Local Sites Recommended For State Historic Preservation Grants

TRENTON- On Thursday, state officials announced that five preservation planning projects at historic sites in Union County and four in Middlesex County have been recommended for 2012 Historic Preservation Grants by the New Jersey Historic Trust. The recommended projects would receive a total of $378,455 in matching grant funding.

The New Jersey Historic Trust Board of Trustees approved the grant recommendations at its meeting on March 14. The recommended projects will now go before the Garden State Preservation Trust for ratification and then move on to the New Jersey Legislature for approval. The Union County projects include the Oswald J. Nitschke House in Kenilworth, Grace Episcopal Church in Plainfield, the Elizabeth and Gershom Frazee House in Scotch Plains, First Presbyterian Church of Springfield, and The Clearing in Summit. The Middlesex County projects include Livingston Avenue UCC in New Brunswick, First Reformed Church of New Brunswick, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Spotswood, and Barron Arts Center in Woodbridge.

“The Historic Trust’s continued support for the preservation of New Jersey’s heritage will help these Union County communities maintain their sense of place,” said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III. “These matching grants will go to projects that encourage local investment, create jobs, stimulate economic growth and attract tourism. As these projects show, New Jersey’s history is a great asset for attracting residents and businesses to participate in our state’s growth and development.”

Statewide, the New Jersey Historic Trust recommended 37 preservation planning projects. The recommended projects would receive a total of $1,393,084 million in matching grant funding.

Funding for the 2012 grant round is coming from the Garden State Preservation Trust Fund, which was created to preserve open space, farmland and historic sites with money raised through voter-approved bond referendums. The New Jersey Historic Trust, a DCA affiliate, administers the historic grants from the Trust Fund.

The 2012 grant round is devoted to Historic Sites Management Grants that support non-construction activities such as conditions assessments, engineering reports, construction documents, archaeology investigations, use feasibility studies and heritage tourism initiatives. Special initiatives this year highlighted projects that addressed planning for energy conservation or heritage tourism assessments.

“Every grant round is highly competitive,” said Historic Trust Executive Director Dorothy P. Guzzo. “The projects recommended for funding in Union County are exceptional in their design and will not only help save our state’s significant history, but contribute to its economy.”

When these recommended projects are approved by the Garden State Preservation Trust and the Legislature later this year, the Historic Trust will have awarded more than $149 million to 734 preservation projects since 1990.

Established in 1967, the New Jersey Historic Trust is the only nonprofit historic preservation organization in New Jersey created by state law. The Trust officially became a DCA affiliate in November 2002 in an effort to better realign the state’s smart growth initiatives with historic revitalization. Its mission is to advance historic preservation in New Jersey for the benefit of future generations through education, stewardship and financial investment programs that save our heritage and strengthen our communities.

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