Friday, July 9th, 2010

The Morris County Board of Freeholders has approved spending $2.5 million from the county’s Historic Preservation Trust Fund to help preserve 27 historic sites in 15 towns.

The freeholders approved the grants June 23 based on the recommendation of the county’s Historic Preservation Trust Fund Review Board. Applications funding a total of 29 projects were approved, 13 for construction or restoration projects and 16 for non-construction projects, which may include acquisition and the development of plans for preservation.

The largest construction grant, $307,440, was awarded to Butler for structural repairs and the installation of an accessible entrance to the Butler Railroad Station. The New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad Station was constructed in the Gothic Revival style in 1889. It was enlarged to include a freight building in 1907.

Rockaway Township received a $292,120 construction grant for the exterior restoration of the Hibernia Library. The building is a former church built in 1869 that has a Certificate of Eligibility for listing on the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places. The exterior restoration work is based on the recommendations of a 2009 preservation plan.

A non construction grant totaling $47,560 was awarded to the Presbyterian Church in Morristown to fund the preparation of a Historic Site Master Plan for the Chapel, the Manse, the Parish House and the Sanctuary. The site is contributing to the Morristown Historic District and site has an individual Certificate of Eligibility for listing on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.

Other sites receiving historic preservation grants for construction were the Little Red Schoolhouse in Florham Park; the Millington Schoolhouse in Long Hill Township; the Webb Memorial Chapel in Madison; the Community of St. John Baptist in Mendham Township; the Morris County Park Commission’s Fosterfields Barnyard Complex in Morris Township; Acorn Hall in Morristown; the Church of the Redeemer in Morristown; the Woman’s Club of Morristown; the Growing Stage in Netcong; the Bowlsby-DeGelleke House in Parsippany; and the Glenburn House in Riverdale.

Other sites receiving funds for non-construction projects were the Boonton Holmes Public Library in Boonton; the First Presbyterian Church of Boonton; the Oscar A. Kincaid Home of History in Boonton Township; the Little Red Schoolhouse in Florham Park; the Ralston Cider Mill in Mendham Township; Acorn Hall in Morristown; the Church of the Redeemer Parish House in Morristown; Willow Hall in Morristown; the Lake Drive School in Mountain Lakes; the Stanhope United Methodist Church in Netcong; Craftsman Farms in Parsippany; the Parsippany Presbyterian Church; the Ford-Faesch House in Rockaway Township; the Morris Canal Plane 2 East in Roxbury; and the Succasunna Historic District in Roxbury.

Morris County voters approved the creation of the Historic Preservation Trust Fund in November 2002, allowing the freeholders to amend the county’s Open Space and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund to include the acquisition and preservation of historic sites and facilities.

The funds come from trust fund monies that have been traditionally set aside for administrative costs and were not diverted from open space or farmland preservation.

Since the program began, 186 grants totaling $12.9 million have been approved for historic preservation projects in 31 communities.

More information about the Historic Preservation Trust Fund may be obtained by calling Ray Chang at the Morris County Department of Planning and Development at (973) 829-8120.