This past December, the Cranford Historic Preservation Advisory Board (HPAB) completed an inventory of historical resources in Cranford, a 980-page report with descriptions, maps and supporting materials detailing many of the significant buildings and other assets throughout town. This is the first phase of a planned comprehensive survey, and it includes resources identified in studies done by various government and private organizations over the years. “Phase I Cranford Historic Resources Survey: Review of Existing Documentation, Baseline Inventory, and Survey Updates” includes an overview of Cranford’s history and development, a comprehensive review of existing cultural resources surveys, National Register listings and other documentation, current status updates for existing resources, and recommendations for future survey activity. HPAB member Kinney Clark, who compiled the inventory, noted that it follows the US Department of Interior guidelines and provides a valuable document for use by the Township. He stated that while HPAB has been working on a variety of identification and designation efforts over the last several years, this comprehensive approach to assessing historic resources in Cranford will help develop an objective basis for decision-making and help establish a community vision for how best to incorporate historic resources into the development of Cranford. He also said that a comprehensive historic resources document can also support design guidelines and style guides. Highlights of the Inventory were presented to the Township Committee, and copies were distributed to Township officials and committees. The Inventory is available to the public at the Cranford Library and at the Administrator’s Office in the Municipal Building. The Inventory was one of HPAB’s many accomplishments in 2016, furthering its mission of aiding in the preservation of Cranford's architectural heritage through documentation of significant structures, education of the public as to the value of preservation, and advice to the Township on laws and activities impacting preservation. HPAB is a Township Committee established by an Ordinance in 1993. HPAB also provided comments on Cranford’s historic resources for the Rahway River Flood Risk Management Project to the Army Corps of Engineers and to the State of NJ, and also met with a State representative about flood elevation guidelines. HPAB also commented to the Township Committee on various topics, especially the Master Plan and the demolition of the Trolley Building. HPAB’s “Cranford’s History and Architecture – A Journey Through Time” DVD continues to be available in several stores in downtown Cranford and online on the HPAB website, www.preservecranford.com, for $15. Copies of the DVD were donated to the Library and almost 100 people attended a free showing of the “History” at the Community Center in May. HPAB’s map of Cranford that is color-coded with the years houses were built continues to be popular and is available downtown and on the HPAB website. On November 2, HPAB was honored by the Chamber of Commerce with their Pride in Cranford Award. HPAB was cited for “commitment to safeguarding treasures of the past for the benefit of future generations”, particularly in saving the Flint Faience fireplace from the Roosevelt School, producing the “History” DVD, sponsoring an Ordinance to establish a procedure to designate historic sites and districts, and designating the Crane-Phillips House and the Droescher’s Mill as Cranford Historical Sites. For more information about Cranford history and HPAB activities, visit HPAB’s website (www.preservecranford.com) and HPAB’s Facebook page. Members of HPAB for 2016 were Vic Bary, Kinney Clark, Bill King, Michael Mason, Maureen McDougall, Pria McNeil (student member), Ron Meeks, Teresa Montani, Julie Murphy, Nancy Price, Stephen Price. Loretta Smith, and Maureen Strazdon (chair). Carolyn Youngs, a long-time, valued member of the Board, has moved out of the area and so resigned in August. Patrick Giblin served as Township Committee Liaison. HPAB meets every month on the fourth Thursday at the Community Center. All are invited to attend.
Cranford Historic Preservation Advisory Board Highlights 2016 Activities
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