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2003 Award Recipients
 


2003 Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony

May 8, 2003
Masonic Temple
Trenton, NJ

2002 Award Recipients

2001 Award Recipients


2003 Preservation Awards Presented in Trenton

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) , Historic Preservation Office and NJ Historic Sites Council presented nine awards recognizing the steadfast efforts of individuals, organizations and government agencies to preserve the State's valuable resources at the annual New Jersey Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony at the Masonic Temple, Trenton, on May 8, 2003. Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources and Deputy State Historic Peservation Officer Marc Matsil welcomed the recipients and guests, and read the Governor's Historic Preservation Week proclamation.

Ron Emrich, newly appointed Executive Director of Preservation New Jersey, Inc., was the guest speaker the ceremony. Mr. Emrich was previously the principal of Urban Prospects, Inc., a historic preservation and resource development consulting firm in Dallas, Texas, his home town. Ron served as President of Preservation Texas and Executive Director of both the Grapevine Heritage Foundation and the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois prior to beginning Urban Prospects, Inc. Recently, Mr. Emrich developed cirriculum for graduate level historic preservation studies as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Community & Regional Planning, University of Texas at Arlington. His distinguished volunteer affiliations include the Board of Advisors of the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions, the Board of Directors of Preservation Action and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, among many others. Ron Emrichĺs long list of achievements includes numerous and varied awards and publications affirming his lifelong dedication to historic preservation.

 

Awards for outstanding "Contributions or Excellence" were presented to the following:


Grace Episcopal Church


Plainfield City, Union County.
Built in 1892, Grace Episcopal Church is a reminder of Plainfield's grander days. Like so many other medium sized cities in New Jersey, Plainfield was a quiet village until the arrival of the railroad in the 19th century. Its green setting and proximity to the urbanized areas of northern New Jersey and New York made it the logical destination for people of new wealth and those wishing to escape the comparative congestion of bigger cities.

The church, like the city itself, grew substantially over the next several decades with several large additions constructed through the 1950s. The church complex boasts many interconnected buildings and various spaces that contain meeting rooms, worship spaces, classrooms and an assembly hall. The built area makes for an enormous complex that stretches from one city block to another. A notable chruch feature is the seventh carillon installed in the United States.

The preservation of church buildings, as a resource type, poses serious challenges. Grace Episcopal Church represents a diverse community set in the heart of Plainfield. A major part of the mission of this church has been to assist the local community and provide outreach support. Because of pressing needs in the community, the church's resources were directed outward. Like most urban centers in New Jersey, Plainfield has experienced a drain on population and wealth in the years since 1950. The church has struggled to balance delivering services and programs with maintaining this very large complex of historic buildings.

The goal of this project was to take care of the immediate needs, or Phase 1, of the long-range preservation plan. Work included: the restoration of unstable masonry on the tower, chimneys, Seventh Street Narthex fašade elevation; the replacement of the roof at the Narthex with new standing seam metal to match the original; the repair/replacement of failing roof drainage systems on the roofs to be restored and the Transept roofs; structural repairs to the roof framing along the eaves; structural repairs to the Narthex floor; the restoration of the front door to the Narthex; and, the restoration of the wagon wheel stained glass window.

As with most preservation projects, surprise and flexibility are the norm, and Grace Church was no exception. Once the construction contract was awarded and the scaffolding installed, the architects found the entire top section of the tower in an unsafe and hazardous condition ready to collapse on top of the nave roof. All options were carefully considered and additional funds were raised for the project to proceed. Project success is credited to the collaboration of the project team.

Project Team: Congregation and Vestry of Grace Episcopal Church, Reverand Carolyn Eklund; Historic Building Architects (Annabelle Radcliffe-Trenner, Susan Natale and Maribel Beas), Project Architects; Femenella & Assoc., Inc., Stained Glass Conservator; Robert Silman Associates, Structural Engineer; Daedalus, Cost Estimato', Schtiller and Plevy, Contractor; and the NJ Historic Trust for project funding.

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Digging New Jersey's Past: Historical Archaeology in the Garden State


A 2003 historic preservation award was presented to Richard Veit and Rutgers University Press for Digging New Jersey's Past: Historical Archaeology in the Garden State. Author Richard Viet presents the nuts and bolts of archaeology in the Garden State by beginning with a basic summary of how archaeologists work:
How do they select a site for an archaeological dig? How do they excavate those sites? What happens to the artifacts and relics they unearth? He then then moves on to discuss the state's history, reveal the broad variety of archaeological sites that are found here, and provide advice on how interested individuals can become involved with archaeology in New Jersey.

Richard Veit is an assistant Professor of history and anthropology and a member of the graduate faculty in history in the Department of History and Anthropology at Monmouth University, since 1996. He also directs Monmouth University's Center for New Jersey History. In 1977, as a nine-year-old, he volunteered on an archaeological excavation in Westfield, New Jersey at the suggestion of his father, a history and geography teacher. That experience left a lasting impression. After completing his undergraduate education at Drew University, he began working in cultural resource management. In 1991 he received his M.A. in anthropology from the College of William and Mary. He completed his Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1997.

He has published widely in professional journals and recently served as guest editor for a special volume of the Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology titled Contact and Historic Period Archaeology in the Delaware Valley. He is an active member of a variety of professional organizations and serves as an officer of the Archaeological Society of New Jersey.

Robert L. Schuyler with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology notes in his forword for the book, "ůVeit takes a selective approach and weaves together the excitement of archaeological discovery with the stories these discoveries can tell us about key events and major topics in successive period of the state's history. Digging New Jersey's Past reflects the state of archaeological research in the region. Some topics have been well explored and reported, while others have yet to be approached by excavators. In providing this first synthesis, Veit both highlights the unfolding story and contribution of archaeology to New Jersey history and clearly shows that the mystery and excitement of discovery await us all."

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Peter Mott House
Restoration

Lawnside Borough, Camden County

Threatened with demolition by a developer planning to construct 20 homes, the Lawnside Historical Society was formed to rescue the Peter Mott House. They sucessfully convinced the developer to donate the house and surrounding land to the Society, and began formulating plans for its preservation and use in interpreting the history of Lawnside, the only African-American incorporated municipality.

The Town of Lawnside was originally called Free Haven, then changed its name to Lawnside in 1887 (when a rail station was built in the town). In the 1920s, with an African American mayor and councilmen, the New Jersey legislature established the town as an independent "Negro Borough" and Lawnside became the only African American incorporated municipality in New Jersey. Peter Mott lived in the house from its construction in 1845 to near the time of his death in 1881. Mott and his wife, Elizabeth Ann Thomas, provided assistance to runaway slaves. As a free Black farmer, he also served as the first Sunday School Superintendent at Snow Hill Church.

The Peter Mott house is associated with the history of resistance, individualism and achievement by Blacks and Whites in the abolition movement. The site will also be listed on the New Jersey Women's Heritage Trail for its association with Mrs. Jarena Lee, the first female preacher of Mount Pisgah A.M.E. Church.

Work on the Peter Mott House included lifting the house off of its foundation, rebuilding the foundation with new concrete footings, and building new masonry foundation walls with brick exterior to match the 19th century appearance. A modern patio and addition were demolished. The brick chimney was rebuilt. The original deteriorated fenestration and other exterior wood was restored. The outermost layer of asphalt and modern shingle siding was removed to allow restoration of the wood clapboard beneath. The original clapboards, where salvageable, were consolidated, painted, and reused. All the windows were restored and repaired, retaining the 19th century sashes and replacing altered sashes. The extant 19th century exterior doors were restored, with missing doors reconstructed to match surviving examples. Sills and frame were repaired or, where missing, re-built to match. The basement bulkhead was restored.

The second phase of work included modern amenities such as grading to accommodate accessibility, a bathroom and HVAC system, electrical upgrading, and interior restoration work.

Project Team: Lawnside Historical Society; Westfield Architects, Project Architects; Theodore Nickles Building and Construction, Phase I Contractor; Robert Frizell Builders, Phase II Contractor.

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Cape May Design Guidelines


Cape May City, Cape May County
Over its 25 year preservation history, the City of Cape May had amended its own ordinance so many times that the numerous amendments were creating great confusion and were negatively impacting the Historic Preservation Commission's effectiveness. The Governing Body created an advisory committee comprised of members from the historic preservation commission, planning board, zoning board and code enforcement office, as well as a liaison from the Governing Body with legal advice from attorney Michele Donato.

With their new ordinance in place in February 2000, Cape May applied to the Certified Local Government program to become eligible for a technical assistance grant. Once the grant was awarded, the committee and selected consultants spent countless hours pouring over materials and honing the language and images contained in the Design Standards.

Recognizing that a certain level of comfort must be reached with the implementation of new design standards, members of the governing body, planning board and zoning board were all active participants in the development of this document.

Cape May, although most would view it as the quintessential heritage tourism success story, was in fact beginning to suffer under the weight of its own popularity and inflexible guidelines. Tension between providing enhanced tourism and maintaining the true architectural ambiance and historical significance of a seaside resort often resulted in community conflict.

In making this award to the Cape May City Design Standards, genuine credit is given to a community effort that has resulted in a regulatory framework that everyone can benefit from. The guidelines are easy to read and understand. They are graphically interesting and supplemented by good quality photographs and packed with useful information. And they are comprehensive. Implementing these standards will return the work of the historic preservation commission to one of preserving historical character and not one of deciphering taste preference. This example will surely be adapted by many New Jersey towns who are struggling with similar issues.

Project Personnel: Watson & Henry Associates (Penny Watson and Leila Hamroun), Guidelines Preparation; Anne Feinstein, Graphic Design; Mayor, Jerome E. Inderwies and the Cape may Municipal Council; City Administrator Luciano Corea; and the Cape may Historic preservation Commission members Skip loughlin, Corbin Cogswell, Victor Benson, Philippa Campbell, Tom Carroll, Marianne Gaffney, Marianne Schatz, John Leo and James McBride.

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Restoration of the Range Finder Tower at Fort Mott State Park


Pennsville Township, Salem County
Fort Mott is a largely intact defensive fortification from the Endicott Period and part of a three-fort defense system designed for the Delaware River. While construction began at the fort in 1872, the majority of what exists today was built in 1896 when there were two years of rushed construction in preparation for the Spanish-American War. Using a combination of natural topography and man made changes, Fort Mott was built to protect the mouth of the Delaware and the important cities and industries to the north. In 1897, the fort was named after Major General Gersham Mott, a native of Burlington, with a notable Civil War Record. The Range finder Tower was built in 1902 when the technology was devised to increase the accuracy of the aiming techniques of the guns. One of two fire control towers at the fort, it consists of a central column of riveted steel over concrete that is surrounded by a square shaped network of steel skeletal supports. Surmounting this structure is a tin sided observation cabin with horizontal slit type windows on all four sides. The cabin in reached by a stair that winds up two of the sides to enter on the inland side. The Tower is an early example of the range finding technology that was devised at the turn of the century. It is one of the few, if not the only, tower from this era still standing in New Jersey.

In the Fall of 2001, the cabin was removed intact from the base and transported to a steel fabricating shop where the restoration was to occur, At the shop, restoration included repair and select replacement of the wood framing and wood decorative elements including vertical bead board finishes and plank floor. The roof ventilator and cabin door were restored, as were the original stair and handrail. The glass and metal skylight system and observation shutters were beyond repair and built new to match the original features as was the metal roof top finial which was replicated according to historic documentation including historic postcards.

The structural support system was fabricated in the shop to match the original. The restored cabin was re-erected in place. The center concrete column encased in riveted steel remained in place and was restored and painted following the paint analysis. A new wire mesh guard system was required by code on the exterior stair.

The project was completed in the summer of 2002 and is now open to visitors. It is the only tower from this era open to the public in New Jersey and tells an important story of the evolution of military construction and technology. In some respects, this is a very simple and discrete project. But the care and precision with which it was executed is exemplary. Having this resource once again available for the general public expands the Fort's interpretive potential. Understanding the complex strategy that is part of our coastal defense system is integral to fully appreciating the complexity of current military events.

Project Team: NJ DEP, Division of Parks & Forestry; Holt Morgan Russell Architects, Project Architects; Harrison-Hamnett, P.C., Structural Engineer; and Merrell & Garaguso, Inc., Masonry Restoration.

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Federal Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project


Camden City, Camden County
The Federal Street Bridge is one of the most significant spans in the state. Technologically it is a very early example of a patented design representing a milestone in the development of moveable bridges. The Federal Street Bridge was built in 1906, one year after Joseph Strauss invented (and five years before he patented) his design for a bascule bridge with a pivoting counterweight linkage. But its inner workings are only part of the reason this bridge is so significant. It is also significant for its architectural style and grace. It is the only documented example of its type in the region with an architecturally designed finish, which raises the bridge to national level significance. In an expression of the City Beautiful movement, the utilitarian aspects of the bridge are hidden behind a classically inspired concrete veneer as richly detailed as a public building of the period. That turn of the century investment in civic pride and beauty was echoed a century later when the bridge was successfully and sensitively rehabilitated by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT).

Consultation between the Federal Highway Administration, NJDOT and the Historic Preservation Office centered first upon what design features were important to the eligibility of the bridge and then on possible approaches for restoring and stabilizing the features deemed appropriate. One distinct feature of the bridge is its use of concrete as a stucco to achieve the intended design. At the time of the rehabilitation, the concrete was in serious condition, with many spalled and cracked areas. Previous attempts to correct this condition had actually worked to worsen it, by trapping excess moisture inside the concrete and increasing the rate of spalling. Innovative methods for restoring and coating the concrete were explored, and a new type of surface treatment was selected that is more "breathable."

Since the heavy counterweight is no longer necessary, it was removed and a lightweight replacement installed to reduce strain on the remaining structure. New light fixtures were installed to replace those missing and those badly deteriorated. All access to the towers had been removed at an earlier date, but the remaining trapdoor entrances were further sealed. Windows were replaced and the control rooms were cleaned up. The remaining machinery was retained, although it remains in-operable after exposure to the weather for many years.

The end result is the rehabilitation of a structure retaining the original character defining architectural features and incorporating modern materials to extend its lifespan.

The rehabilitation of the Federal Street Bridge was not mandated, but rather selectively chosen and carefully executed by sensitive stewards. This bridge will continue to reflect an age when the City of Camden's contribution to arts and industry were paramount in South Jersey.

Project Team: New Jersey Department of Transportation: Milind Kasbekar, Project Manager, Nick Caiazza, Environmental Supervisor, and David Mudge, Cultural Resource Manager; and Agate Construction Company, Inc., Contractor.

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Wyckoff-Garretson House Historic Structures Report


Franklin Township,
Somerset County

Owned by the Meadows Foundation, the Wyckoff-Garretson House is a rare intact example of Dutch anchorbent house framing from one of the primary areas of Dutch colonization in the New World. The house was constructed and occupied largely by only two Dutch American Families - the descendents of John Wyckoff, the original builder from Brooklyn, and those of Samuel Garretson, who purchased the Wyckoff farm in 1800. What remains today is essentially the house as it stood following Garretson's expansion in 1805.

It is the goal of the Meadows Foundation to establish the Wyckoff-Garretson House as a center for the interpretation of Dutch culture in in the Middlebush area of Somerset County. Since the house retains a great amount of 18th and early 19th century fabric, there is a signal opportunity for restoration of the building as a house museum and interpretive center. The mission of the museum will be to offer a restored Dutch farmhouse that presents a picture of life in Somerset County during its earliest agricultural period, from 1675 to 1850.

This project's innovation is derived by its comprehensive, team-oriented approach to the research, documentation and writing of the historic structures report. Each section was written and evaluated by team members before being issued. In so doing, the historical chronology was improved and refined during the entire process of drafting the study. This wonderful collaboration has produced a document that resulted in the discovery of a significant Dutch-American farm building that may now be added to the canon of American architectural history.

Digital technologies were utilized in the research, documentation and writing of the document. Dendrochronology was employed for the dating of framing members in the house. This resulted in astonishing information on the two episodes of construction, dating the second definitively at 1805 and the first as after 1730, probably late in the decade.

Collaboration between three architectural historians on the historical narrative to provide not only information on the builders and owners of the house, but on the material culture behind the construction of Dutch anchorbent frames.

Creation of a phased preservation plan for the restoration of the house as a museum will allow the Meadows Foundation to manage the complex restoration over a period of ten or more years, using funding as it becomes available. In addition, archaeological investigation of the larger site may be added to the interpretation as information becomes available to the owners and curators of the projected museum.

Project Personnel: Mark Alan Hewitt, AIA, Principal Investigator; Janet Foster, Acroterion, Conservetor; James B. Huffman, Engineer; Hunter Research, Archaeologists; Clifford W. Zink, Preservation Consultant; and Dr. Gordon Jacoby, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for Dendrochronology. The two volume document was funded by a grant from Somerset County Historic Preservation Grant Program.

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Restoration of Historic Walnford


Upper Freehold Township, Monmouth County

Walnford is a 36 acre mill village and country estate listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. Founded in 1734 around a grist mill, the site was purchased in 1772 by the prominent Philadelphia Quaker merchant Richard Waln, who named it Walnford. Five successive generations of the Waln family owned Walnford for 200 years. The site was donated to the county in 1979. Over the next 20 years, the County actively purchased additional lands to support interpretive goals and protect its historic settting.

Waln's Mill, built in 1873 on the foundations of an 1822 mill, closed its doors in 1917. Unlike most 19th century water-powered mills, the mill building was never converted to a new use and the mill machinery was never scavenged; the entire mill remained intact for a remarkable seventy years after ceasing operation. The late millwright Charles Howell called Waln's Mill "one of the best surviving examples of a complete millstone flour mill in the eastern U.S."

The silted-up condition of Crosswicks Creek no longer supplied sufficient power to operate the mill by the original water-powered Risdon turbine, and a new power source had to be sensitively integrated into the structure to drive the historic mill machinery. The solution was an electric motor that powers a chain driven hydraulic system that turns the main shaft at its base in the turbine pit. Other work included restoration of the dam, stone raceway and mill foundation walls, rebuilding of the bulkhead, drop logs, raceway bridge, and brick floor in the cellar, exterior restoration, and the addition of life-safety requirements for public use.

Built in 1773, the 5800 square foot Waln house is believed to be the largest pre-Revolutionary house in Monmouth County. A Historic Structures Report was prepared to establish the construction chronology and restoration basis for the house and, because of its solid research and recommendations, it also set the stage for the rest of the site restoration.

Exterior work included repairs to the heavy timber framing, with concentrated work on the roof framing, replacement of the slate, metal and wood shingle roofs; new copper gutters and leaders, restoration of the stone foundation, repair of wood sash windows, shutters, doors and exterior hardware and exterior painting, based on analysis.

Interior work included restoration of interior finishes to their 1915 appearance, restoration of the caretaker's wing to early 20th century appearance, rehabilitation of caretaker's interior to accommodate staff offices, new electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems and new fire detection and security systems.

The Carriage House and Cow Barn were completed in 1879 and 1880's respectively. Work included restoration and rebuilding of brick and stone foundations, replacement of wood shingle roofs and lead coated copper gutters and leaders, repair of heavy timber framing and clapboard siding, new wood plank floor in the carriage house and new concrete floor for the cow barn, restoration of wood sash windows, board and batten doors, hardware, and cupola with running stag weathervane, installation of fire detection system, security system, and lightning protection, and paint finishes based on paint analysis.

Seven farm outbuildings were included in the final building restoration project - the Wagon Barn, Corn Crib, Tool House, Pump House, smoke House, Tool Shed and Ice House. The scope of the work was largely preservation and repair.

Two archaeological field schools, conducted by cooperative agreement with Rutgers University, were held during the summers of 1992 and 1993. Informative interpretive panels have been sensitive integrated throughout the complex. Thanks to the effort of Monmouth County Park System, Walnford has been preserved as the centerpiece of the 1200 acre Crosswicks Creek Park.

Project Team: Monmouth County Park System: James J. Truncer, Director, Gail L. Hunton, Project Manager, Howard Wikoff, Assistant Superintendant of Parks, Stephen Mathews, Construction Inspector, and the master plan committee for Historic Walnford: Bruce Gollnick, David Compton, Spencer Wickham, Joseph V. Sardonia, Faith Hahn, Sarah Bent and Jeff Szalc. Funding was provided in part by the NJ Historic Trust and land acquisition was supported by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the Monmouth Conservation Foundation. Waln's Mill Restoration: Watson & Henry Associates, Project Architects; Hall Construction, Contractor; Jim Kricker, Rondout Woodworking, Mill Machinery Restoration; and Hunter Research, Archaeologists. Waln House Restoration: Watson & Henry Associates, Architects, and Dan-Za General Constractors, Contractor (Exterior Restoration); Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Architects and Arvid N. Myhre Building Construction (Interior Restoration); Dr. Rebecca Yamin, John Milner Associates, Archaeologist. Carriage House and Cow Barn Restoration: Marianna Thomas Architects, Arvid N. Myhre Building Construction, Contractor, Dr. Rebecca Yamin, John Milner Associates, Archaeologist. Outbuildings Restoration: Historic Building Architects, Bob Frizell Builders, Contractor, Dr. Rebecca Yamin, John Milner Associates, Archaeologist.

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New Milford French Huguenot Cemetery Preservation Project


New Milford Borough, Bergen County
Documenting and cleaning the New Milford French Huguenot Cemetery was taken on by the Girl Scout Troop 52 in New Milford to fulfill the requirements for the Silver Award Youth Historic Perservation or History. These young women wanted to take on a project that gave back to the community and specifically, to the Borough of New Milford. This particular project was a culmination of Troop 52's on-going commitment to involvement in the historical affairs within the Borough.

 

In order to publicize and spark interest in, and support for, New Milford's newly reformed Historical Commission, Troop members dressed in period colonial dresses (home sewn) and walked in the 2002 Memorial Day Parade for the New Milford Historical Preservation Commission; they held a garage sale with all the proceeds benefiting the New Milford Historic Preservation Commission and staffed petition tables in support of the "Gateway to Historic New Bridge Landing" enhancement project.

The Blauvelt-Demarest Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Bergen County. It contains the graves of the first French settlers here, among them, that of Marie Demarest who died in 1681. The women began their project with extensive historical research. An inventory was done between 1902-1908 and this document was used as the basis for the work. The women contacted the Bergen County Cultural and Historic Affairs office to obtain advice on how to clean, photograph and inventory headstones. They interviewed other local historians.

First, all the debris was cleaned up, including garbage, leaves and fallen branches; they removed vegetation that had overgrown headstones in one corner of the cemetery. Garbage bags and work gloves were donated by a local market.

Once cleaned, the scouts decided to work in groups of three, one to record the data, one to measure and read inscriptions and one to digitally photograph each headstone. The Scouts also learned to use mirrors and the sun to get the best possible picture of a headstone. In one instance, the young women were confronted with a preservation dilemma, where an old rotted tree had grown up through a headstone and was in danger of falling and possibly damaging either other headstones. The women debated what to do and worried that remains of the deceased, Mary Ada Ely, may have been incorporated into the tree and it should not be removed. Each Scout was required to work a minimum of 30 hours to qualify for the Girl Scout Silver Award.

The inventory and photos were placed in large binders and presented to the Borough of New Milford, the Blauvelt-Demarest Foundation, and the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.

The project sparked attention from local media. Visitors became so frequent that the Scouts put up a sign detailing the project. Word of mouth spread and many residents came to visit with their children, giving the Scouts the opportunity to explain New Milford's history to interested families and their role in preserving it. Most were fascinated by the connection between the deceased names and the place names still extant in the town.

Project Team: Members of Girl Scout Troop 52: Nicole Angus, Kathy Carter, Abba Dela Cruz, Heather Drew, Kate Drolshagen, Patty Duarte, Rachel Golden, Heather Oppelt, Jennifer Torpie, Kristen Zaccaria; and Troop Leaders: Lynne Torpie and Viola Carter.

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