Preservation Red Bank, a private-sector organization that works to allow old buildings to keep getting older, will hold its annual meeting this Sunday in one of the borough’s oldest a place that all but creaks with character.
For nonmembers, a peek inside the clubhouse is a “somewhat unusual” opportunity, says past Commodore William Comella.
The club is awaiting official word that the building has been placed on the state Register of Historic Places. Back in February, just as club members were enjoying the best ice in four years thanks to arctic weather, the club’s application went before the state Review Board for Historic Sites. Comella says the listing has been approved, but final notice of it hasn’t yet come through.
The review board meets tomorrow in Trenton, but the clubhouse isn’t on the agenda.
“I think the decision’s made, but there’s some kind of bureaucracy holding it up,” Comella says.
The club was formed in December, 1880, but as for the clubhouse, well, don’t be misled by some misinformation on the club’s own wesbite: the structure was not originally part of the Sea Bright Railroad Station.
Rather, says Comella, the structure may originally have been an outbuilding for the now-gone Union House hotel. Wherever it was originally, it was moved in 1883 to a site directly south of the Monmouth Boat Club, where it was used by the ice boaters on the Navesink (then, and until the 1930s, known as the North Shrewsbury River).
In 1923, three years after the ice boaters acquired land from a defunct coal company, the clubhouse building was moved a few hundred feet west to its present location, says Comella.
Assuming it gets included on both the state and national historic registers, the outlook for the clubhouse is positive, says Bowden.
“Aside from global warming, they have a great future,” he says.
According to a list maintained by the Department of Environmental Protection’s Historic Preservation Office, these assets are already on the state and national registers:
(now, the Count Basie Theatre)
99 Monmouth Street
Colonial Revival House
Maple Avenue and Irving Place
T. Thomas Fortune House
94 Drs. James Parker Boulevard
Monmouth Boat Club
31 Union Street
Navesink River Bridge
(North Jersey Coast Line railroad bridge)
Anthony Reckless Estate
(now the Woman’s Club of Red Bank)
164 Broad Street
Red Bank Middle School
Red Bank Passenger Railroad Station
Bridge Avenue and Monmouth Street
River Street School
River Street and Shrewsbury Avenue
The Riverside Prehistoric Site
(no location specified)
St. James Catholic School
9 Wall Street
Shrewsbury Township Hall
(also the former Red Bank Borough Hall, now home to the Children’s Cultural Center)
51 Monmouth Street
(part of the Bluffs condo complex)
41-43 East Front Street