FLEMINGTON — When future out-of-town guests at the Union Hotel ask, “Where should we go today?” the owners will direct them up Mine Street to the old Stangl pottery works where artisans are making and selling their wares.
At least that’s the plan. Frank Banisch and Joe LoPiccolo, two of the three men who are buying the Union Hotel, are also buying the old Stangl pottery works at the corner of Stangl Road and Mine Street. They are joined in the endeavor by builder George Eckelmann of Delaware Township.
Banisch declined to say how much they’re paying, but he did say the closing date is May 12.
The property consists of a long, narrow two-acre lot that extends from Mine Street upon which stand several buildings, including the old factory with its distinctive conical brick kilns, the log cabin honey shop, Gotta Have It Pools and Spas, and the N’ Joy Yourself! store.
The pottery factory was built in 1924 by Fulper Pottery Co. where it produced its Stangl dinnerware until those operations were absorbed by its larger Trenton plant in 1935.
After that, the Flemington property was a Stangl factory outlet store that was, according to Banisch and LoPiccolo’s new brochure, “a keenly popular tourist destination.”
The sprawling, irregularly shaped building contains 19,000 square feet of usable space, which would become the Stangl Factory Artisan Village and Shops. The brochure invites artists and artisans to “ply your trade” and “sell your wares” in artisan workshops and gallery space. Its “factory chic décor” includes brick walls, iron trusses and the kilns.