Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

HISTORIC PHOENIX HOUSE HAS LONG SERVED AS BOROUGH HALL

The Morris County Freeholders recently honored Mendham Borough with a historic preservation marker for its preservation efforts on the 19th Century Phoenix House, an iconic structure that is located in the borough’s historic district and has long served as the borough hall.

Freeholders award historic marker for Phoenix House project to Mendham Mayor Neil Henry

(l/r) Freeholders Kathy DeFillippo, John Cesaro, Deborah Smith, Hank Lyon, Councilman Stan Witczak, Mayor Neil Henry, Freeholder Christine Myers, Councilman John Andrews, and Freeholder Doug Cabana

The historic integrity of the building, located at 2 West Main Street, has been preserved through the efforts of the borough, with financial assistance from county and state preservation programs.

Mendham Mayor Neil Henry and Councilmen John Andrews and Stan Witczak accepted the historic marker at the freeholder’s Sept. 27 “road meeting’’ held in Mendham Borough.

Historic preservation planning and restoration work done at the Phoenix House was partly financed through the Morris County Historic Preservation Grant Program, which provided $115,000 to the borough.

“This great building which sits prominently in Mendham is a true symbol of the history of the borough and Morris County,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “The Borough has done remarkable work in preserving a treasure for their community. We congratulate them for their outstanding effort.’’

photo of Phoenix House

Phoenix House

At the Sept. 27 meeting, Freeholder Christine Myers awarded the marker to borough officials and provided details of the Mendham project:

  • Phoenix House has been a significant landmark in Mendham Borough since the early 19th century. Its Federal style and gambrel roof were documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1936.
  • It is a key contributing building in the Mendham Historic District, which is listed on the State and National Historic Registers.
  • The house was purchased in 1820 by William Phoenix and became a profitable hotel of genteel standards and fine reputation. Guests included Abner Doubleday, who is thought by many to be the inventor of baseball. The daughters’ of William Phoenix later turned it into a boarding house.
  • Mendham Township resident and former State Senator Arthur Whitney purchased the house from the Phoenix family in 1919 and turned over the house to the community in 1938. The house has served as the Borough Hall since that time.
  • With assistance of the Morris County Preservation Trust Fund, which provided a grant of more than $115,000, the borough successfully completed exterior painting as part of a building preservation program.

For more information on the history of Mendham, visit: http://www.livingplaces.com/NJ/Morris_County/Mendham_Borough/Mendham_Historic_District.html or https://www.facebook.com/Mendham-Borough-Historical-Society-201946593204843/

For information on the county’s Historic Preservation Grant Program, visit: https://morriscountynj.gov/planning/divisions/prestrust/historic/