DESCRIPTION: The Whyman House, located at 705 Newark Avenue in Elizabeth, is a fine example of a cubical Italianate villa. Constructed between 1860 and 1871, the wood-frame home consists of a nearly-square two-and-one-half-story main block with a low-pitched hipped roof and a two-story rear ell ... » Learn More about Whyman House
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2016 Ten Most Endangered Historic Sites in NJ
The 10 Most Endangered Historic Places program spotlights irreplaceable historic, architectural, cultural and archeological resources in New Jersey 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 historic resources statewide. The list, generated from nominations by the public, aims to attract new perspectives and ideas to sites in desperate need of creative solutions.
Several challenges face properties on this year’s endangered sites list, including neglect and deferred maintenance, threats incurred by redevelopment and new construction, stalled adaptive reuse proposals, and lack of State officials implementing adequate historic preservation funding despite voter approval to do just that. As the economy continues to improve, the impacts to historic properties and places are more imminent: the list shows the increase in development pressures resulting in threats of demolition of the historic resource and the need to balance preservation and development; the need to incorporate history and historic preservation in redevelopment plans for neighborhoods, towns and cities throughout the state; and the value of using preservation as a positive tool for revitalization.
As we acknowledge each year, selections to the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places list are based on the likelihood that historic buildings and places can be brought back to useful and productive life. PNJ proudly points to many properties previously listed among the 10 Most Endangered that have now been saved and preserved or rehabilitated, and have once again become character-defining assets to New Jersey’s communities. However, as we announce this year’s list, we reflect on the recent loss of the historic Duke estate mansion in Hillsborough, a story all too familiar in New Jersey. After receiving a New Jersey Historic Preservation Office award just last year for their planned adaptive reuse of a barn and renovation of a conservatory at Duke Farms, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation began demolition of the 67,000-square foot Duke mansion last month. While many other buildings and landscape features remain at Duke Farms, this great estate is now missing a fundamental and irreplaceable piece of its history. Although PNJ’s 10-Most Endangered Properties list is published once per year, the fight for the preservation of our historic and cultural resources is daily, and the story of the Duke estate mansion is evidence of such threats and the need to bring awareness and to develop creative solutions.
DESCRIPTION: Situated on a valuable 9-acre tract in densely developed Paramus, the threatened Van Dien-Ruffgarten house has for many years been mostly known to locals with the inaccurate label, the “Mud House”. In reality, this c. 1840s house is one of six remaining examples in the Borough of ... » Learn More about Van Dien-Ruffgarten House
DESCRIPTION: Preservation New Jersey applauds a recent developer’s proposed investment to revitalize downtown Flemington. This is a plan that is long overdue, has been stalled for many years, and has the potential to provide the type of mixed-use, 24/7 activity that will reestablish Flemington’s ... » Learn More about Union Hotel
DESCRIPTION: Seeing the rapid growth of Union County in the early-20th century and the impending threat of development on the available open space and the Rahway River, the key potable water source, the citizens fought for the creation of the Union County Parks Commission. Upon creation of the ... » Learn More about Rahway River Park
DESCRIPTION: In its most recent report on the nation’s infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) rated New Jersey a D+. The construction, repair, and maintenance of the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities of New Jersey are critically underfunded. With so ... » Learn More about Deteriorating Infrastructure on New Jersey
UPDATES: 7/20/2017: The Camden County Historical Society filed a lawsuit against the State of New Jersey for demolition of the Hugg-Harrison House. Related Article: Lawsuit: NJ tore down historic Bellmawr house 'intentionally' 4/27/2017: The NJDOT demolished the Hugg-Harrison House ... » Learn More about Hugg-Harrison-Glover House
Updates: 03/2019: The Borough of Metuchen signed a contract to purchase the Forum Theatre and plans to incorporate a rehabilitated theater into a new Metuchen Arts District that will include a restaurant and other spaces to enjoy the arts. DESCRIPTION: The Forum Theatre on Main Street in ... » Learn More about The Forum Theatre
DESCRIPTION: Salem, one of the earliest English settlements in the State of New Jersey, was founded in 1675 by Quaker John Fenwick. Agricultural, mercantile, and industrial enterprises fueled its development throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and into the first half of the ... » Learn More about East Broadway Historic District
Drive along Route 206 at the northern end of Hillsborough and you will see well into the distance carefully constructed stone walls. These low walls and stone castle turrets mark the boundaries and entrance to what once was the 2,740 acre Duke estate in Hillsborough. In the late-nineteenth century, ... » Learn More about Duke Estate Mansion
DESCRIPTION: The Dr. James Still Office is a one-story hip-roofed vernacular frame structure, eighteen feet wide by forty feet deep, constructed in 1836. "Doctor" James Still, born in 1812 to former slaves Levin and Charity Still, was a self-taught physician in the Medford, New Jersey area. He was ... » Learn More about Dr. James Still Office