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PNJ, advocacy groups ramp up preservation efforts for 5 endangered landmarks

March 25, 2010

Participants gathered to discuss shared goals and opportunities for their advocacy efforts.

Five of New Jersey’s threatened nationally significant historic places will get an infusion of renewed attention and advocacy, following a meeting today of organizations fighting to preserve and find viable new uses for these sites.  All have been previously listed in PNJ’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites.

The five nationally significant historic landmarks are Fort Hancock at Sandy Hook (Middletown Township, 10 Most Endangered listed in 1995), Greystone Park State Psychiatric Hospital (Parsippany Township, listed in 2003), Bell Labs (Holmdel, listed in 2007), the Pennsylvania Railroad Harsimus Stem Embankment (Jersey City, listed in 2006), and Hinchliffe Stadium (Paterson, listed in 1997).   Representatives of PNJ;  the Coalition to Save Bell Labs; the Embankment Preservation Coalition; Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium; Preserve Greystone and the Sandy Hook Foundation gathered today at Centennial Hall of the Newark Public Library to review the present status of the sites, plan strategies and combine forces to advance preservation solutions for these irreplaceable historic places.

Ft. Hancock's Officer's Row, Sandy Hook

The newly energized collaboration among the five local groups and Preservation New Jersey promises to help advance successful, sustainable preservation solutions for some of New Jersey’s most significant – and still most threatened – historic places.  Stephen Gucciardo, from the Embankment Preservation Coalition, summed up the reactions of the 25 participants when he described how collaboration among preservation groups can be effective, “When one of us wins, we all win.”

Eeero Saarinen's Bell Labs, Holmdel

The Preservation New Jersey 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites program aims to attract new perspectives and ideas to sites in need of creative solutions.  Participants pointed to the opportunities that these important endangered sites present for sustainable economic development that protects some of the most important environmental and historic resources with which New Jersey, the most densely populated state, is richly blessed.

“Bringing together the leadership of the active organizations working to preserve these five landmarks previously named among New Jersey’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites is a new approach to building stronger collaborations through the 10 Most Endangered program,” according to PNJ President the Hon. Mary Anna Holden, who is also Mayor of Madison, NJ.

PNJ pointed to many historic places previously listed among the 10 Most Endangered Sites that have subsequently been saved, preserved and brought new life.  In addition, the groups reviewed the successes of efforts to preserve and re-purpose similar historic sites nationwide.  Historic Ft. Baker on San Francisco Bay, now the popular National Park Service owned and privately managed Cavallo Point Lodge at the Golden Gate, was among the preservation successes highlighted, along with the High Line in New York City, a historic railroad structure similar to Jersey City’s Harsimus Stem Embankment that has found new life as a popular linear park.

Press coverage here

To be a part of PNJ’s collaborative efforts to preserve these and many more places that matter, join online here>>.

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