Home & Garden

Preserving the Look of Madison Draws Big Turnout at Community Meeting

ca850d1fee971102ed5a_Madison_Historic_4-27-16_002.JPG
76e217f6d8e1d0be1e18_Madison_Historic_4-27-16_005.JPG
f91f2ceb9f808eef3a56_Madison_Historic_4-27-16_001.JPG
ca850d1fee971102ed5a_Madison_Historic_4-27-16_002.JPG

MADISON, NJ – Residents obviously care about the historic streetscape of Madison, judging by the crowd of 75 or more people at Wednesday's community forum in the borough’s Public Safety Building at the corner of Prospect Street and Kings Road.

Mayor Robert Conley introduced a panel of speakers from Mountain Lakes, Hoboken and other area towns to talk about the steps they have taken to maintain the character of their communities.

“We’re here to share ideas, to look at tools for preservation and recommendations,” Conley said. “This is the start of the process; it’s not finished.” Jeff Gertner, who serves on the Planning Board, said, “It’s truly exciting to see so many people who love Madison.”

Sign Up for E-News

The panel consisted of Doug Williams, Allan Kratz, Barton Ross, Tom Duggen and Tom Menard. Each speaker brought a different perspective, but all agreed that Planning and Zoning Boards needed to coordinate with Historic Preservation Commissions in developing ordinances and guidelines for streetscapes and tree canopies.

Katz discussed the need for community wide education, intergenerational connections and including carpenters, masons and other workers in the historic preservation of older homes.

Barton Ross showed slides of historic homes in Summit, Millburn, Plainfield and Montclair, demonstrating how some were preserved, moved, or incorporated into a buyer’s larger home. A 1908 small house in Short Hills was a gardener’s cottage on the estate belonging to the first president of Garden Clubs of America, he said. In another example, the town used bond money to purchase a corner lot that was turned into a rain garden. “That may become a draw for the town,” he said.

In Mountain Lakes, 14 historic homes were lost to demolition or fire. “People didn’t appreciate what was there,” another speaker said.

Following the presentation, Conley broke the crowd into discussion groups, asking them to address: How serious is historic preservation in Madison? What did you learn from the panel? What can work in Madison? And what are your top five recommendations?

Resident Johanna Habib said her group talked about flexibility in zoning and planning, with concessions to builders. They urged slowing down the process, addressing density and the impact on the streetscape.

Other suggestions included reviving the Historic Madison Tour, documentation of historic properties, looking at the Mountain Lakes website as a model, promoting historic issues on Rosenet and being willing to compromise.

Resident and former mayor Woody Kerkeslager said there should be more housing options for seniors and that he has been looking in Morris Township and Summit instead. “We’re not serving the seniors or young adults,” he said. Another person said, “We should have the ability for all different people to live here and make sense out of our housing stock.”

Mayor Conley said the next step would be to form a committee and to schedule more town hall meetings. He urged those who signed in to put a star by their name if they would be willing to serve.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Madison

F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA Students Sing, Dance and Laugh to the Music of Lovey Williams

April 16, 2018

Lovey Williams created joyful noise and music with the students of the F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA to kick off the Week of the Young Child that runs through Friday April 20. Students engaged in music by singing, dancing and playing instruments to their favorite songs at their annual Lovey Williams Concert. The Week of the Young Child celebrates early learning, ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 14

On this week’s AtlantiCast, an internationally recognized orthopedic oncologist takes a leadership role at Atlantic Health System, see the newest weapon in the fight against HPV-related cancers, Atlantic Health System leads the Castle Connolly / Inside Jersey Rankings, and much more!

 

Letter to the Editor: Don't Complain. Vote!

April 14, 2018

Don’t Complain; Vote!

It’s no secret that people have strong feelings about what’s happening in our country. It’s also true that much of politics is local. In November, 11th District residents will have the opportunity to choose a new congressional representative who will not only serve as a critical check on the federal level, but also determine how our distract fares ...