Lt. Governor Oliver Presents Battleship New Jersey with a $500,000 Preserve NJ Grant

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  • Posted on: 03/04/2021

Lt. Governor Oliver Presents Battleship New Jersey with a $500,000 Preserve NJ Grant

Trenton, NJ – Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver joined the Battleship New Jersey executive staff and state and local officials today to present a Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund Grant administered by the New Jersey Historic Trust (Trust), an affiliate of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The $500,000 Capital Preservation Level II Grant was awarded to the Home Port Alliance for the USS New Jersey, Inc. and will be used to continue to replace and restore the battleship’s historic teakwood deck.

“This is a very exciting day for the Trust and Battleship New Jersey who are once again teaming up to preserve one of the most treasured and widely visited historic places in New Jersey,” said Lt. Governor Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “This grant round is going to breath new life into the Battleship New Jersey’s ongoing preservation work as well as other heritage tourism sites throughout the state.” 

Last month, Governor Murphy signed a $11.7 million appropriations bill approving 50 Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund Grant recommendations that were made by the New Jersey Historic Trust in the fall. The 2021 fund is providing preservation planning, heritage tourism and capital projects to save and promote historic sites throughout the state. There are multiple categories and levels of grants awarded by the fund. The Battleship New Jersey received a Capital Preservation Level II Grant, which may be used for construction expenses related to the preservation, restoration, repair, and rehabilitation of historic property and professional fees necessary to prepare and complete the construction project. A full list of the projects and their descriptions can be found here

“The Battleship New Jersey fully understands how to create and enhance the visitor’s experience – the number of visitors received and types of experiences they offer not only attracts new visitors but also keeps them coming back. Their success serves as a model for everyone else and we’re thrilled this grant will continue to preserve this important historic site,” said New Jersey Historic Trust Executive Director Dorothy Guzzo.

The Battleship New Jersey, berthed less than five miles from the Philadelphia Naval Yard where it was built, is the only battleship museum in the state and one of the state’s most visited historic sites with over 80,000 annual visitors. Thirty percent of the work crew who built the ship were women, trained in welding among other trades.

“We are pleased the USS New Jersey is receiving the funding it needs to replace and refurbish its teak deck,” said Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez, Assemblyman William Spearman, and Assemblyman Bill Moen (all D-Camden, Gloucester). “Restoring this battleship ensures its continued role as a museum and memorial that not only benefits the people of Camden, as well as residents throughout New Jersey, but also teaches members of the public about the Navy and our state’s role in defending this nation. We must preserve our history so that future generations can learn from it and remember all those who played a part.”

“On behalf of the Battleship’s Board of Trustees, staff, and volunteers, we’d like to extend our sincere appreciation to Lt. Governor Oliver and the New Jersey Historic Trust for choosing the Battleship New Jersey to receive $500,000 in matching funds to help replace and refurbish over 14,000 sq. ft. of our historic teak deck. As the most decorated Battleship in the 245-year history of the United States Navy, grants like these will continue to allow the Battleship New Jersey to be a premier tourist attraction and museum and memorial for decades to come,” said Marshall Spevak, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Battleship New Jersey.

“Today’s announcement regarding the $500,000 grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust is wonderful news for the Battleship New Jersey, the Camden waterfront, and those who value an important part of our nation’s maritime history,” said Camden Mayor Frank Moran. “The battleship is a popular tourist attraction and maintenance is often required. The restoration of the ship’s historic teak deck will help to ensure continued public access. I commend Governor Phil Murphy, Lt. Governor and DCA Commissioner Sheila Oliver, Congressman Donald Norcross, the NJ 5th District Legislators, Camden County Commissioners, Battleship CEO Phil Rowan and all the partners who advocate for this iconic symbol to receive the funding necessary to preserve it for future generations.”

The scope of work for this grant calls for the replacement of the teakwood deck. Teak is an extremely expensive wood so the staff and carpenters have developed and implemented a creative and innovative method to cut down on the use of teak while retaining the historic integrity of the deck. A five-year capital initiative to replace the remaining deteriorated teak deck started in 2019 with the project cost totaling $2.8 million.

The Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund was established by legislation in 2016 after New Jersey voters approved a change to the state constitution to provide a stable source of funding for open space, farmland and historic preservation by dedicating funds from the corporate business tax. The Preserve New Jersey Fund continues the work of the Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund (2000-2012) and the Historic Preservation Bond Program (1990-1997). Since 1990, more than $156 million in matching grants has been awarded to worthy historic preservation construction and planning projects throughout the state. 

Created by the State Legislature, the New Jersey Historic Trust is a nonprofit historic preservation organization affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs. Governed by a 15-member board of trustees, the mission of the Trust is to advance historic preservation in New Jersey for the benefit of future generations through education, stewardship and financial investment programs that save our heritage and strengthen our communities. 

For more information on the New Jersey Historic Trust and its funding programs, visit:

For more information on the Battleship New Jersey, visit:

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Tammori Petty
Gina Trish
Lisa Ryan
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