Statewide non-profit organization recognizes achievements in historic preservation

PATERSON, NJPreservation New Jersey (PNJ), along with the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office and Historic Sites Council celebrated individuals, organizations, and agencies that have made a major or sustained impact within the field of history and historic preservation in New Jersey at an awards ceremony on Thursday at Passaic County Community College's historic Hamilton Club during the 2018 New Jersey History and Historic Preservation Conference.

 "Every year, we are more and more impressed by the dedication and creativity of both the volunteer and professional preservation community in their efforts to save, restore, and promote NJ's historic resources," PNJ's Executive Director, Courtenay Mercer said. "We are privileged and honored to recognize these efforts through the annual NJ Historic Preservation Awards.

Photos from the NJ Historic Preservation Awards ceremony and opening reception of the  2018 New Jersey History and Historic Preservation Conference can be viewed at Flickr.
Detailed descriptions of the Leadership Awards can be found at  Preservation New Jersey 's  website. 

PNJ presented Leadership Awards to:
Armed Forces Heritage Museum
Photo credit: Lynch Exhibitors
Armed Forces Heritage Museum

The Armed Forces Heritage Museum (AFHM) received the New Preservation Initiatives Award recognizing organizations, individuals and agencies that have created new initiatives and new opportunities for preservation, education, and/or community engagement in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Military Mobile Museum project was born out of the AFHM mission to "Preserve, Honor, and Educate all on the history of the military in New Jersey and the surrounding areas." Through the donation of a mobile stage trailer that was being replaced by Ewing Township leadership, the AFHM was able to refurbish and retrofit the unit into a set of displays within its 32-foot-long exhibit area. The exhibit "stories" were developed by a dedicated team of AFHM members and brought to reality through the vision of Lynch Exhibitors in Burlington, New Jersey.
Photo Credit: City of Plainfield
City of Plainfield
Historic Preservation Commission

The City of Plainfield received the Historic Preservation Commission Award recognizing local historical commissions that have undertaken new initiatives, provided long-term quality work to their community, or successfully overcome recent obstacles. 

The Plainfield Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is one of the oldest active commissions in the state, having been enacted by ordinance in 1981 and continuously serving as a leader or "model" local commission in the state since. The HPC fosters civic pride in the accomplishments of Plainfield's past by promoting the use of historic districts for the educational, cultural, and recreational welfare of its residents, and helping to insure the harmonious and efficient growth of the City. Plainfield's HPC has participated in preservation legal issues involving federal statutes and county parks, enacted a robust design guidelines booklet (now translated into Spanish), and provided other technical assistance, including spearheading local surveys, National Register nominations and wood window workshops.
Photo credit: Princeton Battlefield Society
Princeton Battlefield Society

The Princeton Battlefield Society received the Visionary Stewardship Award recognizing organizations, individuals and agencies that have shown long-term and quality commitment to the use of a historic resource, and/or the field of historic preservation in general.

The Princeton Battlefield Society is a nonprofit organization managed by volunteers that was formed in 1971 with a broad mission of preserving, protecting, and promoting the Princeton Battlefield State Park and the heritage of the American Revolution's Battle of Princeton. Through the years, Princeton Battlefield Society has planned and organized on-site living history programs for families, historic educational programs, Park Clean-up Days, studies to reinforce the battle's significance and the site's cultural landscape, restoration efforts, and cooperative ventures to purchase adjoining historic properties.

Since 2003, the Princeton Battlefield Society has legally challenged the Institute for Advanced Study's (IAS) efforts to build faculty housing on land identified in a National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program grant-funded study to be Washington's Charge Site. In 2015, the Civil War Trust formed a partnership with the Princeton Battlefield Society in this preservation and protection effort, and assisted with national fundraising, marketing, and media initiatives. A compromise with IAS was won in 2017, and the acquisition of 15 critical acres to expand the park will occur soon.
Photo credit: Liberty Hall Museum
William "Bill" Schroh

William "Bill" Schroh, Jr. received the Visionary Stewardship Award recognizing organizations, individuals and agencies that have shown long-term and quality commitment to the use of a historic resource, and/or the field of historic preservation in general.

Bill Schroh, Jr. and the Liberty Hall Museum have been vital in upholding an outstanding partnership in helping build Heritage Tourism for Elizabeth and the State of New Jersey. Mr. Schroh has been a catalyst in building the historic segment for the City's tourism office by paving the way for a collaborative approach to museum visitation across multiple Elizabeth historic sites. He has made a significant public impact on the community by leveraging rich historic assets to drive visitation to the area that enhances tourism as a driving force of economic development.
Photo credit: Ralph Green
Camden High School PTO &
Matt Litt, Esq.

The Camden High School Parent Teacher Organization & Matthew R. Litt, Esq. received the Preservation Advocacy Award recognizing organizations, individuals and agencies that have shown great dedication to advocating for the preservation and/or restoration of an individual site.

Camden High School, known locally as "The Castle on the Hill" and constructed 1916-1918, is an imposing three-story Collegiate Gothic structure designed by Paul A. Davis III (1872-1948), one the most influential of the city's Beaux-Arts trained architects.  The New Jersey School Development Authority (NJSDA), the State's school construction arm, in 2016 announced plans to demolish the entire building, including the newly restored tower, to build four small academies on the site. In response, the Camden High School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) organized efforts to save the Castle on the Hill through grass-roots activism, public relations and fundraising campaigns, letters to the Governor, and coordinating an application for listing on the State Register of Historic Places (receiving a certificate of eligibility in January 2017). Unfortunately, efforts to save the Castle on the Hill failed; but, the tireless effort put forth by dedicated residents, alumni, students, and parents are worthy of acknowledgment. 
Photo credit: Archives of Fred Carl
Fred Carl

Fred Carl received the Sarah B. Fiske Legacy Award, which is a lifetime achievement award recognizing important and sustained contributions to the understanding and promotion of historic preservation and history in New Jersey.

Fred Carl has been a champion of Camp Evans since 1993, when its closing under base realignment and closure (BRAC) was announced. With the backing of Wall Township, Mr. Carl researched the creation of a science center, and presented The Marconi Reuse Plan in 1995. Mr. Carl built a consortium to preserve Camp Evans that incorporated in 1998 as a not-for-profit known as the InfoAge Science-History Center. With support from Wall Township and Monmouth County InfoAge, the InfoAge Science-History Center replaced the roofs, installed heat, and added air conditioning to five buildings. In addition, nine restrooms were restored to service. InfoAge repainted the exteriors of the WW2 and satellite era buildings, and the entire interiors of seven buildings. Mr. Carl and his fellow volunteers continue the work of restoration as they raise funds and establish educational science-history programs.
In addition, the NJ Historic Preservation Office & the historic Sites Council presented Project Awards to:
  • Battery Lewis Restoration - Atlantic Highlands, Monmouth County
  • East Point Lighthouse - Maurice River Township, Cumberland County
  • Hahne & Company Building - City of Newark, Essex County
  • Building 101 / Roebling Lofts - City of Trenton, Mercer County
  • A Gentleman's Pursuit: The Commodore's Greenhouse - Princeton, Mercer County
  • U.S. Route 206 Bridges Over Stony Brook - Princeton, Mercer County
  • Mauricetown Historic District National Register Nomination - Mauricetown (Commercial Township), Cumberland County
Contact NJ Department of Environmental press officer Caryn Shinske directly at (609) 984-1795 for more information about the Project Awards.
Founded in 1978, Preservation New Jersey is a nonprofit organization that helps homeowners, organizations, public officials, and citizen advocates working to preserve the historic neighborhoods and sites that are important to our communities. Preservation New Jersey produces the annual list of New Jersey's 10 Most Endangered Historic Places and other advocacy programs; provides educational workshops; publishes an interactive website; serves as a resource for technical assistance and general advice for the public; and addresses legislation and public policies that impact New Jersey's historic places and communities. 

Visit Preservation New Jersey's website at for more information regarding the organization and the NJ Historic Preservation Awards.
Preservation New Jersey is the proud recipient of an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.
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