Commissioner Campbell Makes High Point Monument Restoration
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
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
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
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.