$2-MILLION RESTORATION PLANNED
FOR HISTORIC BATSTO MANSION
(06/61) TRENTON - Demonstrating commitment to preserving New Jersey’s
history, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa
P. Jackson today announced the DEP will invest $2 million in capital
funding to begin a long-delayed restoration at Batsto Mansion,
the centerpiece of a former iron works and glassmaking village
nestled in the Pine Barrens.
Part of the 2007 state budget Governor Jon S. Corzine signed in
July, the capital-funds appropriation will pay for major repairs
and improvements of the mansion’s interior and exterior,
including the foundation, roofs and chimneys.
“Governor Corzine’s leadership has given us a good
start toward rectifying years of neglect at Batsto Mansion,” Commissioner
Jackson said. “Unfortunately, the mansion is just one of
many New Jersey treasures now in desperate need of care because
the state lacks a reliable source of funding for maintenance and
capital-improvement projects. Come November, voters will have a
chance to change that.”
On Nov. 7, New Jersey voters will be asked to consider a constitutional
amendment that would provide a dedicated source of funding - $15
million a year until 2015 and $32 million annually beginning in
2016 - for maintenance and capital improvements at historic sites,
state parks and wildlife areas. Without requiring any new taxes,
Public Question 2 would allow revenues already generated through
the Corporate Business Tax Fund to be used for maintenance and
Voters' approval of Public Question 2 would guarantee a stable
source of state funding every year for maintenance and capital
improvements at New Jersey’s parks, historic sites and wildlife
areas. If voters reject the ballot proposal, these projects will
receive minimal or no state funding annually.
Situated in the heart of Batsto Village, the 32-room, wood-frame
mansion dates to the late 18th century and housed generations of
ironmasters. Soon after Philadelphia businessman Joseph Wharton
purchased it in 1876, the mansion was expanded and remodeled in
the elegant and then-popular Italianate style of architecture.
One of its most striking features is a square, four-story tower.
Fourteen rooms, including the parlors, dining room, library and
bedrooms, are currently open to the public for tours.
Restoration work, set to begin in the spring of next year will
include repointing of the brick chimneys, cleaning and repair of
the wood-shingle roof as well as removal and replacement of metal
roofs over the mansion’s tower and main porch. Sections of
wood clapboard siding will be removed and replaced; exterior trim,
windows and shutters will be repaired, and the entire mansion will
get a fresh coat of paint.
The project also features restoration of interior finishes including
walls, ceilings, wainscot, trim, windows, doors and wood floors.
Also, a new geothermal heating and air-conditioning system with
humidity control will be installed to protect historic elements
Batsto Village, a bog iron and glassmaking center from 1766 to
1867, comprises 33 historic structures, including a gristmill,
sawmill, general store, post office and workers’ dwellings
and Batsto Mansion.
Listed on both the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic
Places, the village is located within Wharton State Forest, which
spans Atlantic, Burlington and Camden counties and is the largest
single tract of land within the state’s park system. Wharton
State Forest boasts a wealth of recreational opportunities, including
hiking, canoeing in its rivers and streams, cycling, horseback
riding and watching wildlife.
To learn more about Public Question 2, visit www.njsos.org.