HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – The Hunterdon County Freeholder Board this month approved an agreement with the New Jersey Historic Trust for a $747,000 grant, which the County will match, for restoration and renovations to the Courthouse complex.
Plans call for stabilizing the structure, which is the site of the 1935 Lindbergh baby kidnapping trial and is a major tourist attraction in the County. The project will include exterior upgrades, safety improvements to the steps and handrails, roof repairs, protection from weather, and energy saving windows, among other improvements. All rehabilitation work must meet the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation.
“The Courthouse, located prominently and dominating Flemington’s Main Street, anchors the downtown business and historic district and is integral to the identity of Hunterdon County,” Freeholder John Lanza, liaison for the Cultural and Heritage Commission said.
The last restoration work took place during the period 2000-2004.
“State legislative action approving several bills funding historic, open space and farmland preservation earlier this year has paved the way for the County to gain the historic preservation grant, as well as funds from the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) and the Green Acres program,” Lanza said at a previous Freeholder meeting,
“The County has been in the forefront of qualifying for and obtaining these types of funds from the SADC and Green Acres over the years, and we will be looking to tap into those funds going forward to continue to preserve Hunterdon County’s rural character and scenic beauty,” Lanza said.
“Hunterdon County’s state Senators Kip Bateman and Mike Doherty, knowing the importance of this funding to Hunterdon County’s land preservation efforts, joined in sponsorship of the legislation. We thank them for their leadership on this issue,” Lanza said.
Senator Bateman said in a media release, “New Jerseyans have long supported open space and farmland preservation. In the most densely populated state in the nation, the public understands the need to protect undeveloped parcels and expanses of green fields. They have made their voices known at the polls where they have overwhelmingly favored the responsible acquisition of lands to sustain our State identity as the Garden State.”
“As has been noted in the past, any time Hunterdon County can access land preservation funds from additional sources, it allows the County’s Open Space Fund dollars to be spread that much further.,” Lanza said.