Friends of the Wm Green Farmhouse

News

14 May 2015

At a 10 am this morning on the steps of The Trenton War Memorial, Preservation New Jersey announced their 2015 list of the 10 Most Endangered HIstoric Sites in New Jersey. The Wm Green House was 8th on the list. A video of the announcement is posted in our video gallery.

NJ Preservation Announcement

Left to right above: Trustee Donald Cox, President Anne McArthur, and Vice President Bill O'Neal speaking on behalf of the Wm Green House at the 14 May press conference.

 

A  Message From Our Vice President: The college bought it. The college neglected it. The college must restore it!

 

2 May 2015 Press Release

 

Rider University Did It: Why Can’t TCNJ?Benjamin Van Cleve House

The Benjamin Van Cleve House serves as the Rider University alumni house. Listed on the Lawrence Township key historic structure list, this structure is an excellent example of adaptive use of a historic house. The university owns and maintains the structure, whose pristine appearance and adaptive use stands in sharp contrast to The College of New Jersey's neglect of The William Green House. On several occasions in the past we have suggested  to TCNJ that the Wm Green House would make an excellent alumni house, but the college was not interested in pursuing the idea.

 

November 2, 2014:

TCNJ Considering Lease or Letter of Support; Proposed Archaeological Dig

Hi, all –

The Trustees have been working behind the scenes since our last update and have some encouraging news.

The Friends met this summer with Stacy Schuster, Associate VP for College Relations, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). At that meeting we asked that TCNJ consider a lease concept for the Green House to allow us to locate a non-profit to restore it, with a long-term lease for a token payment. We also asked that they at least state that they will use funds to restore the Green Farmhouse if raised – a request that we have made often over the years without an official response. Ms. Schuster informed us on October 10, 2014 that these issues have been forwarded to TCNJ’s governing board so we are on track for an official answer in writing.

Although nothing is resolved at this point, at least TCNJ will be in the position of either publicly supporting or rejecting our efforts to fund-raise for the Green farmhouse.

Another exciting development: Professor George Leader has received permission from TCNJ to do an archaeological field methods class using the exterior of the Green Farmhouse in spring 2015. Professor Leader, Trustee Helen Kull, and I were admitted to the interior of the house this October and scouted the basement. Professor Leader resolved that he will hold off on asking for a permit to dig the dirt and brick floor sections of the house because of anticipated permit issues and just dig the exterior. It was thrilling to be inside the house and see that it is still relatively sturdy. Thanks to member Blair Arendt, whose mother Malvina Blackwell lived in the house in the 1920s, for helping us locate the sites of some of the outbuildings which may be used in the dig. 

The Green Farmhouse is on the local, state, and National Registers, so a permit from New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection Historic Preservation Office is required. Professor Leader turned in the permit application mid-October and is waiting for a response.

The Green Friends, Ewing Historic Commission, and Ewing Historic Society have all

submitted letters of support. This archaeological project would be an extraordinary learning experience for TCNJ students, unparalleled in the Mid-Atlantic region. The dig will bring to light artifacts that will enrich our understanding of the farmhouse’s history and its daily activities over nearly 300 years. The dig should bring publicity, media exposure, and new life to our ongoing efforts to raise funds for a full restoration of the farmhouse.

The Trustees will meet on November 14, 7:00 p.m., 9 Dixmont Avenue, Ewing, NJ. If you can’t make it to the meeting but want to share your ideas, please contact us.

Anne McArthur, President   e-mail: anne@williamgreenhouse.org   or phone. 609-510-9120. Bill O'Neal, Vice President   e-mail: bill@williamgreenhouse.org  or phone. 609-599-1843.

 

April 2012  TCNJ Moves Forward to Restore the Green Farmhouse as an Alumni House

After researching uses of historic building on college campuses and surveying our members and Trustees, The Green Friends, represented by President Anne McArthur and Vice President Billy O’Neal, met with TCNJ representatives Gregory Caiola of Development and Lynda Rothermel of the university architect's office and presented possible uses approved by the Friends. The College has decided that the best use for the Green House is as an Alumni House. This would incorporate a museum function, using photographs or historical material, mounted on the walls or in showcases throughout the house, documenting the Green House’s rich architectural and community history, history of the Green family, and use of the site as a billet by Washington’s Light Horse during the Revolutionary War.

TCNJ’s Greg Caiola has proposed a timetable for moving forward. A request for proposal will be sent out requesting a new cost assessment by preservation architects, and the architect for the final cost assessment will be chosen by the beginning of September.

At that point the Friends and TCNJ will move into high gear with fund-raising and
press. TCNJ will provide funding in terms of matching funds for grants, but any
funds the Friends can raise will help the project move much faster, since the College has a very lean budget during the current economic downturn. The Friends are working to fund a phased restoration plan, ballpark $50,000, which will break down construction projects and costs as individual items so work can be done gradually as funds are raised. Realistically, we envision this as a long-term project because of the current economy and TCNJ’s resources, probably a 10-year effort.

Thanks to our members for their concern and support. Participate in our Spirit of ’76 member challenge – details will follow soon - by donating $76.00 or an amount of your choice to restore this architectural treasure.

 

In October of 2011 The Signal ran a feature on the house.

January 17, 2011 Anne Mac Arthur and I filmed a segment with historic preservationist/WZBN reporter Matt Metcalf. The subject and location were the Wm Green House at TCNJ. It aired on Monday Jan 24. The spot is posted on this site.

The segment focused on what TCNJ's mothballing of the house and on their effort to secure matching grants (two are sought at the moment) to develop a rehab plan (NJ HistoricTrust http://njht.org/) and for specific repairs (1772 Foundation http://www.1772foundation.org).

In the very near future The Friends will make a financial contribution to the TCNJ Foundation, earmarked for the house. At this point any contributions to us from members to augment that monetary donation are greatly appreciated.

All the Best,

Bill O'Neal

Photo by Bill O'Neal

Restoration News: We are working with TCNJ Foundation, applying for grants and determining a purpose for the house. We meet with them regularly and our trustees meet quarterly. We plan to launch a fundraising campaign in the very near future.