TRENTON, NJ - In recognition of National Preservation Month, Preservation New Jersey, Inc. (PNJ) today announced its 19th annual list of the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places in New Jersey. Detailed descriptions and local advocate contacts for this year’s listed places, below, are available at www.pnj10most.org. The 10 Most Endangered Historic Places program spotlights irreplaceable historic, architectural, cultural and archeological resources in New Jersey that are in imminent danger of being lost. Unique this year, the list includes 11 entries: 10 places, and one issue that endangers historic resources statewide. The act of listing these resources acknowledges their importance to the heritage of New Jersey and draws attention to the predicaments that endanger their survival and the survival of historic resources statewide. The list, generated from nominations by the public, aims to attract new perspectives and ideas to sites in desperate need of creative solutions.
“For the first time ever, PNJ announces today a 10 Most list that includes more than 10 listings,” said David H. Knights, PNJ President, at a morning press conference. He continued, “In addition to 10 remarkable places, we’re highlighting the current need for quick legislative action to save New Jersey Historic Trust grants, a funding resource that is imperative to saving heritage statewide.”
Several challenges face properties on this year’s endangered sites list, including neglect and deferred maintenance, vandalism, redevelopment proposals, and potentially damaging new legislation and regulations. The effects of an extraordinarily challenging economy remain evident, particularly in the wake of Superstorm Sandy: a dearth of funds, limited viable rehabilitation plans, and taxed municipal and state budgets are just a few of the difficult issues with which not only those sites on this year’s list, but historic properties throughout New Jersey, are currently grappling.
As we acknowledge each year, selections to the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places list are based on the likelihood that historic buildings and places can be brought back to useful and productive life. PNJ proudly points to many properties previously listed among the 10 Most Endangered that have now been saved and preserved or rehabilitated, and have once again become character-defining assets to New Jersey’s communities.
The 2013 list:
The Garden State Preservation Trust (GSPT) and the New Jersey Historic Trust (NJHT)
- This is not a property, but the state’s funding resource for historic preservation and open space and farmland conservation. The programs supported by the GSPT, including the New Jersey Historic Trust’s grants for preservation, have run out of funds, endangering countless properties that could potentially be rehabilitated or restored with these grants, and rendering the need for a new funding source exceptionally desperate.
Historic Resources and Communities Damaged by Superstorm Sandy
- The survival and integrity of storm-damaged historic places are now additionally threatened by new building codes and regulations, varied recovery priorities on rushed timelines, and an overwhelming need for funding and technical assistance
Benjamin Cooper House
Intersection of Point and Eerie Streets, Camden, Camden County
- One of Camden’s oldest buildings and the city’s last remaining ferry tavern, currently vacant and threatened by deterioration
Building #7 and the Deserted Village of Feltville
Watchung Reservation, Berkeley Heights Township, Union County
- A significant 19th century industrial village that includes a cabin with murals by celebrated Hispanic artist Roberto de la Selva, threatened by deterioration and a lack of funding
100 (rear) Baldwin Street, Bloomfield Township, Essex County
- An 18th century house associated with Bloomfield founders and the Morris Canal, currently vacant and threatened by deterioration and a lack of funding
685 Mount Kemble Avenue (at Tempe Wick Road), Harding Township, Morris County
- A Gothic Revival mansion threatened by a political stalemate and the outstanding need for a sustainable use
85-89 Cooper Street, Woodbury, Gloucester County
- A Second Empire style hotel threatened with demolition
Jacob Vanderbeck, Jr. House
41-25 Dunkerhook Road, Fair Lawn, Bergen County
- An 18th century Dutch house, threatened with demolition and a lack of regulatory protection
1900-1910 Baileys Corner Road, Wall Township, Monmouth County
- Two extant 19th century farmstead houses, threatened by poor stewardship and deterioration
Morris Canal Rockaway River Aqueduct
Diamond Spring Road, Denville Township, Morris County
- Rare remnants of a Morris Canal aqueduct, threatened with demolition
Valley Road School
369 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, Mercer County
- Princeton’s first integrated elementary school and an ideal candidate for rehabilitation, threatened by poor stewardship and uncertainty of future plans
Detailed descriptions and local advocate contacts for the places listed this year are attached, and can be accessed at www.pnj10most.org.
As always, selections to the 2013 10 Most Endangered list are based on three criteria:
- historic significance and architectural integrity,
- the critical nature of the threat identified, and
- the likelihood that inclusion on the list will have a positive impact on efforts to protect the resource
Founded in 1978, Preservation New Jersey is a nonprofit organization that helps homeowners, organizations, public officials and citizen advocates working to preserve the historic neighborhoods and sites that are important to our communities. Preservation New Jersey produces this annual list of New Jersey's 10 Most Endangered Historic Places in addition to other advocacy programs; provides educational workshops; publishes a monthly online newsletter, interactive website, and blog; serves as a resource for technical assistance and general advice for the public; and addresses legislation and public policies that impact New Jersey's historic places and communities.
Visit Preservation New Jersey’s websites at www.preservationnj.org and www.pnj10most.org for more information regarding the organization and the 10 Most Endangered program. For details about National Preservation Month, visit the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s website at www.preservationnation.org.