Category Archives: Historic Resources

Information of Historic Resources and Historic Preservation.

Design Awards 2011 Highlights – Part 1

Leading up to the 2012 Design Awards we will begin highlighting the 2011 winners.  This is part 1 of a multiple articles over the next week that will showcase the awardees.  The deadline for 2012 submissions is August 29, 2012.  Find out how to submit your project for 2012’s Design Awards.

Farewell Mills Gatsch Receives Two AIA-NJ Design Awards

Princeton Firm Honored for Work on Landmark Buildings

The Princeton, N.J., architecture firm of Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects was the winner of two of the nine architectural design awards presented this year by AIA-NJ.

In both cases, Farewell Mills Gatsch won the awards for the restoration of landmark mid-century modernist buildings. The firm received Honor Awards in the Historic Preservation category for the preservation of the Louis I. Kahn Bath House and Day Pavilions in Ewing Township, N.J., and in the Non-Residential Built category for the Aspen Institute Walter Paepcke Memorial in Aspen, Colorado, originally designed by Herbert Bayer a Bauhaus designer/Architect who worked under Walter Gropius.

Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects is recognized nationally for its work in architectural design, historic preservation, renovation and the adaptive reuse of existing structures.

“It is with great pride that we recognize and honor this architectural firm that has breathed life back into these structures that are a notable part of our architectural history and landscape,” said Laurence E. Parisi, AIA, president of AIA-NJ.  “Farewell Mills Gatsch’s outstanding work on these buildings of important cultural, historical and social significance is an excellent service to society.”

The Louis I. Kahn Bath House was a seminal work in the master architect’s career and an influence on many of his later buildings, including the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, and Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif.  The bath house, pool and day camp, designed in 1955 for the Jewish Community Center of Ewing Township, located just outside Trenton, N.J., is now owned by Ewing Township.

The bath house consists of four pavilions in the shape of a cruciform enclosing an atrium that is open to the sky. Each is topped by a pyramidal roof that floats on top of the supporting walls, allowing light to enter above the sidewalls and through an opening at the roof’s apex. Kahn himself said that the geometrically simple, but elegant building evoking ancient monuments was a turning point in his career.

“I discovered myself after designing the little concrete block bathhouse in Trenton,” he told the New York Times in 1970.

But the condition of the bath house pavilions, as well as pavilions for the day camp located a short distance away, had deteriorated as a result of weather, but also because of what Michael J. Mills, FAIA, the Farewell Mills Gatsch partner in charge of  preservation, has called “the poetry of the buildings.” Kahn intended for water to run over the masonry surfaces, but the aesthetic was very damaging to the masonry.

In the restoration, Farewell Mills Gatsch refrained from using gutters, which would have violated Kahn’s original intentions, but restored the masonry to make it more impervious to moisture penetration. Such an approach was typical of the restoration in general, in which the goal was to achieve longer lasting, safer and more practical improvements while still preserving the original design.

“This was a very exciting project,” said Mills, who had visited the buildings as an architecture student, “but it was also a little daunting; every architect who has worked with Kahn or has been influenced by Kahn was interested in what we would do, so we had to take great care in studying the site and making the plans for its restoration.”

Farewell Mills Gatsch also dealt with a landmark building at the Aspen Institute — in this case a memorial to Walter Paepcke, the Institute’s founder, designed in 1963 by Bauhaus-trained architect Herbert Bayer, along with Frank Lloyd Wright protégé Fritz Benedict. The goal of the original design was to reflect Paepcke’s vision for a place “where the human spirit can flourish.”

The Paepcke Memorial Building quickly became the centerpiece of the campus of the Institute, an international nonprofit focused on fostering enlightened leadership. But, as with the Kahn bath house, little had been done to maintain the building. In addition to preserving and expanding the building, the project also focused on making it more energy efficient and updating its mechanical and audio-visual systems.

“We definitely tried to respect and protect the spirit of Bayer and Benedict,” said Michael Schnoering, AIA, of Farewell Mills Gatsch. “We could clearly feel them looking over our shoulders. We wanted the new features to be introduced to the building in innovative ways that preserved the spirit of the building, but that also accommodated the space and technology needs of the future.”

Farewell Mills Gatsch also won two merit awards in the Historic Preservation category from AIA-NJ in 2010 — for Princeton University’s Whig Hall in Princeton, N.J., and for the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton, N.J., both located in Mercer County.

AIA-NJ Historic Resources Meeting – Water Witch Club Casino

Save the Date

AIA-NJ Historic Resources Committee Meeting

Thursday, September 6 at 3:00 to 5:00 pm

Water Witch Club Casino, Highlands, NJ

Monmouth Hills was conceived as a planned residential community in the late 19th century.  Built in 1905 in the Colonial Revival style, the shingled clubhouse at the center of Monmouth Hills, known as the Water Witch Club Casino, was added to the NJ and National Registers of Historic Places in 1990. The building was named after a novel of the same name by James Fenimore Cooper, who is known to have visited the Highlands area in the 1830s. The romantic novelist Cooper described the areas as “the most beautiful combination of land and water in America.”

Agenda

I. Overview of the Water Witch Club Casino and Monmouth Hills Historic District

II. Old Business

  • Bell Labs Update
  • Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall Tax Credit Dispute
  • HPRA (Historic Properties Reinvestment Act)
  • Renewed funding for the New Jersey Historic Trust & The Keep It Green Campaign

III. New Business

  • Gilbreth House
  • Athena Tacha’s Green Acres, Trenton, NJ
  • Additions welcomed

AIA-NJ’s Design Conference Registration Opens

Registration for AIA-NJ’s Annual Design Conference is Open 

Celebrating architecture and design in New Jersey, AIA-NJ has announced that the organization will host its annual Design Conference at the Berkeley Hotel in Asbury Park, N.J., on Sept. 13, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Registration is online, reserve your spot today.

Stephen Kieran, FAIA, AIA-NJ 2012 Design Conference keynote speaker

This year, the event will feature three speaking sessions, which will be interspersed with a boardwalk redevelopment tour of Asbury Park as well as a lunch networking reception. Following a keynote session, there will be a final reception featuring the announcement of this year’s AIA-NJ Design Award winners.

The speakers will be Frank Grauman, FAIA, senior partner of Bohlin, Cywinski & Jackson, an architectural firm based in Philadelphia, Pa., and William Loose, AIA, who is also a partner in the firm; Charles Renfro, AIA, partner of Diller, Scofido & Renfro, an architectural firm based in New York City; and Stephen Kieran, FAIA, senior partner of KieranTimberlake Architects, based in Philadelphia, Pa., who is the keynote speaker.

The Design Awards are meant to bring public and professional recognition to architectural projects that exhibit design excellence in New Jersey. AIA-NJ is currently accepting award submissions, with the deadline to submit the entry form and fee being Aug. 29, 2012.

To register online, please visit www.aia-nj.org. Questions may be addressed to Laura Slomka at 609-393-5690 or lslomka@njpsi.com.

For more information and a detailed schedule, please visit http://blog.aia-nj.org/2012/06/26/design-2012-save/.

Keep Preservation Programs in the Transportation Bill

AIACongress is currently debating legislation to reform federal transportation laws, and unless they hear from us, there is a chance that historic preservation programs will be eliminated.

Some members of Congress have proposed eliminating the Transportation Enhancement program, which enables states and communities to use a small portion of their federal transportation dollars on projects such as the preservation of historic transportation facilities, rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, and the preservation of abandoned railway corridors for use as pedestrian or bicycle trails.

Eliminating the Transportation Enhancement program will not save a dime of taxpayer money, as the funds will be shifted to roadbuilding or other purposes, but it would end a successful program that saves historic spaces, enhances communities, and creates jobs.

The AIA is working with a broad coalition to maintain Congressional support for these programs. Please act now to tell Congress not to eliminate these programs. For more information on Transportation Enhancement programs, click here.
Click Here to Contact Your Member of Congress NOW

Sincerely,

Paul Mendelsohn, Assoc. AIA
Vice President, Government and Community Relations

A Letter to the Editor of the New York Times

To the Editor:

Jon Gertner’s recent story (True Innovation, Sunday, February 26, 2012) about his soon to be published book, The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation, was welcomed by those of us who have been advocating for the retention and reuse of the Eero Saarinen designed Bell Labs in Holmdel, NJ. Mr. Gertner’s story highlights the accomplishments of Bell Labs’ far-reaching technological prowess while it establishes the context of the Holmdel facility as an important architectural model.

The innovations were rooted in open-minded thinking and the sharing of knowledge, all supported by architecture that itself was flexible, new and original. The Holmdel facility featured aspects now commonplace, including the first uses of mirrored curtainwall, vast open floor plans and an overall rational plan that extended out to include the park-like setting of 472 acres designed by Sasaki Walker and Associates. Bell Labs is a product of our unique American character and the expression of how exceptional architecture fosters and embodies technological ingenuity.

Bell Labs Holmdel, completed in 1962, has been determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and the was subject of a recent award winning Charrette sponsored by AIA-New Jersey, Docomomo-NY/TriState, and Preservation NJ. Publication of this book and recent news that a prospective buyer has emerged for the two million square foot office and research facility present an excellent time to renew our call to Holmdel Township and to Alcatel-Lucent to work together to find a way that will assure the site’s future.

Sincerely,
Michael Calafati

Michael Calafati, AIA
Chair, Historic Resources Committee, AIA-New Jersey
March 1, 2012

Michael Calafati is principal of Michael Calafati Architect, LLC, Cape May, NJ and co-editor of the Bell Labs Charrette: A Sustainable Future.

DCA & NJ HISTORIC TRUST LAUNCH CAPITAL NEEDS SURVEY FOR NEW JERSEY HISTORIC SITES

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 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.

DCA & NJ HISTORIC TRUST LAUNCH CAPITAL NEEDS SURVEY FOR NEW JERSEY HISTORIC SITES

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.

Leicester B. Holland Prize Call for Entries

2012 Holland Proze Poster

The Leicester B. Holland Prize is an annual competition that recognizes the best single-sheet measured drawing of an historic building, site, or structure prepared by an individual(s) to the standards of the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), or the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS). The prize is supported by the Paul Rudolph Trust, Architectural Record, a magazine of the American Institute of Architects (AIA); and the Center for Architecture, Design & Engineering in the Library of Congress, and administered by the Heritage Documentation Programs of the National Park Service (HABS/HAER/HALS/CRGIS). The prize honors Leicester B. Holland (1882-1952), FAIA, chairman of the AIA’s Committee on Historic Buildings, head of the Fine Arts Division of the Library of Congress and first curator of the HABS collection, a co-founder of the HABS program in the 1930s, and the first chair of the HABS Advisory Board.

 

The prize is intended to increase awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of historic sites, structures, and landscapes throughout the United States while adding to the permanent HABS, HAER and HALS collection at the Library of Congress, and to encourage the submission of drawings among professionals and students. The prize is also intended to reinvigorate the art of architectural delineation and composition in the tradition established by the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Beaux Arts methodology embraced the study and drawing of historic buildings as a crucial component of architectural education, providing an opportunity for young architects to gain an understanding of the principles of design and construction. Additionally, it was a means through which architects mined historic buildings for architectural motifs to be used in their restoration and new design projects. By requiring only a single sheet, the competition challenges the delineator to capture the essence of the site through the presentation of key features that reflect its historic and its architectural, landscape architectural or engineering significance. The Holland Prize competition is open to all those interested, regardless of experience or professional background.

Entry deadline: June 1, 2012

Architectural Record magazine will publish the winning drawing, and the winner will receive a $1000 cash prize and a certificate of recognition. Merit awards will also be given.

For more information on the competition go to:

http://www.nps.gov/history/hdp/competitions/holland.htm

NJ Future Seeks Nominations for 2012 Smart Growth Awards

Do you know of an innovative project, plan or initiative that deserves to be honored for bringing smart growth ideals to light? Consider nominating it for a 2012 Smart Growth Award.

Winners will be selected by jury and recognized at New Jersey Future’s annual Smart Growth Awards celebration on June 7, 2012 at the Newark Club in Newark.

The Smart Growth Awards celebration is considered one of the state’s premier networking events and an occasion that draws wide media attention and an attendance of more than 300 development industry professionals, as well as local, regional, and state leaders.

Since 2002, New Jersey Future has honored smart planning and development in New Jersey through this annual event. The awards help promote our mission to secure economic opportunity, community vitality and quality of life for all New Jerseyans.

For inspiration, check out the previous winners.

Guidelines and nomination form are available in PDF and Word formats. Deadline for submissions is Friday, February 3, 2012.

BELL LABS HOLMDEL: ARCHITECTS AND PERSERVATION GROUPS REACT TO THE REDEVELOPMENT PLAN

The coalition of organizations advocating for the preservation of the former Bell Labs building and landscape have been anticipating the proposed zoning changes from Holmdel Township for most of this year. A multidisciplinary Charrette held three ago years by AIA-New Jersey, Docomomo US/NY Tri-State and Preservation NJ developed design approaches for the preservation and sympathetic reuse of the internationally significant modernist landmark. “The Bell Labs site poses many challenges adapting it sensitively to new uses while protecting the landscape,” said Michael Calafati, AIA, of AIA-New Jersey.

“We are heartened to see that Holmdel is acknowledging preservation of the building as a goal in the public’s interest. Permitting new and mixed uses will help achieve this. This news is in keeping with the Charrette’s recommendations,” he added. The Eero Saarinen-designed building (1957-1962) and Sasaski-Walker designed landscape have already been deemed eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Accordingly, the site’s overall importance is based on the building and the landscape as a unified entity. The preservation groups welcome much of the Redevelopment Plan’s provisions but an area of concern remains the potential impact to the imposing landscape. “The architect and landscape architect worked collaboratively to create a unique and singular vision for Bell Labs. There is no distinction between the jewel and the setting – it is all of one piece,” said Nina Rappaport of Docomomo New York/Tri-State. “We hope that initial efforts will be placed on preserving and adapting the building so that any impact on the landscape can be considered carefully.” While the groups acknowledge the potential for a change in use, the landscape could be preserved for passive recreation, especially considering the setting and the environmental impact.

The building, shuttered in July 2007 and listed for sale since, is included on Preservation New Jersey’s list of the state’s Most Endangered Historic Places. The coalition that organized the Bell Labs Charrette and published the final report includes the NJ Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ), Preservation New Jersey (PNJ), the National Trust for Historic Preservation, DOCOMOMO-US (DOcumentation and COnservation of buildings and sites of the MOdern MOvement), the DOCOMOMO US/NY Tri-State Chapter, the Recent Past Preservation Network, The Cultural Landscape Foundation, and the NJ Conservation Foundation. The charrette report is available for downloading by clicking here.

The Holmdel Township Committee will hold a public hearing December 20, 2011, on the proposed ordinance to adopt the redevelopment plan. The redevelopment plan is available for download by clicking here, and following the link either to the redevelopment plan summary or full redevelopment plan.

For more information, contact:

Michael Calafati, AIA
AIA New Jersey
609-884-4922
michael@calafati.com

Nina Rappaport
DOCOMOMO US/NY Tri-State
212-531-3472
Rappaporthall@sprintmail.com

Stephanie Cherry-Farmer
Preservation New Jersey
609-392-6409
info@preservationnj.org

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