2012’s “10 Most Endangered Historic Places” in New Jersey Announced
Neglect. Limited viable reuse plans. Ownership challenges. Environmental concerns. Vandalism.
These are just some of the threats to the resources included on PNJ’s 2012 list of the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places in New Jersey. Each year, our 10 Most Endangered Historic Places program spotlights irreplaceable historic, architectural, cultural and archeological resources statewide that are in imminent danger of being lost. The act of listing these resources acknowledges their importance to the heritage of New Jersey and draws attention to the predicaments that endanger their survival and the survival of all historic resources throughout our state. The list aims to attract new perspectives and ideas to sites in desperate need of creative solutions.
This year’s list is diverse. From a fairy tale amusement park in need of it’s own happy ending in Hamburg, to a 19th century Salem County Insane Asylum ready for rehabilitation, to a Jersey City railroad resource falling apart in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, to a Somerset County inn that’s hosted over 300 years of history, as always, this year’s list aims to celebrate the vast expanse of significant heritage in the Garden State. Simultaneously, it aims to highlight the varied threats that jeopardize that heritage’s survival, and remind everyone that these same threats, and calls to action, exist in every community statewide.
Previous Most Endangered listees have seen continued or amplified threats in 2011 and 2012: Bergen County funding scheduled for stabilization work at the Hackensack Water Company has been redirected, vandalism and deterioration of resources in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area has increased and is not being addressed, and recent efforts to restore and interpret the Belcoville Post Office appear to again have been abandoned. Additionally, two previous listees have been lost gone forever: the majority of Cape May’s Beach Theatre has been demolished, as has all of Newark’s Polhemus House.
However, there’s also incredible progress: Clinton’s 18th century Vought House has been officially acquired by an advocacy group, Mercer County and the state are collaborating to stabilize and interpret Petty’s Run in Trenton, the Penns Grove High School is no longer scheduled for demolition, the McCloughan Mansion has been acquired for restoration. These success stories represent the possibilities that abound for New Jersey’s heritage. We hope that the 2012 list of New Jersey’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Places will serve as a catalyst for positive change and that creative, preservation-conscious solutions will be found for this year’s 10 Most, and many more resources statewide that need attention.
Join PNJ in working to save our state’s incredible historic places!