County Grant Boosts Push To Revitalize Edison Tower

The Edison Memorial Tower, circa 2003

EDISON—The continued efforts to revitalize the Edison Memorial Tower received a boost via a $375,000 grant from Middlesex County.

“We’re grateful to the Middlesex County Freeholders for standing with us in our commitment to revitalizing this jewel in our community,” said Mayor Jun Choi.

The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders awarded the $375,000 in Open Space Trust Funds. The county grant money will now be used as a match when applying for funds from the New Jersey Historic Trust Fund.

The Edison Memorial Tower Corp. – the non-profit organization spearheading restoration efforts – will also add $375,000 of privately raised funds to the matching grant application, thereby allowing the organization to apply for the maximum grant of $750,000.

If successful in receiving state funds, the county’s investment of $375,000 would be quadrupled and the Tower would have $1.5 million toward restoration efforts. This would supplement the $1.8 million in State funds already received by the township and allocated for the Edison Memorial Tower restoration.

“Thanks to the county’s support, the Edison Memorial Tower Corp. looks forward to restoring the Tower that both commemorates Thomas Alva Edison’s genius and serves as a community symbol,” said Nancy Zerbe, president of the non-profit organization.

After a 2007 fundraising campaign that exceeded goals, the Edison Memorial Tower Corp. unveiled its vision for the Tower and the surrounding 34-acre park in April. The conceptual plans include a new educational facility at Thomas Edison’s historic Menlo Park site. Some of these renderings can be seen at

As part of the non-profit’s mission of educating the public about Thomas Edison and his impact on modern research and development, the Edison Memorial Tower Corp. plans to develop a new facility that combines science, technology, and history. Thomas Edison’s globally historic achievements at Menlo Park will serve as the foundation of an interactive, inviting community science / technology center.

Menlo Park, located at 37 Christie Street within Edison State Park, is owned by the State of New Jersey, leased by Edison Township, and co-managed by the Township and Edison Memorial Tower Corp.

To date, more than $3 million has been raised for the site and more will be needed to have plans come to fruition. To donate call (732) 494-4194.

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