Cranbury Historic Preservation Commission Lays Out Plans for 225th American Revolution Anniversary

In a recent meeting, the Cranbury Township Historic Preservation Commission discussed a range of topics, including updates on the CLG Grant, designation of survey properties, the nomination of the Hamlet for the National Register, and a signage project for the historic district. The Commission also discussed the scheduling of meetings for the coming year and plans for the 225th anniversary of the American Revolution.

The Commission initiated the discussion with the CLG Grant. Despite no applications for review, they reported the receipt of hard copies of phase three from Richard Grain Associates. These documents are destined for the Cranbury Public Library. There was also a suggestion to present the survey results at the library in December, with all payments and reimbursements for the grant confirmed as settled.

The conversation then shifted to the designation of survey properties and subsequent steps. The Commission noted that only a few properties contributed to the historic districts, leading to discussions on how to include them in the larger historical narrative. Liz Lany, with previous experience assisting the survey, was suggested as a potential aid to expand the existing historic village district. The Committee unanimously agreed on Lany’s involvement in the master plan for 2024, with her time accounted for in the budget.

The next CLG Grant, focusing on the Hamlet’s nomination for the National Register, was another prominent agenda. Lori Thompson, who will aid the grant application, raised some questions about the next steps. The Committee agreed to consult Richard Grubb for pricing and proposals after reviewing previous research on the Hamlet.

The Commission also showed urgency in their signage project, still awaiting an invoice to officially order the signs. The six-week delivery time and potential holiday-induced shipping costs added a sense of urgency to the process. The Commission planned to use stronger wording in their emails to ensure prompt action.

Regarding celebrating the 225th anniversary of the American Revolution, Lisa Knierim was assigned to form a committee to organize related events, with plans for a planning year in 2024 and events as early as 2025 or as late as 2033. Ideas included a walking tour of the Revolutionary War graveyards, a bike race or walk between historic communities, and a reenactment. Collaboration with neighboring municipalities like Rocky Hill and Princeton was also discussed.

In addition to these plans, the Commission approved minor maintenance and repairs for several properties, discussed new homeowner letters about Historic Preservation Commission’s regulations, and reviewed the meeting schedule for the Historic Preservation Commission for 2024. The possibility of reducing it to once a month due to fewer applications received this year was deliberated.

Lastly, the Commission discussed the scheduling of public meetings for the next year, volunteer hours, and the maintenance requirements of historically significant properties. The meeting concluded with a motion to adjourn and a request to obtain addresses for other properties for future reference.

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Michael J. Ferrante
City Council Members:
Eman El-Badawi, Lisa Knierim, Barbara F. Rogers, PhD, Matthew A. Scott

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