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Help the NJ Historic Trust Survey Historic Places in Need

February 11, 2012

The New Jersey Historic Trust(NJHT) is the most significant source of publicly-available state-level funding for

The James and Ann Whithall House, within Red Bank Battlefield Park in Gloucester County- just one of the thousands of NJ's historic places that have benefited from NJHT grant funds.

historic preservation in the Garden State. The importance of documenting NJ’s vast preservation funding needs cannot be understated in the continued fight to sustain NJHT funds.

To answer to this, NJHT has just launched a new Capital Needs Survey aimed at collecting comprehensive information on the repair, restoration and improvement needs of historic places throughout the state- and everyone should participate!

“The Historic Trust recognizes that even our state’s most notable and celebrated historic sites and attractions have significant needs for repairs and improvements, all of which will ultimately serve the public better,” said Acting NJ Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable. “This survey will help the Trust identify those specific needs and begin to quantify the costs associated with making these historic buildings relevant and useful in their communities.”

The survey, which will remain open for input until May 1, relies on public participation. Anyone aware of a resource that could benefit from NJHT‘s capital improvement funding is encouraged to visit the online survey site to get that need documented. Buildings eligible for inclusion are 50 years of age or older, and owned by non-profits and public entities (because of the structure of NJHT grants, privately-owned resources are unfortunately not eligible for survey). Resources do not need to be New Jersey or National Register-listed in order to be included, and you do not have to own or lease a resource in order to submit information on it to the survey.

The survey asks questions about a building’s use, repair needs, projected repair costs, and, if appropriate, its participation in heritage tourism development.

This is the second such Capital Needs Survey in the State of New Jersey. The first, in 1990, identified capital needs of more than $400 million. The results of that survey helped garner public support for four historic preservation bond referendums in the 1990s, and sustain historic preservation funding from the Garden Sate Preservation Trust from 2000 to 2010. This new survey is extremely timely- as current funding, generated by a 2009 two-year bond act, runs dry, the need numbers documented herein will be particularly important to the historic preservation community’s success in lobbying for renewed funding this year.

Upon completion of the survey, the data will be analyzed and the capital needs of the state’s historic properties will be tallied and published by the end of 2012. NJHT will use the information to prioritize and/or revise criteria for its program, as well as to alert the community to begin thinking about their future stewardship needs.

We all know the immense needs of historic resources in New Jersey- let’s get them documented! Visit the survey site: http://fs19.formsite.com/NJHT/CapitalNeedsSurvey/index.html

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