Green

Hillsborough Activists File Brief in Superior Court Seeking to Delay Demolition of Doris Duke Estate

ff4f073ad2222ba1e783_hillspixdorisdukeestate2a.jpg
Built in 1893, the Doris Duke estate is slated for demolition. Credits: Courtesy Duke Farms Foundation
ff4f073ad2222ba1e783_hillspixdorisdukeestate2a.jpg

HILLSBOROUGH - In a last ditch effort to prevent the demolition of the Doris Duke estate, activist attorney David Brooks has filed a 40-page brief in Superior Court on behalf of a grassroots organization that seeks a judicial review of the proceedings held by the township’s Historical Preservation Committee that began in July.

The brief, filed on behalf of DORIS (Demolition of Residence is Senseless), may be moot, as Brooks is fearful the demolition permit sought by the Duke Farms Foundation will be issued shortly. He does not expect the court will hold a hearing for several weeks.

No demolition permit has been issued, according to Mayor Doug Tomson. The Duke Farms Foundation did apply for, and did receive a permit to begin salvage of plumbing fixtures, doors, windows and railings from the sprawling 65,000 square-foot mansion, once home to the world’s wealthiest woman, who inherited a massive fortune from her industrialist father James Buchanan Duke.

Sign Up for E-News

“Demolition is demolition, whether it’s from the outside in or the inside out,” said Brooks, a township resident and co-founder of DORIS.

The township’s Historical Preservation Commission approved demolition of the mansion in October last year by a 6-1 vote following a series of hearings that began in July.

The legal brief is the latest in a series of filings submitted by Brooks on behalf of DORIS.

“We’re trying to address a number of issues that we’re focused on, and hopefully, the court will listen,” Brooks said. “The brief relates to how we got to where we are with the town and how the process unfolded,” he added.

The estate, built in 1893 has been unoccupied since Doris Duke’s death in 1993, and according to the foundation, would be too costly to renovate.

DORIS contends the mansion, which was remodeled and expanded several times by Doris Duke has major historical significance and should not be razed.

The 2,700-acres that surround the estate are maintained and managed by the Duke Farms Foundation with frontage along Route 206 south. There are expansive grasslands and heavily wooded areas, with several species of plants and animals..

By design, it has slowly evolved into a popular environmental learning center and ecological preserve with bike paths and guided tours of the grounds.

Many of the ornamental gardens created with plants imported from around the world by the heiress, as well as a vast waterway system and other changes made to the natural plantings and topography have been re-mediated so that the property could return to a more natural state.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Somerville

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_09c0665ea9d03afcd34d_spb-4923_newsletter_may_22

Tue, May 22, 6:30 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Sugar Land Skeeters ...

Sports

Carousel_image_8665906ab5be45abb262_spb-4923_newsletter_may_23

Wed, May 23, 6:30 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Sugar Land Skeeters ...

Sports

Carousel_image_63321ee14331a27d512a_spb-4923_newsletter_may_24

Thu, May 24, 11:00 AM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Sugar Land Skeeters ...

Sports

Hillsborough Teen Prevails in Chess Match Against Somerset Freeholder Levine

May 16, 2018

ROCKY HILL, NJ – Somerset County Freeholder Brian Levine had his hands full as he matched wits with 10 young chess players in a simultaneous tournament at the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library.May 14.

Levine’s opponents, ages 6-18, proved to be a tough match, with 7-year-old Grace Liang stumping Levine several times before he prevailed.

Some matches took as long as three ...

Valairco Heating and Cooling Celebrates 50 Years of Service; Dedicated to Keeping Your Family Comfortable

May 9, 2018

MANVILLE, NJ - Valairco Heating and Cooling is celebrating 50 years of serving the central New Jersey area and beyond. Kevin McHugh, owner and third generation of this family run business, takes pride in a job well done and Valairco’s commitment to providing the best value around through stellar workmanship, industry leading warranties, and affordable prices and maintenance ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...