Union County announces 2021 ‘Preserve Union County’ Historic Preservation Grant awardees

UNION COUNTY, NJ — The Union County Board of County Commissioners announced that 10 historic preservation projects in eight different municipalities will receive grant money in 2021 as part of the Preserve Union County program, administered by the Union County Open Space, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

“Funding from Preserve Union County helps our local historic sites undertake needed renovations and improve public access, providing residents and visitors with new insights into our heritage,” said commissioner board Chairperson Alexander Mirabella.

“These sites contribute to civic pride and community spirit, while providing us with a more complete understanding of the lives of our forebears. They inspire us to create a legacy of our own for the next generation, and the commissioner board is proud to support the efforts of local preservationists,” said Commissioner Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded, who is chairperson of the commissioner board’s Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

The Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund was established by popular referendum in 2000. It has provided the commissioner board with the ability to preserve more than 315 acres of land throughout Union County. In addition to acquisition of land, creation of parkland and updating of recreational facilities throughout the county, the grant programs of the trust fund provide an avenue for municipalities to focus on their hometown recreational priorities, increase tree plantings, and stabilize and restore historic sites.

The following municipalities received grants from the 2021 round of the Preserve Union County program:

• Berkeley Heights received $20,000 to make the Littel–Lord Farmstead watertight by addressing the foundation, sagging floors, exterior walls and broken windows.

• Cranford received $2,500 for the installation of central air-conditioning and a new wall heater in the Hanson House.

• Elizabeth received $70,000 for the installation of a monument at Siloam Hope First Presbyterian Church and Old First Cemetery, and to coordinate the inclusion of a proposed museum as a destination/tour site.

• Fanwood received $55,000 for replacement and repairs of the existing roof at the Fanwood Carriage House.

• Kenilworth received $16,000 to reinstall screen doors and windows at the Oswald J. Nitschke House.

• Plainfield received $31,230 in total — $14,940 to restore and repair the north porch steps and adjacent walkway of the Plainfield Performing Arts Center, and $16,290 to enhance the facade of the duCret School of Art and replace wooden windows.

• Rahway received $30,000 to complete the final phase of a four-phase exterior restoration of the Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum building.

• Scotch Plains received $75,000 in total — $35,000 to match a New Jersey Historic Trust grant to restore the two fireplaces, interior walls, stairway and floors on the first-floor interior of the Frazee House and $40,000 for ballroom floor replacement, basement step enclosure, mold remediation and the purchase of dehumidifiers for the Shady Rest clubhouse.