Joe Doria and Dorothy Guzzo of the Jersey Department of Community Affairs released this information today:
"The New Jersey Historic Trust is doing its part to revitalize the state’s economy by helping municipalities profit from their past in the midst of the current global recession. The Trust selected 60 historic sites around the state to receive a total of $15.5 million in grant funding. The total grant award had originally been set at $10.5 million. A combination of funds from the Garden State Preservation Trust and bond money that was approved by voters in 2007 will be used to award the matching grants.
"In Hudson County, Ellis Island’s hospital complex and the Hoboken Public Library are among the two historic sites set to receive grant funding.
"The New Jersey half of Ellis Island contained medical facilities to treat ill immigrants arriving to America. The original hospital buildings on Ellis Island were built in 1901 and subsequent buildings reflected the changing medical practices of the early 20th century. The laundry building was one of the first hospital buildings erected, serving as a service building for the complex. It later became a laundry, morgue, and nurse residence. The recreation building, which was built in 1936, sits at the center of the hospital complex and replaced the American Red Cross Building on the island. It is in a classical Art Deco style. A pending $162,325 grant would help fund the installation of an elevator and code-compliant stairs so the laundry building can be accessible to the public. Meanwhile, a separate $50,000 grant would go toward preparing a conditions assessment aimed at opening the recreation building to the public.
"The Hoboken Library was built in 1896 and ever since then its dome has been a prominent feature of Hoboken’s Church Square. The building retains its classical stone and brick façade, ornate cornice, and terracotta urns, but the terracotta has cracks and chips and the building is in need of repointing. Inside the original decorative ceilings, woodwork, and metal stairs remain. The library is set to receive a $750,000 grant to assist with exterior repointing and repairing damaged masonry, metal brackets, cornices, and entrance stairs. The project would also rehabilitate spaces not presently used, particularly at the basement and third floor levels.
"Research has shown that rehabilitating historic places like Ellis Island and the Hoboken Public Library generates more jobs and more income than equivalent new construction and highway construction projects. Tourists visiting historic sites also tend to spend more than travelers going to other destinations."