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Posted Thursday, July 9th, 2015

The Morris County Freeholders last night approved spending $3.5 million from the historic preservation portion of the county’s Preservation Trust Fund to help preserve 32 historic sites and resources in 17 towns across the county.

The freeholders approved the grants, ranging from $4,151 to $300,000, during their public meeting on July 8 based on the recommendation of the county’s Historic Preservation Trust Fund Review Board.

Freeholders Approve $3.5 million for 2015 Morris County Historic Preservation Grants
Lake Hopatcong Train Station

Of the 33 approved grants, 26 are for construction or restoration projects and 7 are for acquisition of historic sites or development of plans for preservation or construction documents. The largest number of awards were approved for historic projects in Morristown, Pequannock and Roxbury.

Grants also were approved for projects in Denville, Florham Park, Harding, Kinnelon, Madison, Mine Hill, Mountain Lakes, Morris Township, Mount Olive, Netcong, Parsippany, Rockaway Borough, Washington Township, and Wharton.

“This money will help finance the vitally important task of preserving and sustaining our county’s heritage. Restoring and protecting these historic buildings and sites maintains links to the past showing how this county developed over time,’’ said Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo.

“The historic restoration work done with the help of these grants will allow future generations to fully enjoy and treasure these historic sites, which enhance the quality of life for all residents of Morris County,’’ added Freeholder John Cesaro.

“The grant recipients are not only dedicated to preserving these historic sites and structures but also to preserving and sharing information and stories of significant persons and events associated with those sites and structures,’’ said Ray Chang, Historic Preservation Program Coordinator for Morris County. “Their efforts, which ensure that our county’s heritage and architectural legacies sustained deserve our thanks.”

Freeholders Approve $3.5 million for 2015 Morris County Historic Preservation Grants
Rockaway Borough Free Public Library

Awards are made for projects that offer significant contributions to the advancement of historic preservation; restorations, rehabilitations, and adaptive use plans of historic buildings and cultural landscapes.

Grants are also awarded for establishing innovative documentation of our historic resources which contribute to the knowledge of the county’s past; and pioneering inventive efforts to preserve communities, buildings, archaeological sites, and other types of historic resources.
Projects being funded this year, include:
  • First Presbyterian Church of New Vernon, Harding, $300,000: The Federal and Gothic Revival Style church was constructed in 1833 by builder Elijah Hopping. The county grant will help finance completion of a roof replacement, structural stabilization and chimney repointing.
  • Church of the Redeemer, Morristown, $272,480: This circa 1917 stone Gothic Revival church, designed by New York architectural firm Parish & Schroeder, is listed on the State and National Historic Registers. The county grant will finance completion of the slate roof restoration.
  • Growing Stage, Netcong, $261,480: Built in 1919 as the Palace Theater, the structure is now used as the Growing Stage, The Children’s Theater of New Jersey. It is listed on the State and National Historic Registers. The county grant will finance completion of exterior restoration, including roof replacement.
  • Rockaway Borough Free Public Library, $258,800: Initially the Joseph Jackson House, the building was constructed between 1800 and 1829 as a Dutch Colonial residence. It is listed on the State and National Historic Registers. The county grant will help finance partial roof replacement, site re-grading and exterior repairs.
  • Lake Hopatcong Train Station, Roxbury, $192,500: The station, built in 1911, is similar to its sister station in Mountain Lakes, with the use of rubble stone and glazed terra cotta detailing. Rail passengers could board the steamboat to pass through the Morris Canal or board the trolley directly to Bertrand Island Park. The county grant will help finance acquisition of the station by the Lake Hopatcong Foundation.
  • Martin Berry House, Pequannock, $175,000: The residential structure is an outstanding example of surviving Dutch architecture of the 18th century, with a gambrel roof, shallow fireplaces, interior chimneys, 20-inch thick stone walls, massive framing of the roof. The county grant will help the township acquire the property.
Freeholders Approve $3.5 million for 2015 Morris County Historic Preservation Grants
Martin Berry House
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.
To view the full list of 2015 Historic Preservation grants, please visit:
For more information on Morris County’s historic preservation program, please visit: http://planning.morriscountynj.gov/divisions/prestrust/historic/