Posted Thursday, June 28th, 2012

The Morris County Freeholders have approved spending $2.5 million from the county’s Historic Preservation Trust Fund to help preserve 25 historic sites in 16 towns.

The freeholders approved the grants June 27 based on the recommendation of the county’s Historic Preservation Trust Fund Review Board. 

Applications funding a total of 27 projects were approved, 11 for construction or restoration projects and 16 for non-construction projects, which may include acquisition and the development of plans for preservation.

Morris received 38 applications for funds this year, the highest number of applications received since the historic preservation program began in 2003, according to Ray Chang, director of the Preservation Trust.

The applications requested more than $4.7 million, which was twice as much as was available this year, Chang said.

The largest construction grant, $428,134, was awarded to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown for the preservation of the church’s tower. The church is a contributing resource to Morristown’s Historic District. When the tower was built in 1907-1908, a relatively new technique at the time was used that set up the exterior stone together with an inside wood form and the concrete was poured between the two.

The Community of St. John Baptist in Mendham Township received a $366,000 construction grant for roof repair. The Community of St. John Baptist is significant for its French Norman Chateau Revival style Convent, and has received previous grants for preservation plans, upgrades to the heating system and restoration of leaded glass windows.

A $301,632 construction grant was awarded to Craftsman Farms in Parsippany to help pay for a fire protection system for the National Historic Landmark where Gustav Stickley pioneered the American Arts and Crafts movement in the early 20th century.

A non-construction grant totaling $37,400 was awarded to the Roxbury Historic Trust to help prepare construction documents for the first phase of work on the King Homestead Museum’s foundation, facade, structural framing and electrical system.

The Ralston Cider Mill in Mendham Township received a $37,112 non-construction grant to update a 2005 Preservation Plan and to prepare a comprehensive set of drawings documenting the restoration efforts to date.

Other sites receiving historic preservation grants for construction were the Oscar A. Kincaid Home of History in Boonton Township; the Butler Railroad Station; the First Presbyterian Church of New Vernon; Acorn Hall in Morristown; the Parish House in Morristown; the Presbyterian Church in Morristown, the Glenburn House in Riverdale; and the Stanhope United Methodist Church in Netcong.

Sites benefitting from non-construction grants were the First Presbyterian Church of New Vernon; the L’Ecole Kinnelon Museum; the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts in Madison; the Bridget Smith House in Mine Hill; the Church of the Redeemer in Morristown; the Schuyler-Hamilton House in Morristown; the Seward House in Mount Olive; Waterloo Village; the J. Smith Richardson History House in Parsippany; the First Reformed Church of Pompton Plains in Pequannock; the Old Union Cemetery in Washington Township; the Glenburn House in Riverdale; the Ford-Faesch House in Rockaway Township; and the Mount Tabor Historic District in Parsippany.

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.

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 or by visiting