Baxter Construction receives two Master Design Awards from “Qualified Remodeler” magazine


For the third consecutive year, Baxter Construction has been recognized for outstanding achievement in “Qualified Remodeler’s” Master Design Awards contest.

Two local projects of historical significance completed by Baxter Construction were awarded a silver and bronze in the 2019 Light Commercial category.

“Preserving history is a true community effort,” said President of Baxter Construction, Jim Baxter. “It’s a privilege to have been selected to work on these projects and have the opportunity to give back to the community in which we live and work—and to create a design and structure that will be sustainable for generations to come.”

The silver was awarded for Hopewell Theater’s interior renovation project.  Hopewell Theater is a 135-year old state-of the-art, dine-in performing arts venue in Hopewell.

Under the design direction of theater founder and executive director, Sara Scully, with architect Robert Ceruti, Baxter Construction helped create a multi-purpose community entertainment space within the theater’s existing footprint. The project combined hand-crafted finishes with state-of-the-art technology. Baxter Construction carefully dismantled the interior down to the original brick and mortar walls and then began bringing the design to life. A vaulted ceiling with exposed struts, a new ticket booth and caterer’s kitchen were new additions.

Plus, new tiered banquets and a balcony space ensure every view is incredible. This renovation has also been recognized by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, winning the 2019 Regional CotY (Contractor of the Year) award.  Additionally, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association recognized this project with the New Good Neighbor award.

“Hopewell Theater patrons have come to value our venue because of its warm and welcoming design, a place where they can meet friends and get inspired,” says Sara Scully, theater founder and executive director.  “Baxter Construction was indispensable to our reimagining the space during our design and build.”

The bronze award in “Qualified Remodeler’s” Light Commercial category went to Baxter Construction’s renovation of the Historical Society of Princeton’s Updike Barn. This barn is part of the Updike Farmstead, a six-acre site in the heart of the Princeton Battlefield/Stony Brook Settlement Historic District.

Baxter Construction, working with architect Ronica A. Bregenzer, helped breathe new life into the barn, seamlessly blending modern amenities while maintaining the historical integrity of the property.

The project began with a literal barn raising. Because the Updike Barn sat directly on the ground, it was necessary to raise it to create a proper foundation and allow for a new floor. Baxter repurposed reclaimed floorboards from the original structure to finish out new bathrooms and a caterer’s kitchen. State-of-the art technology, lighting and three-season climate control allow for extended use of the barn for events. Earlier this year, this project received the 2019 National Contractor of the Year Award for Commercial Specialty from The National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

“New Jersey’s historic farm buildings are the only remaining architectural and cultural representations of our state’s significant agricultural heritage,” said Historical Society of Princeton Executive Director Izzy Kasdin. “Baxter Construction’s craftsmanship and attention to detail made them an unparalleled partner in this project.”

Sponsored by “Qualified Remodeler” magazine for the past 41 years, the annual Master Design Awards is the premiere national contest recognizing outstanding achievement in residential remodeling projects in 22 categories. Nominees include residential remodeling companies from across the country and entries are judged on aesthetic appeal, construction techniques used, handling of unusual situations, attention to detail, functionality of space, and overall impression of the project.

About Baxter Construction: For more than 38 years, Baxter Construction has been renovating and restoring homes in Princeton and the surrounding communities, including many of historical significance. Baxter’s dedication to establishing and maintaining trust and mutual respect with every client, as well as the company’s commitment to craftsmanship and quality, has earned it a reputation of distinction in the area. Whether the project is fixing a small porch or building a large addition, the same level of professionalism and integrity can always be expected from Baxter. Visit

Additional information on the 2019 Master Design Awards can be found in the September 2019 issue of “Qualified Remodeler” and at