Sites in Rumson, Manalapan named as endangered historic places for 2020


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In recognition of National Preservation Month, Preservation New Jersey has announced its annual list of the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places in New Jersey.

The Lauriston Estate in Rumson and the Sutfin House in Manalapan have been named to the list for 2020.

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The program spotlights locations Preservation New Jersey believes are irreplaceable historic, architectural, cultural and archeological resources in New Jersey that are in imminent danger of being lost, according to the press release.

Listing these resources acknowledges their importance to the heritage of New Jersey and draws attention to the predicaments that endanger their survival and the survival of historic resources statewide.

The list, generated from nominations by the public, aims to attract new perspectives and ideas to sites in desperate need of creative solutions, according to Preservation New Jersey.

Several challenges face properties on the 2020 list, including neglect and deferred maintenance, threats incurred by redevelopment and new construction, difficulties raising adequate historic preservation funding, and the need for creative adaptive reuse proposals, according to the press release.

Seven sites on the 2020 list are publicly owned, highlighting the government’s frequent role in deferred maintenance along with the reality of limited historic preservation funds, according to the nonprofit organization.

Selections to the endangered list are based on three criteria: historic significance and architectural integrity; the critical nature of the threat identified; and the likelihood that inclusion on the list will have a positive impact on efforts to protect the resource, according to Preservation New Jersey.

The Lauriston Estate in Rumson is an 1870 Colonial Revival mansion designed by New York and Red Bank architect Leon Cubberly. It is the only residential building in Rumson listed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to the press release.

Designed in the predominant Colonial Revival style of that era, the Lauriston Estate is grand and includes a marble foyer and spacious entrance hall leading to a unique dual bowed staircase.

Lauriston is currently at the center of an affordable housing settlement agreement that would allow replacement of the mansion with 16 luxury townhouses, according to the press release.

Representatives of Preservation New Jersey said they believe the mansion could be adaptively reused as a part of the proposed development.

The Derick Sutfin House in Monmouth Battlefield State Park, Manalapan, is the park’s oldest structure.

Jacob Sutfin constructed the dwelling after purchasing the property in 1718. During the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778, the farmhouse was in the midst of the action, caught in the crossfire of the biggest field artillery duel of the American Revolution, according to the press release.

When Derick Sutfin died in 1796, two of his neighbors carefully inventoried the contents of the dwelling, outbuildings and fields, providing an exceptional interpretive opportunity.

According to Preservation New Jersey, the threat to the Sutfin House is immediate. It is in such a severely deteriorated condition that there have been discussions of abandoning the house to demolition by neglect so available funds can be used to maintain two nearby houses.

With the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Monmouth less than a decade away, Preservation New Jersey supports the view that the state should be moving to allocate sufficient funds to prepare the park, and this specific home, for its upcoming part on the national stage in 2028, according to the press release.

Founded in 1978, Preservation New Jersey is a statewide nonprofit organization that promotes the economic vitality, sustainability and heritage of New Jersey’s diverse communities through advocacy and education, according to the press release. For more information, visit

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