Preservation Board Recommends 21 Historic Preservation Grants To Morris County Freeholders

Grants includes $355,143 for Craftsman Farms Administration Building - Rehabilitation and $258,064 for Smith/Baldwin House - Phase 2 Rehabilitation.

Smith Baldwin House

PARSIPPANY — The Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund Review Board has recommended $2.2 million in county grants from the county’s 2018 Preservation Trust Fund to help preserve, restore, or protect 20 historic sites in 16 towns across Morris County.

The recommendations, made recently to the Morris County Board of Freeholders in Morristown, included grants ranging from $355,143 for Craftsman Farms Administration Building – Rehabilitation and $258,064 for Smith/Baldwin House – Phase 2 Rehabilitation.

The freeholders were briefed on the projects by Review Board Chairman Randy Tortorello. They will make a final decision on the grant recommendations at their July 11 public meeting.

The grant money comes from the voter-approved Morris County Open Space, Farmland, Floodplain Protection and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. All 21 applications received this year received grants.

To view the entire list click here.

Of the 21 recommended grants, 12 are construction grants while the other nine are for non-construction purposes, such as planning or construction documents.

Awards were recommended for projects in Parsippany as well as Boonton, Denville, Florham Park, Hanover, Kinnelon, Mine Hill, Madison, Morristown, Mount Olive, Pequannock, Randolph, Rockaway Borough, Roxbury, Washington Township, and Wharton.

“This historic preservation grant program, which was overwhelmingly approved by county voters, helps to finance the protection our county’s heritage, and helps to ensure that we maintain important links to our past,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana.

“The restoration, rehabilitation, and preservation work that is aided by these county grants helps to allows future generations to enjoy these historic sites, allows us to better understand our county’s history and our historic roots, and enhances the quality of life for all residents of Morris County, ’’ added Freeholder Christine Myers.

“The dedicated people working to preserve our links to the past, provide lessons for the present and ensure an inheritance for the future deserve our sincere thanks,’’ said Ray Chang, Historic Preservation Program Coordinator for Morris County. “Their efforts, supported by these grants, ensure that our county’s heritage and architectural legend are sustained.”

Awards are recommended for projects that best meet the program’s evaluation criteria in categories of construction, preservation planning, and creation of construction documents.

These criteria include the historic significance of the resource, relationship of the project to community revitalization, preservation of the built or natural environment, and heritage education and tourism.

Other factors include the degree to which projects promote preservation activity, represent innovative design, reach new audiences, offer significant contributions to the advancement of historic preservation; and restoration, rehabilitation, and adaptive use plans of historic buildings and cultural landscapes.

Trust Fund Review Board Chairman Randy Tortorello explained there were detailed reviews of all projects, including site visits, and that decisions were made on funding after lengthy debate and discussion by the entire board. He highlighted two projects that are recommended for funding this year:

Mead Hall

Mead Hall, Borough of Madison

  • The 1833 administration building on the campus of Drew University was originally built as a residence for William Gibbons and his family.
  • Considered one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture north of the Mason-Dixon Line, the building was restored in the 1990’s after a fire.
  • $26,268 funding is recommended to the Drew University for the completion of a Preservation Plan for Mead Hall.

Martin Berry House, Township of Pequannock

  • The c. 1740 Dutch Colonial house includes a gambrel roof, shallow fireplaces, interior chimneys, thick stone walls and massive roof framing.
  • The house was documented through the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) in 1939, and individually listed on the Historic Registers.
  • $281,728 funding is recommended to the Township of Pequannock to provide for exterior and interior rehabilitation including site work, barrier-free ramp, structural repairs, electrical upgrades, windows/doors restoration and replacement.
Woman’s Club of Morristown

Other projects recommended for grants include, Boonton, Holmes Public Library and the Stone Arched Bridge; Denville, Ayres Farm Tenant House; Florham Park, Hancock Cemetery; Hanover Township, Whippany Burying Yard; Kinnelon: L’Ecole Kinnelon Museum; Madison, Mead Hall; Mine Hill, Bridget Smith House; Morristown, Acorn Hall Carriage House and the Woman’s Club of Morristown; and Mount Olive,  Seward House.

Also recommended for grants are Pequannock, Martin Berry House; Randolph, Friends Meting House; Rockaway Borough, Fox’s Brook Culvert; Roxbury, King Homestead Museum and Lake Hopatcong Train Station; Washington Township, Union School House; and Wharton: Morris Canal Lock 2 East.

To view a summary of all recommended projects click here.

County voters in 2002 approved an amendment to the county’s Preservation Trust Fund to include the acquisition and preservation of historic sites and facilities.

Since 2003, when the first grants were awarded, 98 sites or resources in 32 municipalities in 32 Morris County municipalities have received funding assistance.

For more information on Morris County’s historic preservation program click here.