Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

Cape May Historic District: Emlen Physick Estate and Carriage House

Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund
Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund
Capital Level II
Capital Level I
Historic Site Management
Grant Award: $97,651 (2000); $50,000 (2007); $30,600 (2009); $81,620 (2020); $47,370 (2021); $50,000 (2021); $38,763 (2021); $61,845 (2022)
Grant Recipient: Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (Cape May MAC)
County: Cape May
Municipality: Cape May City

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Built in 1879, the Emlen Physick house and its nine outbuildings comprise a rare surviving example of a late-nineteenth century country estate. The house is attributed to Frank Furness, a prominent Philadelphia architect who was named one of America's top ten architects by the American Institute of Architects. Saved from demolition in the 1970s by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts, it is the only historic house museum in the city and attracts more than 56,000 visitors every year. 

The 2022 grant will help fund final design and construction documents for a HVAC system. The 2021 grants helped fund an adaptive use and interpretation study; research and development of schematic designs and cost estimates for an HVAC system; and fire-blocking restoration, mold remediation in the 2nd floor toilet rooms, installation of insulation at the attic-level, restoration of basement-level doors, and the re-installation of wood storm windows. The 2020 Trust grant helped fund exterior rehabilitation, including roof repairs, of the eight outbuildings, plus repairs to masonry arch chimney supports in the basement of the main house. The 2009 Trust grant helped fund the preparation of construction drawings and specifications for the installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system for the museum. Previous Trust grants helped fund landscape restoration and the preparation of a detailed study and schematic plans for a new HVAC system to protect the house and its collection. 

The site has also received funding from three Cultural Trust grants. 

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