The Historic Preservation Office (HPO) has been actively involved in a variety of recovery, hazard mitigation, and resiliency initiatives since Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012. The storm caused unprecedented damage in New Jersey, including significant impacts to historic properties. Below are highlights of some of HPO’s major activities and resulting documentation, along with links to additional resources.
Emergency Supplemental Historic Preservation Fund Disaster Recovery Grant (HPF-DR)
HPO received an HPF-DR grant through the National Park Service to implement a program of rehabilitation, documentation and guidance. Rehabilitation subgrants were established to repair storm damaged historic properties, and technical assistance developed to update information about vulnerable cultural resources and provide guidance in planning for future storms. HPO’s Action Plan (PDF) and Action Plan Addendum (PDF) provide additional details about the programs implemented with HPF-DR funding. Highlights include:
- Sandy Disaster Relief Grants: These subgrants for historic properties damaged by the storm were administered by the New Jersey Historic Trust, which provided $8 Million to 36 recipients statewide. Projects ranged from window and roof repairs at Naval Air Station Wildwood Hangar #1 in Cape May County to floodproofing and backup power at the Hoboken Public Library in Hudson County.
- Cumberland Bayshore Historic Resources Survey: HPO staff conducted a cultural resources survey in the Bayshore region of Cumberland County, which is among the least well documented areas of New Jersey for cultural resources. Historic resources here are exposed to risks of flooding, future storms, and climate change. (Reporting available Spring 2020).
- Flood Mitigation Guidance: HPO contracted Preservation Design Partnership to develop guidance documents to assess flood mitigation options and shape elevation projects for historic properties. The companion reports were completed in 2019:
Housing and Urban Development Mitigation Funding (CDBG-DR)
The Department of Community Affairs implemented a wide variety of disaster recovery programs utilizing CDBG-DR funding. Assessment of impacts to historic resources through implementation of these programs resulted in a mitigation bank administered by HPO, which funded the following activities:
- Certified Local Government Subgrants:
- Cultural Resources Survey:
- Intensive-Level Historic Architectural Survey of the Ocean City Historic Districts, 2019:
- Intensive-Level Architectural Survey of the Hoboken Historic District, 2019:
- Phase I Archaeological and Geomorphological Investigations, Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area, 2019 (Contact HPO for availability)
- Scanning HPO Collections: During 2019 Department of Treasury began scanning cultural resource reports in HPO’s collection, which totals over 12,000 volumes. About half has been previously digitized. The current effort will complete this conversion and initiate exploration of opportunities to open the digitized collection to online research.
NJ Cultural Alliance for Response
The New Jersey Cultural Alliance for Response (NJCAR) empowers New Jersey’s cultural communities to preserve their valuable assets and sustain operations before, during, and after disasters strike. This Alliance is comprised of a network of organizations, associations, agencies, and individuals dedicated to safeguarding the State’s cultural heritage. NJCAR is affiliated with the national group — Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works’ Alliance for Response. HPO was a founding member and has been active in developing a Cultural Asset Mapping Project to digitize cultural facility locations.
Click here to learn more about NJCAR.
Additional Resources for Disaster Recovery, Flood Mitigation, and Climate Resilience
The information below is provided for your use in planning for and responding to for cultural resources impacted by disaster.
Elevation of Historic Properties
National Flood Insurance Program
The National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP):
National Park Service (NPS):
National Center for Preservation Technology and Training NCPTT):