Survey Will Help Identify Repair, Restoration, and Improvement Needs of Historic Places
TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Acting Commissioner Richard E. Constable III today, January 31, 2012 announced the launch of a new Capital Needs Survey that will collect information on the repair, restoration and improvement needs of historic sites throughout the state. The New Jersey Historic Trust, a DCA affiliate, is leading the effort and encourages all publicly owned and nonprofit-managed sites to participate in the survey.
“The Historic Trust recognizes that even our state’s most notable and celebrated historic sites and attractions have significant needs for repairs and improvements, all of which will ultimately serve the public better,” said Acting Commissioner Constable. “This survey will help the Trust identify those specific needs and begin to quantify the costs associated with making these historic buildings relevant and useful in their communities.”
The survey will begin on February 1, 2012, and run until May 1, 2012. It will pose questions about a building’s use, repair needs, projected repair costs, and, if appropriate, its participation in heritage tourism development.
A “historic building” is defined as a structure that was built more than 50 years ago, or prior to 1962. A property does not need to be listed on the state or national Register of Historic Places to be included in the survey. Buildings that may participate include: historic residences, farmsteads, factories, theaters, museums, houses of worship, fire houses, libraries, railroad stations, schools and more. Buildings owned by private homeowners or businesses are not eligible for this survey.
This is the second Capital Needs Survey in the State of New Jersey. The first, in 1990, identified capital needs of more than $400 million. The results of the survey helped garner public support for four historic preservation bond referendums in the 1990s, and sustain historic preservation funding from the Garden Sate Preservation Trust from 2000 to 2010.
This year, the Historic Trust is hoping to attract more participants by making the survey accessible online.
“By using the Internet and making the survey easy to complete and submit, we hope to reach as many historic site stewards as possible,” said Historic Trust Executive Director Dorothy Guzzo. “The broader the participation, the better picture we will have of the state’s real need for historic preservation funding. “
Upon completion of the survey, the data will be analyzed and the capital needs of the state’s historic properties will be tallied and published by the end of the year. The Historic Trust will use the information to prioritize and/or revise criteria for its program, as well as to alert the community to begin thinking about their future stewardship needs.
“The Capital Needs Survey will provide New Jersey with important financial data to illustrate the continuing need for investment in the state’s historic resources,” said Historic Trust Chair Chris Perks. “Funding the preservation of existing buildings and structures helps make our communities more sustainable as well as enjoyable.”
The Historic Trust administers grants from the Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund, the NJ Cultural Trust Capital Preservation Grant Program, the “Discover NJ History” License Plate Fund and the 1772 Foundation Grant Program for New Jersey. Since 1990, the Historic Trust has awarded more than $134 million in matching preservation grants to sites in every county of the state. Established in 1967, the New Jersey Historic Trust is the only nonprofit historic preservation organization in New Jersey created by state law. Its mission is to advance historic preservation in New Jersey for the benefit of future generations through education, stewardship and financial investment programs that saves the state’s heritage and strengthens its communities.
For more information on the New Jersey Historic Trust, please visit http://www.njht.org. For more information on the Capital Needs Survey, log on to http://fs19.formsite.com/NJHT/CapitalNeedsSurvey/index.html.