The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee passed a bill sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Middlesex, Hunterdon) that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Senator Bateman helped celebrate the addition of new open space to the Princeton Battlefield on Sept. 16, 2015.
“Thanks to this act, we’ve had a chance to preserve countless structures, districts and other properties with historical significance so future generations can enjoy and learn from them,” Senator Bateman said. “The 50th anniversary of the act gives us a chance to celebrate its success, as well as refocus our efforts to continue our fight to protect more of our historically important places.”
In the last 25 years alone, funding made available through the act helped revitalize 1,600 historic districts and helped renovate 89,000 historic buildings throughout the country. The act created the National Register of Historic Places, which lists almost 1,500 individual properties and 300 historic districts in New Jersey. In his time as a senator, Bateman has supported efforts to preserve several of New Jersey’s endangered historic places, including Princeton Battlefield Park, the site of a clash between George Washington’s Continental Army and the British, and the South Branch Schoolhouse in Branchburg.
In order to help this process, Senator Bateman has sponsored bills like S-969, which continues the state’s open space, farmland and historic preservation programs, and provides that funds may also be used for emergency intervention to preserve historic properties. The bill passed both houses of the legislature earlier this year.
“New Jersey has a rich collection of historic places and buildings, many dating back hundreds of years,” Senator Bateman said. “We need to celebrate our state’s special role in the history of America and ensure these landmarks are treasured well into the future.”