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May 22, 2015

Contact: Bob Considine (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Caryn Shinske (609) 984-1795



(15/P47) TRENTON –To celebrate May as National Preservation Month in New Jersey, the Department of Environmental Protection’s Historic Preservation Office and the New Jersey Historic Sites Council have announced the recipients of the 25th Annual Historic Preservation Awards to honor projects and groups or persons dedicated to preserving the state’s history.

This year’s awards honors, among others, include a dynamic Historic Preservation Commission in Paterson, the preservation and rehabilitation of historic truss bridges in Hunterdon County and an old schoolhouse in Mahwah, and three brothers who focus on the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of sizeable historic buildings in Newark.

“This year’s award recipients have taken on the worthy cause of preserving the important links to our past, while ensuring that our state’s heritage and architectural works are sustained,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “Their efforts help preserve our state’s storied history and improve the quality of life for all residents of New Jersey.”

The awards, which were presented on May 14 at Monmouth Battlefield State Park, are made for significant contributions to the advancement of historic preservation; restorations, rehabilitations, and adaptive use plans of historic buildings and cultural landscapes; establishing innovative documentation of our historic resources which contribute to the knowledge of our past; and pioneering inventive efforts to preserve communities, buildings, archaeological sites, and other types of historic resources.

“These awards are our chance to honor the many individuals, organizations and corporations, and State, county and local governments who have worked hard to preserve New Jersey’s historic places,” said Dan Saunders, Administrator and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer.  “It is uplifting to see groups working to preserve New Jersey’s historic resources across the state.”

2015 Historic Preservation Award Winners
Historic Preservation Commission, Paterson, Passaic County
This dedicated volunteer body consists of seven regular and two alternate members whose mission is preserving Paterson’s historic resources in municipally-designated historic districts.  Their combined diverse qualifications and experience relate to historic architecture, building design, construction and materials, and history. 
Since 1988, the Commission has fostered an increase in public awareness of the importance of historic structures, preserved many properties, and fed recognition of assets of excellence and enduring quality. 

The Hanini Group, Newark, Essex County
Steeped in historic preservation and downtown and community revitalization, The Hanini Group – made up of brothers Amer, Samer and Thafer Hanini - is a Newark-based development and construction management firm working in their own backyard. Their investment in the City of Newark is particularly distinctive for the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of myriad neglected, abused and abandoned buildings. 

The Hanini Group works closely with the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office to maintain historic integrity of their projects with creativity and sensitivity, while offering stylish luxury, modern amenities and green designs.  Their most notable projects include the former National State Bank Building, which is soon to open as the Hotel Indigo, and Columbian Block at RockPlaza Lofts.

527 Mount Prospect, Newark, Essex County
Honored for its adaptive reuse of a significant historic home, the historic Wright-Clark House in Newark’s Forest Hill Historic District, has been transformed into seven units of high-quality, affordable rental housing.
The City of Newark recognized the value of saving this important historic asset and entered into an agreement with RPM Development Group to restore the Tudor-Revival inspired manor to its former glory. Much of the original material and framework was maintained, as well as original elements such as the windows, woodwork, decorative trim and the grand staircase. 

New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Headquarters at the Darlington Schoolhouse, Mahwah, Bergen County
The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and Mahwah Township purchased the former Darlington Schoolhouse it in 2007 to restore it and make it the Trail Conference’s headquarters. 
This unique example of 19th century architecture was restored and expanded in two phases for office space, an education facility, and visitors’ center.  The first phase included structural stabilization, exterior renovation, climate control and utilities. The second phase involved interior renovations of the original 4,400 sq. foot schoolhouse and construction of a 3,700 sq. foot addition. 

Duke Farms Vision Plan, Hillsborough, Somerset County
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Duke Farms Foundation have developed a plan for the transformation of Duke Farms, a magnificent 2,700-acre property created by James Buchanan Duke, a prominent industrial entrepreneur of the late 19th and early 20th-centuries and later cared for by his sole heir and daughter, Doris Duke. 

The first step of the plan is the adaptive reuse of a monumental farm building – the Farm Barn – as an orientation center and Foundation offices. The renovation will allow for important areas of existing stonework to be exposed in the public areas of the first floor.

Green design and ecological stewardship are also priorities, reflected in energy efficient lighting and solar tubes aiding in energy reduction, roof rainwater collected in cisterns and used for flushing toilets, and bio swales and rain gardens aiding in the removal of suspended solids from motor vehicle runoff to improve groundwater recharge, and reduce discharge in Duke’s Brook. 

The second step is the renovation of the grand, 1899 Lord & Burnham conservatory – the Orchid Range – that houses indoor orchid display gardens, and a native plant center. Both of these projects have likewise received LEED-platinum certification. 

Hunterdon County Division of Roads, Bridges, and Engineering
Hunterdon County is being honored for its commitment to the historic rehabilitation of county bridges.

With the restoration of Rosement-Raven Rock Road Bridge in Delaware Township, the single-span landmark of nearly 140 years has been preserved while retaining original wrought and cast iron materials where possible. The bridge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

The recently completed restoration of Stanton Station Road Bridge in Raritan and Readington Townships preserves the single-span bridge, while improving its structural deficiencies via sensitive structural repairs that did not alter the historic components of the bridge or its original design. The integrity and historic appearance of the 135-year old structure also remains after its restoration.

The Paramount at the Beacon, Jersey City, Hudson County
In 2014, the Paramount became the sixth of eight buildings in a mixed-use development called The Beacon, to be restored.

Originally built as a nurses’ dormitory within the former Jersey City Medical Center complex, the Paramount is now being reused as apartment housing. The building’s exterior and historic first two floors are protected by a historic preservation easement. The building combines Art Deco detailing consistent with many of the buildings in the complex with International Style planar surfaces. The building was rehabilitated using the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation.

Nomination Documents to the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places
Passaic County Court House, and the United States Custom House and Post Office
Paterson, Passaic County
Two distinctive landmarks in the heart of the City of Paterson have been nominated to the New Jersey and National Register of Historic Places.  These nomination documents represent the first step of ensuring the Passaic County Court House, built in 1904, and the United States Custom House and Post Office, built in 1899, retain their architectural and cultural integrity. 

The United States Custom House and Post Office is an excellent example of Flemish renaissance revival style architecture, and the Passaic County Court House was designed in the late Italian renaissance revival style. While they have seen renovations through the years, the State Register Nomination serves as a tool that both outlines and celebrates the physical features and historical qualities that make these buildings worthy of planning, preservation, and rehabilitation. 

Rehabilitation of the Screen House at the Red Mill Museum Village, Clinton, Hunterdon County
The Red Mill Museum Village, founded in 1963 as a non-profit, educational institution, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The Red Mill Museum Village and Eclectic Architecture, LLC formulated a plan to re-open the building to the public and to get the building’s mechanical components restarted. Rehabilitation of the mechanical equipment included the introduction of an electric motor connected to a keyed switch, which allows staff to operate the mechanics from the screen observation deck while supervising visitors.

Garry Wheeler Stone
Monmouth Battlefield State Park interpretive specialist Garry Wheeler Stone has been synonymous with the park for 25 years. Through his passion and knowledge of the Battle of Monmouth, Stone has spearheaded efforts to vastly improve the displays, landscape and structures of the park and interpretation of the battle. In 2014, Stone saw the fruition of his efforts in the form of the re-opening of a new visitor’s center with new exhibits which makes Monmouth Battlefield one of the top destinations within the State Park System.

For more information on the 2015 Historic Preservation Awards, visit:

MEDIA NOTE: Digital images of some preservation sites are available through the DEP Press Office.




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Last Updated: May 7, 2015