The Commission’s informational brochure is available in PDF.
Enabling Our Future To Envision Our Past
Ewing has a long history, as rich as the soil and the dense woodlands which attracted its earliest inhabitants. As it is in many of our neighboring communities, this heritage is reflected in the significant numbers of properties which remain intact from decades and even centuries ago – a visual and physical link to our community’s past.
But these touchstones to the past often face an uncertain future. They are subject not only to deterioration over time, but also to the costs of maintenance and the pressure of new development. The September 2010 demolition of the Reed Manor (original portion, c. 1795) and the 2009 demolition threat to the Ewing Presbyterian Church Sanctuary (1867) remind us how easily these structures can be lost to current and future generations of Ewing residents.
Local historic or “landmark” designation is the most effective method of protection that can be afforded to a privately owned property, initiating an opportunity for local review before an action is taken. We can provide information on the tools, people and groups which help property owners and communities – like Ewing – to protect and preserve these treasures and enhance our township’s legacy.
About The Ewing Township Historic Preservation Commission
The Ewing Township Historic Preservation Commission was formed in 1986 in response to the addition of historic preservation zoning authority to the NJ Municipal Land Use Law, which governs land use and development in the state. Members of the Commission are appointed by the Mayor and serve without compensation.
The Commission’s responsibilities include:
- Preparing and updating a historic sites inventory
- Advising the appropriate regulatory boards with respect to historic sites
- Identifying historic sites and structures and evaluating them against specific historic preservation criteria
- Promoting historic preservation in the Township through advisory, education and informational efforts
The Commission exists to help promote and encourage the preservation of Ewing’s rich and varied historic and cultural heritage for Ewing’s future residents.
Local Landmark Designation
The Criteria: Is My House Historic?
Ewing Township follows the guidelines set forth in the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, which established the National Register of Historic Places, the country’s list of historic and cultural resources deemed worthy of preservation.
According to that Act, “historic” or landmark status is appropriate for those properties 50 years or older (sites, buildings, structures, objects, etc) that represent a significant part of the history, architecture, archeology, engineering or culture of the nation, state or municipality. The property’s “significance” is evaluated in terms of the property’s association with:
- an historical event;
- a significant person;
- a distinctive design or construction; or
- the potential to yield important historical information.
If the property meets one or more of these criteria, and it conveys its significance via integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling or association, then landmark status should be recommended.
Benefits And Consequences
- Improved property values
- Sense of pride and community
- Information and technical assistance
- Community recognition, including official plaque
- Protection from subsequent state or federal encroachment if property is further listed on state or national register
- Preservation for future appreciation
- Possible state tax benefits
- Commission review and possible recommendation to the appropriate regulatory board is required of any exterior work (front and side views, or those seen from street) for which building permits are required before a building permit can be issued.
Note: Ordinary exterior painting and maintenance, and any interior renovation work, is NOT subject to the Commission’s review.
How Could This Affect Me?
If your home or property is designated as a local landmark, and you wish to make changes to a street-facing façade, your plans must first be reviewed at a public meeting by the Preservation Commission prior to the issuance of a building permit. Codes vary from town to town, and Ewing Township’s code requirements are quite reasonable. However, if the findings and recommendations of the Commission are unacceptable to you, there is a right of appeal to the appropriate land use regulatory board.
Examples Of Improvements
- Original exterior walls, facades and windows should be retained and repaired, rather than replaced, whenever possible.
- Original material which is too deteriorated to repair should be replaced with material of similar construction or type, matching as nearly as possible in size, shape, texture and color.
- The size and shape of other structural details such as entrances, porches, roofs, dormers, trim and chimneys should also be retained and repaired, rather than be replaced, whenever possible.
p: (609) 883-2900
f: (609) 538-0729 (Attention: HPC)
HPC Chair: Anne McArthur
HPC Vice Chair: Kasey Dearden
Location: Ewing Senior and Community Center (ESCC), 999 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing.
Time: 7:30 pm
The Historic Preservation Commission meets the fourth Wednesday of each month, excepting November (3rd Wednesday) and December (none scheduled). The public is encouraged to attend and participate.