Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

Oswald J. Nitschke House

Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund
Historic Site Management Grant
Capital Preservation Grant, Level II
Capital Preservation Grant, Level I
Grant Award: $199,767 (2004); $150,000 (2010); $20,813 (2012)
Grant Recipient: Kenilworth Historical Society
County: Union
Municipality: Kenilworth

The Oswald Nitschke House was constructed in 1880 as a wood framed farmhouse. It was occupied by Nitschke, a German immigrant and three-term mayor who supported Kenilworth's incorporation in 1907. The building’s evolution shows the changes and immigrant influences during the development of the area. He and his family occupied the house until 1934 during which time the community experienced tremendous suburban development.

The house was eventually subdivided into apartments and was saved in 2003 when the Kenilworth Historical Society moved the building to prevent its demolition due to commercial development. The Historical Society is restoring the Nitschke House and transforming it into Kenilworth’s first “living history” museum and cultural arts center.

The 2012 Trust grant helped fund the development of construction documents for an elevator addition that makes all three floors of the house accessible for exhibits and programs. The 2010 grant helped fund repair and restoration of all basement and first floor rooms, as well as upgrades to life-safety requirements. The 2004 grant helped fund exterior restoration and the installation of basic utilities.

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