ALLENTOWN – The Borough Council has awarded a contract to Trenton Roofing and Siding to replace the roof on the Allentown municipal annex.
Council members took the action on July 14 and authorized Mayor Thomas Fritts to sign the $7,695 contract with the company. The borough has received a $7,200 grant from the Monmouth County Historical Commission to help pay for the work.
The Allentown Historic Preservation Review Commission (HPRC) received the funding for a roof replacement and trim repair on the municipal annex.
Borough officials said after the roof has been replaced, they will turn their attention to the building’s interior and begin to seek grants that could help to pay for the next phase of repairs.
According to information provided by the HPRC, the building at 14 Church St. has a history that dates back to 1845, when its current second floor was built at ground level by the Episcopalian congregation as a church. The building included a small steeple with a cross on top.
In 1869, the building was sold to the Catholic congregation to serve as the first Catholic church in town.
In 1898, Allentown officials purchased the lot on Church Street where the Catholic church is located for $500. Officials approved selling 54 feet of that lot (No. 14) to Charles A. Spaulding so he could build the present house at 16 Church St.
In 1917, the original 1.5-story church building, being used as a borough hall and office, was raised one story, permitting the Hope Fire Company to keep its engines on the first floor. At that time, the rock-faced concrete block walls were added, making the structure a two-story building with Borough Hall and offices on the second floor.
In 1937, an addition was made to the north side of the present building to accommodate a used ambulance, donated by Dr. Farmer, to serve residents.
In 1946, the fire company moved to new headquarters across the street and the entire first floor at 14 Church St. became the location of the Allentown First Aid Squad.
In 1975, borough offices moved to the former space used by the Allentown Police Department, until all borough services were consolidated at 8 N. Main St.
The Monmouth County Historical Commission is dedicated to remembering the past and preserving history for residents and visitors to learn about the county’s past, according to a press release.
The projects eligible for funding are preservation, restoration or rehabilitation of historic structures which are owned by nonprofit organizations or municipalities and are accessible to the public.
The grant program covers structural work for projects commonly known as “bricks and mortar” endeavors, according to the press release.
Allentown resident John Fabiano is the executive director of the Monmouth County Historical Commission.