County presents grant to Strauss House Museum
FREEHOLD – The Atlantic Highlands Historical Society was awarded a $3,910 grant for stabilization work at the historic Strauss Mansion at last week’s meeting of the Monmouth County Historical Commission held in the Freeholders’ meeting room in the Hall of Records.
The award was presented by Commissioner Glen Cashion on behalf of the Commission and Freeholder Lillian Burry for the Board of Freeholders, and was presented to Treasurer Kendall Frantz
The Historical Society, with the county grant and matching funds from their own sources, plans on making structural stabilization improvements to the Strauss House basement, a portion of the overall work plan recommended as priority features in the Society’s Preservation Plan. The work will include installing steel angles to support failed timber beams, shoring a failed trimmer joist at the fireplace, and shoring another joist below one of the rooms.
In their application, the Society pointed out that the repairs will not be visible improvements to the visiting public and will not have an immediate effect of their programming or museum plans. However, the improvements are essential to ensure the structural stability of the building, which is on the National Historic Register and was built in 1893 as a summer cottage for New York merchant Adolph Strauss. The Strauss family used the house for about 13 years for its summer resort environment for three generations of the family, was sold after the owner’s death, and passed through a number of owners, including use for apartments, until purchased by the Society in 1981, marking the start of extensive restoration.
In making the award presentation, Burry pointed out the importance of the landmark “as one of the best ways to interpret our rich County history.” During the 27 years the county has been providing grants for historic architecture, Burry noted the Commission has provided grants to the Mansion eight previous years, recognizing its important in expanding awareness of local heritage and historic interpretation. The ‘cottage,” a magnificent mansion overlooking Sandy hook and the New York skyline, “is an example of Monmouth County’s wealthier residents” in an earlier era. The freeholder praised the Society for their dedication in preserving and protecting Monmouth County history, reiterating her belief that “historic preservation is one of the best ways to interpret our rich County history.