Posted Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

The Morris County Freeholders have approved spending $2.4 million from the historic preservation portion of the county’s Preservation Trust Fund to help preserve 28 historic sites and resources across the county.

The freeholders approved the grants during their public meeting June 25 based on the recommendation of the county’s Historic Preservation Trust Fund Review Board.

Of the 31 grants that were approved, 13 were for construction or restoration projects and 18 were for non-construction projects, which may include acquisition and the development of plans for preservation, according to Ray Chang, Historic Preservation Program Coordinator.

One of the largest construction grant recipients was the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts in Madison, which was awarded a $289,224 grant to complete a project addressing a serious moisture infiltration problem.  The museum, built in the Richardsonian Romanesque Revival style in 1899-1900 as the Madison Public Library, is individually listed on the New Jersey Register as a contributing resource in the Madison Civic Commercial Historic District, which is on the National Register.

Among the non-construction projects that were approved was a $19,360 grant to The Growing Stage-The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey in Netcong.   The building on Ledgewood Avenue was constructed in 1919 as the Palace Theatre, and is individually listed on both the National and the New Jersey Registers.  The grant will enable the non-profit professional theatre group to complete a condition assessment of the building and to complete construction documents for work related to the roof and side and rear walls.

Morris 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, 85 sites or resources in 32 Morris County municipalities have received funding assistance. A complete list of the 2014 Historic Preservation grants that were awarded for construction and non-construction grants can be found online at