CALDWELL, NJ — An exciting and informative program entitled “Your Old House: Historic Preservation in Caldwell” is coming to the Caldwell Public Library on Saturday, June 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., presented by the Borough of Caldwell Historic Preservation Commission as part of Historic Caldwell Day.
The program will focus on the Borough’s rich architectural heritage, which runs the gamut from 18th-century residences to a modernist former drive-in bank on Bloomfield Ave. Essex Fells Borough Historian Frank Gerard Godlewski, who was recently appointed a commissioner of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) in Caldwell, will present a PowerPoint of how Caldwell went from a farm town with mills and five-star resorts to a comfortable, suburban community.
“We want to present ourselves to the public as the local go-to people for history and let people know that we have the tools for them to be able to find the history of their house,” said Godlewski. “We have such rich history in Caldwell—a lot of things that people don’t even realize that are very significant to American History.”
The event will include lectures, historic maps and photographs, as well as a video presentation. Residents will also be able to look up historic information about their homes and receive guidance concerning how to do further research about the history of their houses.
Godlewski will present two of the lectures himself, including “Caldwell’s Most Endangered Historic Building” at 11:15 a.m. and “Caldwell: From Fine Resorts and Gentlemen’s Farms to Suburb” at 11:45 a.m.
At 10:30 a.m., residents will have an opportunity to meet HPC Commissioners Godlewski and Richard Cummings, a local history author who will lead off the presentations at 10:45 a.m. with “Caldwell Mega-Mansions in the Late Gilded Age.”
A map for a self-guided tour of the Borough’s historic Parsonage Hill neighborhood will be available. Admission is free and light refreshments will be available.
“We want people to know that we’re here and we want local history to be an interactive where people can find out about their houses,” said Godlewski. “They can share their family history with us, they can ask us questions and we do have a very valuable history dating back to the Revolution. And we were populated by the Lenni-Lenape before that and so we know about that and it’s interesting to share.”
The Caldwell Public Library exhibit is in conjunction with the Caldwell Merchants Association’s Historic Caldwell Day, which will take place around town until 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Just over a century ago, residents of Caldwell remembered and celebrated times gone by through an Anniversary Pageant with multiple historic exhibits. This year, organizations in Caldwell and West Caldwell will present a variety of interesting and exciting historic programs at multiple locations.
The events will appeal to all ages and interests. Included will be exhibits, self-guided walking tours, lectures and a Civil War reenactment presented by organizations like the Caldwell and West Caldwell Fire Departments, the Caldwell Environmental Commission and the Grover Cleveland Park Conservancy.
For information and descriptions of activities with locations, visit the CaldwellMerchants.com or (973) 226-0001.