, on May 19, 1885, where he resided until January, 1915. He attended the public schools of Camden, and went to work at fourteen for McMaster, Eldridge and Maugel in Philadelphia, remaining three and one-half years, meanwhile keeping up his studies at night, in the Franklin Institute. After completing a two-year course at the Franklin Institute he entered the office of Price & McLanahan, architects of Philadelphia, and while working in the day time continued his studies at night, taking a course of three years in the School of Industrial Arts, followed by a two-year course in Architectural Design in the T Square Club Atelier and a two year course in mathematics at Drexel Institute.

On April 8, 1910, he was granted a license to practice his profession in the State of New Jersey, since which date he worked for several prominent architectural offices of Philadelphia, as well as practiced for himself. On March 1, 1921, Mr. Hettel entered into a partnership with Mr. Lackey. In addition to his New Jersey license, he holds a license issued by the State of Pennsylvania, dated July, 1922. During the World War, Mr. Hettel worked in the Liberty Loan and Charity campaigns, and in the associated campaigns. He served as assistant director of the district embracing the east end of Camden. He is a member of Merchantville Lodge, No. 119, Free and Accepted Masons, Merchantville, of which he is a Past Master (1917), and a member of Excelsior Consistory, thirty-second degree, Scottish Rite Masons, of Camden, which he joined in 1908. He is a director in the Lions Club of Camden and associate member of the Camden Real Estate Board. He is vice-president of the Marne Building and Loan Association, and a Republican. He attends the Presbyterian Church. In the summer of 1913, Mr. Hettel traveled through England, Holland, France, Germany and Italy, passing four months in observation and study.

Joseph Norman Hettel married, December 12, 1914, in Moorestown, New Jersey, Anna Louise Hubbard, born in Philadelphia, September 5, 1886. Her father, William Hubbard, has since died, but her mother, Margaret Hubbard, lives in Moorestown. They have one son, Joseph Norman Hettel, Jr., born August 20, 1916. Mr. Hettel's father, Benedict Hettel, was born in Beitigheim, Baden, Germany, and came to the United States when about 18 years of age and resided in Philadelphia. He was a cabinet maker by trade. He married Mary Ernst, of Taborton, Rensselaer County, New York. In September, 1884, he moved to the High Street address, being one of the first settlers in this section of Camden, and remained here until his death in November, 1919. Mr. HetteFs mother still resides in Camden.

10 Hudson Street

Lackey & Hettel Inc.
Office Building


Reception Room,
Lackey & Hettel Inc. Office Building

Drafting Room,
Lackey & Hettel Inc. Office Building

Clients Room,
Lackey & Hettel Inc. Office Building

Camden Courier-Post - July 5, 1926

Buildings by Lackey & Hettel
Above: Locustwood Memorial Park Administration Building - Cherry Hill NJ

South Camden Trust Building

August 2, 2003

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Camden Courier-Post
July 5, 1926

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Camden Courier-Post - April 6, 1928
Joseph N. Hettel Sr. - Melbourne F. Middleton Jr.
Camden County Vocational & Technical School

Founder Membership Certificate - City Athletic Club of Camden, N.J. * October 30, 1930
John B. Kates, Treasurer - Patrick Harding, President
Front Rear
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Camden Courier-Post - February 1, 1933

First Unit of Building About Ready for Occupancy; Meeting on Monday

Plans for early occupancy of the City Athletic Club's building at Admiral Wilson and Baird boulevards, will be submitted to members at a mass meeting Monday at 7.30 p. m.

The first unit of the $1,000,000 structure is 95 percent completed, Samuel P. Orlando, secretary, said last night. Members will inspect the building before the meeting and act is on a proposal by the board of governors to open the unit. Details of the plan will not be disclosed until the meeting.

The unit, built at a cost of $120,000, lacks only furnishing and minor interior décor to be ready for occupancy. Work on the other seven sections of the clubhouse will be completed later.

Construction of the project was started last January. The building is three stories and contains all modern club facilities. In the basement will be a grill, dormitories for employees and offices. The gymnasium, cloakroom, steam room, reception room, and solarium are on the first floor. The second floor is given over to reception and reading rooms, billiard parlor and squash courts. Main and private dining rooms, roof garden, barber shop and other rooms are on the third floor. 

Plans for the building were drawn so that work on the other units can be started at any time.

Camden Courier-Post - February 1, 1933

Members Visit Building and Discuss
Plans for Opening

The new City Athletic Club building at Admiral Wilson and Baird boulevards was inspected last night by the membership, when plans for immediate opening were discussed at a mass meeting attended by 100.

The structure, the first unit of a $1,000,000 project, was built at a cost of $120,000. The clubhouse is artistically laid out and provides for every social and athletic activity.

Franklin P. Jones, president of the First National Bank of Beverly and chairman of the club's finance committee; Samuel P. Orlando, secretary, and other officers of the club submitted reports and plans at the meeting which are expected to assure immediate opening of the club.

The club has 785 members, of which 600 are founder members. The land, comprising seven and one-half acres, was purchased for cash at $150,000. George W. Shaner & Sons, Palmyra, are the contractors, and Paul P. Cret and Joseph N. Hettel, the architects.

E. E. Shumaker, former president of the RCA Victor Company, is president of the club. The vice presidents are Eldridge R. F. Johnson, George L. McGinley and Charles W. Russ. George B. Yard, Jr., is treasurer. Construction of the first unit was started last January. The building is three stories. Plans for it were drawn so that work on the other units can be started at any time. 

The City Athletic Club Building
Admiral Wilson Boulevard

Photo taken 1954


Asserts U.S. Should Make
100% Grant for Housing Project Building

Objection to the city burdening itself with any more school expenses, was voiced yesterday by Mayor Frederick von Nieda at a meeting of the Mayor's Housing Committee.

The mayor's viewpoint was made clear to members of the committee who met in his office to map out a plan to be submitted to Washington which would make possible a 100 percent grant by the government for the proposed school to be erected at the .$3,000,000 "Westfield Acres" housing project.

The mayor declared his objection to any additional school burden after it was brought out that the office of W.P.A. Administrator Harold L. Ickes had notified the committee the city's proposal for a 30-room school has been held up because there are no available government funds.

"I am opposed to any additional school expense on the city because of this project," Mayor von Nieda said. "If the housing project is to come here, the government must meet its share.

"We want another school and not a shack. There is already a temporary school on Thirty-second street between Hayes and River avenues, and we don't want any more of that. I am against any more spending so far as the city is concerned. The board of education has all it can stand. There will be no more spending, only over my dead body."

Following the mayor's statement, James W. Burnison, chairman of the committee, named a subcommittee to confer with the board of education and other local educational officials in an effort to map out some plan acceptable to Washington. The sub­committee consists of A. J. Rosenfeld, Charles F. Hollopeter and Joseph N. Hettel.

Mayor von Nieda told the group that a 30-room school would cost at least $250,000, and that approximately 400 families would be housed at the development, with at least one child to every family.

Burnison urged passage of federal legislation which would give the city definite assurance that it would be paid all service charges, such as sewer and water, in lieu of taxes.

A dedication committee was named to arrange for exercises at such time as the project gets under way. The committee includes George V. Walsh, project manager, Hollopeter and Burnison. Other members of the housing committee are James V. Moran, Joseph Mitton and Rosenfeld.

A covered rack in which bicycles can be parked from either side is a German invention.


August 10, 1936

Camden Courier-Post - August 21, 1936

Camden Courier-Post - January 27, 1938

Camden Courier-Post - February 4, 1938

Newark Parley Results in Slashing Authority of State Director

A long and hard-fought campaign to obtain housing bills which will enable New Jersey municipalities to secure Federal funds for slum clearance and low-cost housing resulted in a moral victory for members of the Camden Municipal Low-Cost Housing Committee yesterday.

The local group, which several weeks ago inaugurated a statewide movement to obtain the legislation and to eliminate political chicanery in the legislation, returned last night from Newark after attending a stormy session that lasted more than four hours. 

S. Raymond Dobbs, executive secretary of the Camden committee and acting secretary of the state conference of low cost housing committees, said the members of the local and state groups are satisfied with several amendments to be made to the present bills.

Four Housing bills will be presented in the Assembly next Monday night, Dobbs said. They will be introduced by Assemblyman Jennie A. Pilch, of Morris County, chairman of the Assembly housing committee. Assemblyman Oscar R. Wilensky, of Passaic County, majority leader of the House, will ask for their passage under suspension of rules, Dobbs said.

Publie Hearing Set

Mrs. Pilch has granted a public hearing on the bills to be held in the Assembly chamber next Wednesday at 1 p.m. The public hearing was requested by the Jersey City Chamber of Commerce.

"The members of our local group and those in the state conference feel a good job was done, "said Dobbs. "We didn't get everything we wanted but at the same time we are confident these bills will be adopted and Camden will get its share of Federal money from the U. S. Housing. Authority."

Dobbs said Wilensky agreed to limit the authority of the state director of housing, set up in two of the bills, to municipalities under 50,000. In the original bills Camden and other cities would have to get written permission from the director before the City Commission could appoint or elect a housing committee.

Another bill was amended requiring the state director to forward to the U. S. Housing Authority with in 20 days all applications for Federal money for slum clearance and low cost housing.

This amendment, Dobbs said, will prevent the state director from arbitrarily deciding whether or not Camden or any other municipality has the legal right to apply for Federal money.

The bill also designates the State Housing Authority as an advisory agency to the state director. In the opinion of Dobbs the state authority will be shorn of much of its power in the matter of housing matters in the state.

Autonomy Assured

The four bills as amended will give Camden and other municipalities even greater autonomy than when they were first drawn, Dobbs declared. 

Frederick Pitett, a retiring building contractor of Bergen County, is named in the bills as state director of housing, Dobbs said. The bills provide for a deputy director to be paid $4000 annually. Pitett's salary will be fixed by the joint appropriations committee of the Legislature, according to Dobbs.

Those representing Camden at the conference besides Dobbs were Charles F. Hollopeter, local committee, chairman, and acting chairman of the state group; Commissioner Harold W. Bennett, counsel, and Joseph N. Hettel, technical adviser to the Camden committee, and Horace R. Dixon, committee secretary,

The State Housing Authority was represented by Frederick W. Ehrlich, chairman; Harry I. Luftman, secretary, and Charles H. Ziegler and Mrs. Isora B. Somers.

Maurice Kaltz, solicitor for the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council, also was present. Members of the Assembly housing committee, J. H. Schneider, counsel for the U.S, Housing Authority, and officials from other cities attended the session.

An observer was Albert Reitman, secretary to Senator Charles S. Loizeaux, of Union county, president of the State Senate..

Camden Courier-Post - February 18, 1938

Joseph N. Hettel Voters' League Speaker

Joseph N. Hettel; architect, of this city, will address members' of the Camden County League of Women Voters at a meeting to be held on Tuesday next at the home Miss Josephine Clages, 602 Benson street. 

Mr. Hettel will talk on "Federal Housing," and the meeting is open to members and their friends who are interested. 

Mrs. Clifford A. Baldwin, president of the Camden League, will conduct a brief business session preceding. 

Camden Courier-Post
February 23, 1938


Horace R. Dixon - Frank J. Hartmann Jr. - Harold W. Bennett - George Brunner
Mary Kobus - Joseph N. Hettell - S. Raymond Dobbs - Rocco Palese

565 Stevens Street

Young Women's Christian Association 

The Young Women’s Christian association (YWCA) moved into its present new building on Stevens Street above Broadway on May 17, 1924Joseph N, Hettel was the architect.

Photo Taken Spring 2003

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Sandy Sandy's painting,