RED BANK: PRESERVATION EFFORTS LAUDED

65 wallace 091515The home of Paul and Nancy Cagno, at the corner of Wallace and Mount streets, above, and the circa 1903 mansion that’s now the office of Smallwood Wealth Management, at 199 Broad Street, below, were among the four structures cited. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

199 broad 091515Three Broad Street buildings and a home in the historic district won kudos from the Red Bank Historic Preservation Commission at a ceremony Tuesday night.

Kicking off what members hope to become an annual series, the commission honored property owners in four categories for “adding to the value of Red Bank by adding to the character” of the town, in the words of Chairwoman Michaela Ferrigine.

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SANDY HOOK: GOT ANY IDEAS?

A committee is seeking proposals that might save three dozen structures at Fort Hancock. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By COLBY WILSON

With the future of 36 historic buildings in the Fort Hancock Historic Landmark District at Sandy Hook at stake, an advisory committee is asking the public for ideas for future uses of the properties.

The Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee, established by the Secretary of the Interior in 2012, met last Friday to discuss a Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) to assess the possibility of saving deteriorated buildings that overlook the Sandy Hook Bay in the Gateway National Recreation Area.

The RFEI, issued by the National Park Service, invites individuals, government agencies, for profit and not-for-profit organizations to submit ideas for the re-use of the buildings in ways that benefit the community, maintain the serenity of Sandy Hook and preserve its rich history.

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SHREWSBURY MANSION DATED TO THE 1840s

A backhoe begins demolition on the fire-ravaged house, above. Below. furniture salvaged by firefighters. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

In a matter of hours, a raging fire ended some 170 years of Shrewsbury history.

A Sycamore Avenue mansion that its owner said dates back to the 1840s was damaged beyond repair in a fast-moving blaze Monday afternoon. By 9 p.m., even as flames continued to burn in the attic, heavy equipment had begun tearing down the wood-frame structure, ripping open canary yellow clapboard and exposing walls with burned artwork hanging on them.

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WOMAN’S CLUB GETS SECRET SETTLEMENT

That little bit of decorative cornice that overhangs the Woman’s Club fire lane cost the Bank of America. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

What’s a couple of inches of historic airspace in downtown Red Bank worth?

Officials of the Woman’s Club of Red Bank aren’t saying, following an inadvertent encroachment on their historic Broad Street home by the new next-door neighbor, the Bank of America.

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PRESS: FAIR HAVEN LAND DEAL STALLED

fh-williams-house-061610The Charles Williams house, built in 1855, would be demolished to make way for a pocket park. (Click to enlarge)

A plan by Fair Haven to acquire a riverfront residential property for use as a passive park has gotten snagged in ownership questions, the Asbury Park Press reported Tuesday.

As a result of delays, funding for the proposed purchase of the one-acre parcel at the foot of DeNormandie Avenue is in danger of vanishing, Mayor Mike Halfacre tells the newspaper.

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PARKER HOUSE WINS REGISTER ENTRY

parker-homestead-2007The Parker homestead, seen here in 2007, dates back to (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Parker House, Little Silver’s oldest surviving homestead, has won addition to the state Register of Historic Places, Mayor Bob Neff tells redbankgreen.

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HISTORIC MIDDLETOWN HOUSE UP FOR SALE

nathaniel-smith-houseBuilt in Massachusetts in the early 1700s and relocated to Middletown in 1962, the former Nathaniel Smith House features exposed-rafter ceilings, as in the library, below. (Click to enlarge)

library

It took historic preservationist Mary Lou Strong more than a week to get back to redbankgreen after we called recently to inquire about her Middletown home going on the market.

She apologized for the delay, and said she simply wanted to be sure she could talk about it without crying.

It’s not just that the house – located on a tongue-tip of land bound by Navesink River Road and the anchorage to the Oceanic Bridge – is where Strong and her husband, George, raised three kids. Or that it’s filled with cherished antiques collected over a lifetime.

It’s that the house, built in Massachusetts before the United States was born, is itself the manifestation of the couple’s shared values when it comes to keeping history alive. And who knows if the next owner will want to bulldoze it into oblivion?

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LAWSUIT TO COST BOROUGH $125,000

51-monmouthThe former police station, with the Relief Engine Company firehouse attached at right, is on both state and national registers of historic places. (Click to enlarge)

Public comment on a proposed settlement of a long-simmering dispute over the former Red Bank police station was temporarily halted Wednesday night after a resident questioned whether the issue had been properly advertised.

But not before borough officials outlined the terms of the deal with the Community YMCA that will cost borough taxpayers $125,000 over five years — and not before residents began castigating it as a no-win deal for the town.

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OOPS: IT’S NOT HISTORIC — YET

80-efront-red-bankThe lot, at the corner of East Front and Washington Streets, has been vacant since a Victorian home was demolished in 2005. (Click to enlarge)

Last week, redbankgreen reported that a Monmouth County architect had met recently with historic preservation advocates in Red Bank about building a four-unit condo project on a vacant lot at the corner of East Front and Washington streets.

The meeting was a courtesy call of sorts. Brendan McHugh, a Manasquan-based architect working for an unidentified prospective buyer and developer of the site, sat down with members of the borough’s Historic Preservation Commission to give them a heads-up and get early feedback on the plan. He hadn’t, and still hasn’t, filed any formal proposal with the town.

The commission plays an advisory role in land use issues involving properties in the Washington Street Historic District, and the lot McHugh was targeting was in the zone.

Or so everyone at the meeting thought.

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