TrixRosen Photography Preservation architecture COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL

endangered homes - delaware water gap national recreation area

grayline grayline grayline
Documenting the Endangered National Park Service Houses - Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, NJ



Art Connections10
The Oakley Stoll House
Montclair Museum, Montclair, NJ
January 26 - February 22 2014
Opening Reception
2:00-5:00pm Jan 26

endangered housed Delaware Water Gap
The Hornbeck/Roberts House, original portion of the house dates to the 18th Century.
Montague, New Jersey. National Register Site
The Hornbeck Roberts House dots dots dots dots dots dots dots dots dots dots
Heron's Nest dots dots dots dots dots dots dots      
The Shoemaker-Houck Farm dots dots dots dots dots dots dots dots    
The Westbrook Bell House & Barns dots dots dots dots            
The Hiram House Farmhouse dots dots                
The Smith-Lennington House dots dots dots dots dots dots dots dots dots  
Oakley Stoll House & Desolation Before Demolition dots dots                

My friend, Robert Williams, the Verona NJ town historian, took me on a tour of these National Park Service houses, located within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Built between the 18th and 19th century, many of these sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and were in live-in condition a couple of years ago when the Park took ownership. We saw doors wide open or missing, window glass smashed and some of these historically important houses sadly vandalized and trashed.

“The Shoemaker-Houck Farm was one of the premier structures in the Park,” Bob told me. “The front portion of the house was built in 1822 while the rear portion was built in the eighteenth century. Look what has happened to this house in only one year’s time!” We saw that the back door was wide open. “This is a National Register Building that was in excellent condition. How could this have happened?” Bob asked me sadly.

Bob explained the history of each house we visited, and recounted how the Smith-Lennington House had been in the same family since it was built. “When the Park Service took title of this a few years ago it was completely intact and in live-in condition. Shortly after their stewardship began, someone took the columns off the porch and it was down-hill from there.”

Check out my blog: to view a slideshow of images:

In case you are interested in expressing your concerns, here are excerpts from the letter sent to Senator Lautenberg from Bob Williams on 1/10/2012:

Hon. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg
324 Hart Building
Washington, DC 20510-0001

Re: Demolition/Condition of Historical Sites at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

"Currently, there are scores of historical buildings surviving in the Park in various stages of decay with little to no protection whatsoever. Many of these buildings, and their respective sites, are already listed on or eligible for inclusion to the National Register of Historic Places."

"These elements are key to understanding the rural development of northwestern New Jersey and the significant role that area played in American history."

"I think the Park Service fails to see that these buildings are assets that belong to and were paid for by the taxpayer."

"It is clear that the National Park Service has a legislative responsibility to care and maintain the cultural/historical resources that belong to the people."

  Write to Senator Frank R. Lautenberg to share with him your feelings about the destruction of these valuable resources.