Since 1995, Preservation New Jersey (PNJ) has been compiling annually its “10 Most Endangered Historic Places in New Jersey” list, spotlighting the state’s irreplaceable historic, architectural, cultural, and archaeological resources that are in imminent danger of being lost. PNJ’s upcoming 10 Most 25th Anniversary Gala celebrates this 25-year milestone and brings continued attention to the fragile existence of New Jersey’s historic resources.
The gala, which will be at Newark Symphony Hall on March 4, 2020 (6:30 pm – 8:30 pm), also will premiere PNJ’s new mini-documentary, “Saved or Lost Forever.”
The documentary tells the story of New Jersey’s places that have been part of significant events and periods in our state’s history, discusses their importance to our collective past, and the fights to rescue these historic properties from extinction. The documentary focuses on three sites recognized on PNJ’s “10 Most Endangered Historic Places” list – Camden High School, Romer Shoal Light, and the Van Wagenen/Apple Tree House.
Since 1978, Preservation New Jersey, New Jersey’s only statewide private membership-supported historic preservation organization, has been waging a grassroots campaign to raise awareness of New Jersey’s irreplaceable historic places that are in imminent danger of being lost. Preservation New Jersey launches communications and advocacy initiatives fueled by an unwavering commitment to eliminate the threat to New Jersey’s historic resources.
“This is far more than a battle to save a building or a track of land for nostalgic reasons. It is a fight related to the economic and cultural well-being of our state and all of its residents. We are enhancing the vitality and heritage of New Jersey’s diverse communities,” said Courtenay Mercer, Executive Director of Preservation NJ. “The video we are premiering is a piece of art starring the endangered properties that have no voice, but have moving stories to tell. Preservation NJ lends a voice to these properties that need to be rescued,” she said.
Ms. Mercer noted that Newark Symphony Hall – the location of the Preservation NJ gala – has its own compelling story to broadcast. Listed 25 years ago on Preservation NJ’s first 10 Most Endangered Historic Places, Newark Symphony Hall was facing an existential crisis when New Jersey Symphony Orchestra relocated to the NJ Performing Arts Center. Preservation NJ’s attention and advocacy enabled Newark Symphony Hall to live on (it is celebrating its 95th year) and to continue to fight for the needed capital improvements to return the facility to its former glory.
PNJ, a 501c3 non-profit, depends upon support from the public to fight the battle ensuring the future of the endangered historic treasures in the state. The 25th Anniversary Gala, Wednesday, March 4, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. will feature gourmet food, live music and camaraderie in one of Newark’s most elegant and historic halls.