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October 9, 2003

Contact: Amy Cradic
(609) 984-1795

DEP Commissioner Campbell Makes High Point Monument Restoration Top Priority:
Historic Structure to Reopen to the Public in 2004

(03/145) TRENTON --- Emphasizing the importance of preserving the state's great landmarks that contribute to the character of New Jersey's communities, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced that the $2 million interior restoration of High Point Monument will begin this winter. The monument will reopen to the public in 2004.

"The restoration of High Point Monument will ensure its continued place as a cherished New Jersey landmark that stands in tribute to American servicemen," said Commissioner Campbell. "We look forward to reopening the monument to New Jersey residents and tourists so that they can once again climb its towering height and enjoy the spectacular views."

The fourth restoration phase for the interior of the 220-foot structure will include the installation of a new spiral staircase, upgrading electrical and ventilation systems, and application of interior coatings to the walls of the monument. Restoration of the monument began in June 2000. The first three phases cost approximately $2 million and included the exterior restoration, interior scaffolding, and the electric and interior design plans.

Senator Robert E. Littell, who has been a strong advocate for this restoration project, was pleased the Commissioner appropriated the funding.

"High Point Monument symbolizes our state's commitment to the men and women of our armed forces," said Littell. "It has been tragic that due to infrastructure problems, this valuable monument has been closed to the public for so long. With this funding, interior restoration of the monument can continue. Repair work has been slow because, unfortunately, the tower was in even worse disrepair than anticipated. This money will achieve the goal of restoring the monument and allow for its use once again by the public."

In 2003, more than $3.5 million dollars in improvements have been completed at state historic sites, including exterior restorations at Twin Lights in Monmouth County, improvements to Ringwood and Skylands manors in Passaic County, the repainting of Barnegat Lighthouse in Ocean County, the renovation of the Proprietary House in Middlesex County, and the recent restoration of the general store in Allaire State Park's historic village, Monmouth County.

An additional $6 million is being invested in historic site improvements at Liberty State Park's Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, and $1.7 million for ongoing restoration efforts at the historic Rockingham House in Somerset County - one of New Jersey's key Revolutionary War landmarks.

High Point Monument is situated 1,803 feet above sea level - New Jersey's highest point of elevation. The monument is located within High Point State Park, which is listed on the New Jersey and National Register of Historic Places. Approximately 250,000 people visit the park each year.

The land for High Point State Park, donated by Colonel Anthony R. and Susie Dryden Kuser, was dedicated as a state park in 1923. The landscaping was designed by the Olmsted Brothers of Boston, a prominent landscape architectural firm of that time. The brothers were the sons of the eminent Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park

The monument was built through the generosity of the Kusers in honor of American servicemen. Construction was started in 1928 and completed in 1930. Climbing the stairs of the monument, visitors have a breathtaking view of the ridges of the Pocono Mountains toward the west, the Catskill Mountains to the north and the Wallkill River Valley in the southeast.



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