Grant Group has Good News/Bad News for Roxbury History Fans

The former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad train station in Landing Credits: Morris County
The King House museum in Ledgewood

ROXBURY, NJ – The installation of a historically accurate roof on the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad station in Landing will get underway this fall if the county freeholders go along with a funding recommendation announced today.

The county Historic Preservation Trust Fund Review Board included more than $200,000 toward the roof replacement in its list of $2.7 million worth of grants it recommended. The 105-year-old train station was one of 32 historic sites that had grant applications given a thumbs-up by the advisory board.

But it was a good news/bad news day for Roxbury’s history buffs. The same panel recommended that no money be awarded for the proposed repair and replacement of windows and doors at the King Homestead Museum in Ledgewood.

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“That’s very disappointing,” said Roxbury Historic Trust President Mirriam Morris. “We’ve been consistently getting funding for a number of years now, so that’s particularly disappointing.”

The organization sought $91,518 for the King Homestead work. Morris said all, or nearly all, of the building’s windows need “some sort of restoration and repair” particularly those in the 135-year-old structure. “The sash-cords are gone and some of the glass is cracked,” she said. “The exterior doors are in poor condition.”

The $215,571 recommended to go to the Lake Hopatcong Foundation for the station roof job is about $83,000 less than the amount sought by the group. The review board also turned a cold shoulder to the Foundation’s request for an $18,000 grant to pay for construction documents.

Nevertheless, Lake Hopatcong Foundation President Marty Kane was pleased about the panel’s decision. “That’ll work,” he said. “It’s good news. It’s very good news. It assures we will be able to start the roof on October 1 as we wanted.”

Kane said the Foundation will be able to “fill-in” through local fundraising the rest of the money it needs.

The Foundation plans to install an authentic glazed green tile roof on the station as part of its ongoing rehabilitation of the landmark. When the $1 million project is finished, the Foundation will make the building its headquarters and a community center.

"What this really means is we will do that roof in the fall," said Kane. "It should take four to six weeks. It's going to knock you out when you come around that corner and see that green roof."

The freeholders were briefed on the projects today and will make a decision on the grants at their July 13 meeting, according to a statement released by the county. The grant money comes from the county’s Open Space, Farmland, Floodplain Protection and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

“These taxpayer-approved preservation funds will help finance the important task of preserving and sustaining our county’s heritage, to restore and protect important links to our past,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo in the statement.

The county said grant awards are given to projects that “offer significant contributions to the advancement of historic preservation; restorations, rehabilitations, and adaptive use plans of historic buildings and cultural landscapes.”

Additionally, the board grants money to projects that “establish 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,” said the statement.

Historic Preservation Trust Fund Review Board Chairman Art Palumbo said the panel “conducted detailed reviews of all the projects, including site visits. He said decisions were made “after lengthy debate and discussion by the entire board.”

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