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The Community of St. John Baptist – Convent & Retreat House

Year Listed:

2023

Status:
Endangered

Mendham, Morris County

Location:

82 W Main St, Mendham Township, NJ 07945, USA

The Community of St. John Baptist – Convent & Retreat House
About:

The Community of St. John Baptist is significant for its French Norman Chateau Revival style Convent and its association with the event of the establishment of an important religious order of self-sacrifice and public service. The Convent and Retreat House on site welcome over 2,000 people per year and has been a community charitable resource and nature preserve in Mendham since 1900. The Convent was designed by Burr Friedley and William Cordingley in 1916 to resemble a French Normandy monastic structure. It also included Arts and Crafts elements and sensibilities, formal gardens, and a cemetery. The Community has actively engaged in preservation of the site since 2005 through seeking grants and support by both the Morris County Historic Preservation Trust and NJ Historic Trust funding programs. Unfortunately, in 2018, the New Jersey Supreme Court  ruled to prohibit Morris County’s Historic Preservation Trust Fund program from funding historic buildings owned by religious organizations. The ruling has had a cascading impact on historic preservation programs statewide, putting many valued architectural resources and historic landmarks at risk. As such, the Community has lost fifty percent of their bricks-and-mortar funding that has been vital for their upkeep and preservation of the site. Preservation New Jersey continues to support the efforts to continue to fight for a valued and worthy historic preservation grant program criteria that benefits all residents of New Jersey.

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