The grand, intangible and mundane monuments to Bergen County history. Dutch settlers laid the foundation for Bergen County a century before the birth of the nation itself.
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With that much of a running start, history is within reach on a daily basis: from architectural marvels, like the Gothic- style church on the fringe of downtown Englewood, to institutions of learning, like the Bergenfield Museum on the north shore of Cooper’s Pond. Sometimes, history is intangible. It may be a veteran’s tale of war recounted to a Girl Scout in Mahwah, or a lifetime of memories chronicled by a Hillsdale scholar about “The House” he saved from disrepair. History may be mundane. Take, for example, the pylon sign that indicates the entrance to Closter Plaza, the borough’s biggest shopping center. Martin, an architect from Westwood, was a boy growing up in Closter when he rode his bike countless times past the sign, which is a towering totem to Bergen County's history. The recipients were chosen by the county's Historic Preservation Advisory Board.
Thirteen awards were given to projects — including the rescue of the sign — in six categories at a ceremony that was held earlier this month at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Englewood. Martin, the ceremony’s host, said, “Some awards celebrate artifacts and buildings, and others are stories and cherished memories.” He added, “That’s the power of historic preservation.” The awards program was established in 1.
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Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs and the board — known then as the Historic Sites Advisory Board — to encourage adaptive use and restoration of the county's irreplaceable landmarks. Since then, about 3. Cynthia Forster, the division’s director, said the value of the awards program is to “alert people to efforts within their communities at a time when local development, and other issues, can cloud the picture.”. Headstones in the Upper Saddle River Slave Cemetery are only inches above the ground.
Wexler/North. Jersey. The Slave Cemetery. Upper Saddle River. Daniel Hynes adjusted his neckerchief and, on an unseasonably cool and windy spring afternoon, made another ascent to the top of the hill where he had spent so much time before.
The crunch of dead leaves beneath his feet almost muted the sound of water gurgling in the nearby river. It was an attractive backdrop for the graveyard to which he was headed. Hynes, 1. 8, a senior at Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, is one of two student trustees in the Upper Saddle River Historical Society. The society owns the graveyard, known as the Hopper Slave Cemetery, that Hynes was visiting. About 5. 0 burials are believed to have taken place there between the 1. The cemetery is behind a private residence. Access to the burial plots is closely guarded by the society, and it is granted by invitation only.
Robert Fretz and Daniel Hynes are shown in the Old Stone Church cemetery on May 1. Fretz, pastor of the church, believes people who prayed at the church are buried in the cemetery.
Hynes helped restore the cemetery for his Eagle Scout project.(Photo: Kevin R. Wexler/North. Jersey. Hynes, of Boy Scout Troop 1. April 2. 01. 6. The five- month project not only earned him the rank of Eagle, but won him an award for youth preservation from the Bergen County Historic Preservation Advisory Board.“It’s one of the oldest sites in town,” Hynes said. It’s important to understand the history of our town, and our country.”His work picked up where others' left off. The Rev. Robert Fretz, pastor of Old Stone Church, began work at the cemetery nine years ago as the society’s president.
He said his goal was to identify graves with markers and display an exhibit about the cemetery and New Jersey slave labor at the society’s Hopper- Goetschius House Museum. Preservation of the cemetery holds meaning for the pastor, he said, because enslaved Africans were instrumental in developing the Saddle River Valley, including the church where he preaches. In 1. 91. 0, historians say, gravestones with inscriptions were recorded. But by the 1. 97. Fretz said, practically all of the stones disappeared. In 2. 01. 1, students from Rutgers used ground- penetrating radar to find unmarked graves. Hurricane Irene thumped the region two weeks after the students left the site.
The storm scattered debris and toppled trees in the woods. When Hurricane Sandy hit a year later, work was halted.
Daniel and his fellow Scouts stepped in to complete the project. First, they cleared years' worth of fallen branches and leaves. Then, they set the gravestones, each of which is decorated with a medallion and positioned in concrete.— Philip De.
Vencentis. The book . Hanley, a Marine drill instructor buried with honors in Arlington National Cemetery.“I never had the chance to understand from his point of view what it was like to serve,” said the 1. Bergen Tech junior. That void inspired . She launched a Facebook page and left forms around town for veterans willing to be interviewed in person, by phone or through a questionnaire. Every veteran, young and old, answered the same 1.
Why did you decide to serve your country? What was your most memorable experience during your service? How did you adjust to life back home? The responses varied, from somber stories of struggling with post- traumatic stress disorder to more lighthearted tales of finding yourself having a drink with Elvis. Paolillo found that many younger veterans — with combat memories still vivid — were not ready for interviews.
Older veterans were more comfortable, she said.“The most rewarding part was understanding how much it really meant to veterans to have their story told,” she said. Police were housed in a railroad signal tower, and firefighting equipment was left outside, exposed to weather, because there was no public building to store it all. The hall, which has housed the Knickerbocker Baseball Club and the borough's Public Rations Board during World War II, is an example of the WPA Modern architectural style. Adriance said the Borough Hall's architectural style uses elements from the art deco style, a notable example of which is the Chrysler Building in Manhattan.
In 2. 01. 4, the hall was designated a historic landmark by the Borough Council. The designation prohibits the demolition of the building and the alteration of the building's exterior. That same year, the roof was rebuilt and the inside was renovated. But perhaps the most tedious task was repointing the bricks in the building’s fa.
Paul's Episcopal Church in Englewood, which is a new addition to the National Historic Places registry and is a recipient of a Bergen County Historic Preservation Award. Wexler/North. Jersey. St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Englewood. When St.
Paul’s Episcopal Church opened for services on Whitsunday, the seventh Sunday after Easter, in 1. Englewood was transitioning from a cluster of farms into a bustling city. More than a century later, the English Gothic church stands at the edge of the city’s downtown as a physical encapsulation of Englewood’s development. The sanctuary's wooden pews are marked with the names of the congregation’s first families. They were mostly white and wealthy.
The names of the congregation's newest members are carved within the bell tower. They come from more diverse ethnic backgrounds and social classes, which are more representative of the city’s population today.“All these generations have been a part of the vitality and grace and transformation of eastern Bergen County,” said the Rev. William Allport, the church’s rector. Paul’s, but in northern New Jersey.”The church congregation is dedicated to maintaining the history within its limestone walls. In 2. 01. 3, it launched a 1. Autoplay. Show Thumbnails. Show Captions. Last Slide.
Next Slide. In 2. Tiffany & Co., John La Farge and J& R Lamb Studios — put St. Paul's on the National Register of Historic Places. Paul's is it's not a museum. It's a living, used space, so there are always things we have to do. Paul’s will next tackle the restoration of its famed stained- glass windows, one of many church features that have endured for almost 1. Dean Mansion in Park Ridge.
The structure, built in 1. Atrium Health & Senior Living. The sewing room, which is said to be haunted, is shown here on May 8. Wexler/North. Jersey. William H. Dean Mansion. Park Ridge. Seven decades on, memories of his early childhood spent in his grandfather's English Country- style mansion still spark a warm sense of nostalgia for Larry Dean. Dean, now 7. 5, lived as a boy in the home his paternal grandfather, William H., built in 1.
Electric Lake. A particularly poignant memory is of two decorative gargoyles, intricately carved from wood, which stood on either side of a fireplace in the great room. Dean’s mother used the creatures to scare him and his brother when they misbehaved. Sadly, the gargoyles and many other irreplaceable aspects of the historic home were lost some 9. William Dean, a wealthy manufacturer, paid $1. A developer had acquired the property in the mid- 1.
But a string of owners let the house languish for nearly a decade, until Atrium Health & Senior Living bought the property and decided that if restored, such a gem could serve not only Atrium, but also the community. CLOSE. The William H. Dean mansion, built in 1. Atrium Health & Senior Living. The work received a 2. Bergen County Historic Preservation Award.
It was so bad, she said, that a hazmat team had to be called in before work could begin in 2. Despite having to replace much of the wood, which had rotted, Atrium was able to salvage from the wreckage original hardware, stained- glass windows and a wide, sweeping staircase stained a dark chestnut.
Ken Koury, of Koury Painting, worked to restore the inside and outside of the home, which he said was a “disaster” before the restoration began.