Friday, October 20th, 2017

After nearly four years of executing major renovations with grant support from the voter-approved Morris County Historic Preservation Trust, Morris County Historical Society soon will be topping off the restoration of its Acorn Hall headquarters with an exterior repainting that will restore the Hall to its historically accurate 1860-1880 color scheme.

Morristown's Acorn Hall Historic Renovations in Last Phase -- County Preservation Trust Offered Key Funding

“We are grateful for the continued and substantial support of the county’s Preservation Trust as we spent the past several years completing the documentation, preparations and construction necessary for this project,” said Historical Society Executive Director Amy Curry. “This project is not only critical to the accurate preservation of the Hall, but it’s also key to understanding the cultural history and evolution of Morristown as a community.”

Freeholder Christine Myers

Morris County Freeholder Christine Myers

“The restoration and preservation work done here at Acorn Hall and across the county with the help of the Preservation Trust grants allows future generations to enjoy and treasure these historic sites, to allow us to better understand our county’s history and preserve our roots, and to enhance the quality of life for all residents of Morris County, ’’ added Freeholder Christine Myers.

The cost of the total restoration is nearly $750,000, and has received about $500,000 in county grants for various portions of the overall project since 2012.

Curry explained the Hall’s original colors reflect the rural nature of the area when Acorn Hall was built. “As cars whiz by Acorn Hall today, it’s hard to appreciate that this nine-acre property was once a ‘Gentleman’s Farm’,” Curry said.

photo of Acorn Hall dining room

Acorn Hall dining room

The exterior painting comes on the heels of other essential infrastructure projects at Acorn Hall, including the installation of a new slate roof,  construction of new flat roofs and a built-in gutter system, which was funded by grants from both the county Preservation Trust and the New Jersey Historical Commission.

Curry noted that when Keystone Preservation Group was testing Acorn Hall’s paint samples, they simultaneously secured a commission at the U.S. Capitol for which they purchased state-of-the-art equipment. Using that new equipment, they reanalyzed Acorn Hall’s samples and were able to get the colors even closer to the original.

“We are very excited about this new era for Acorn Hall – and are most grateful to the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Without the Trust and their continued support, many of our local historical structures would be lost,” said MCHS President Susan Vigilante.

Vigilante also invited MCHS members “and those in the community who share a passion for history” to join the MCHS Board of Trustees on Thursday, Nov. 2 for True Colors: A Celebration of Restoration, a dinner and silent auction at which the new colors will be unveiled.

The event will take place at Meadow Wood Manor, Route 10 E., Randolph, from 6-9:30 pm, and will include dinner, libations, the silent auction, and a presentation by noted Morris County preservationist and historian Janet Foster. Tickets can be purchased through MorrisCountyHistory.org, or by calling MCHS at 973-267-3465.

Located at 68 Morris Ave., Morristown, Acorn Hall is open Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11 am-4 pm, and Sundays, 1-4 pm. Admission, which includes the exhibits and landscaped grounds, is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for students, and is free for children under 12 and MCHS members.