BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater Township will be getting some much-needed assistance with the historic Lane-Voorhees House.
Councilwoman Christine Henderson Rose said Somerset County will provide a $250,000 grant for the venerable structure that dates back to the Revolutionary War.
“It demonstrates a commitment to the property,” said Rose, who has long championed preserving the place where General George Washington reportedly visited. “It’s very wonderful news.”
According to Walter Lane, director of planning for Somerset County's Department of Public Works, the 2019 Somerset County Historic Preservation Grant Program grant for the Lane-Voorhees House is to cover repair and repainting of damaged brick, window replacement and replacement of the south exterior door and exterior trim at the windows and doors. It will also cover re-establishment of electrical power and wiring, and installation of a sump pump, lighting and new water and sewer service.
Additional stabilization work, including roof repair and replacement, is to be covered under a previous grant from Somerset County, plus allocations from Bridgewater Township.
According to Rose, the grant will continue to do the work to stabilize the house so plans for restoration can begin.
"When this work is done, the house will be 'buttoned up' and secure from any environmental or structural impacts," Rose said.
Bridgewater’s council had previously approved a pair of resolutions in April regarding grants to aid in saving the structure
, which is located at 551 Milltown Road and was formerly known as the Lane-Brokaw House.
The first of those resolutions authorized the execution of an agreement with the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders, to accept the 2016 Historic Preservation Grant for $85,660 for improvements to the Lane-Voorhees House, along with $85,660 as a matching amount from the township’s Open Space Trust Fund. The second April resolution authorized submission of a grant application to the Somerset County Cultural and Historic Preservation Grant Program for $271,510 to preserve “historically sensitive work” on the Lane-Voorhees House.
According to documents on the state website at nj.gov
, the Lane-Voorhees house is the only surviving element of a farmstead that was established in the mid-18th century, along the North Branch of the Raritan River. It is also an example of the Dutch Plantation construction style, and was listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places in February.
In September 2018, the county allocated $900,000 overall to its Historic Preservation Grant Program for 2018.
The Lane-Voorhees House has suffered from several problems in recent years, including a leaking roof that resulted in mold propagation, while repairs were also required of the structure’s foundation and its electrical systems.