CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia
Communications Director
Union County Office of Public Information
Office: 908-527-4419/Cell: 908-770-3662


Fifteen projects tapped for “Preserve Union County” grants.

Elizabeth – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced that fifteen historic sites around Union County will receive a total of $510,000 in grants for local restoration and preservation projects. The funding comes from the 2007 “Preserve Union County” program, part of the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

“Throughout Union County, our historic sites help knit our communities together,” said Freeholder Chairwoman Bette Jane Kowalski. “They enrich our lives with new opportunities for recreation, education, and creativity, and they strengthen our future. The Freeholder Board is strongly committed to historic preservation with this important source of funding.”

The Preserve Union County program was initiated by Freeholder Deborah P. Scanlon in 2003. It provides funding for historic preservation projects developed by local non-profit organizations, municipal governments, and the County. Each dollar from Preserve Union County must be matched by an equal amount generated from the local organization or government.

“This is a program that recognizes local preservation efforts for the positive contributions they make to our entire region,” said Freeholder Daniel P. Sullivan, Chairman of the Open Space, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. “The Freeholder Board is honored to provide a means for residents throughout Union County to support the hard work and dedication of local preservationists.”

Union County has a long and varied history. The region has been a major transportation hub since Colonial days, growing from wooden sailing ships and carts to modern container shipping, airplanes, railways, and trucking.

During the American Revolution, the murder of Hannah Caldwell by British troops in present-day Union Township helped to unite the colonies and crystallize public sentiment in favor of independence.

Preserve Union County is funded through The Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund, approved by Union County voters by referendum in 2000.

“Union County residents showed a great deal of foresight and civic pride when they voted for the Trust Fund in 2000,” said Chairwoman Kowalski. “Programs like Preserve Union County show the tremendous amount of good we can achieve when we pool our resources and work together.”

The fifteen organizations awarded grants in 2007 are:

Fortnightly Club of Summit, for Twin Maples.
City of Rahway, for Terrill House.
City of Elizabeth, for Public Library.
Township of Union, for Liberty Hall Museum.
 Playhouse Association, for Summit Playhouse.
duCret School of Art, for George A. Strong residence (Plainfield).
Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Frazee House, for Elizabeth and Gershom
            Frazee House (Scotch Plains).
 Historical Society of Plainfield, for Nathanial Drake House.
 Kenilworth Historical Society, Inc., for Oswald J. Nitschke House.
Old First Historic Trust, for First Presbyterian Church (Elizabeth).
Cranford Historical Society, Inc., for Hanson House.
Westfield Historical Society, Inc., for Reeve History Center.
Borough of Fanwood, for Patricia M. Kuran Cultural Arts Center.
City of Summit, for Reeves Reed Arboretum.
City of Cranford, for The Fireplace at Hanson Park.