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Cranbury Township adopts ordinance codifying Cranbury Station hamlet as a historic district

One of several neighborhoods in Cranbury is the Cranbury Station hamlet.

The Cranbury Township Committee has adopted an ordinance codifying the Cranbury Station Hamlet Historic District.

Mayor Mike Ferrante, Deputy Mayor Barbara Rogers, Township Committeeman James Taylor, Township Committeewoman Evelyn Spann, and Township Committeeman Matt Scott voted “yes” to adopt the measure at a Township Committee meeting on Dec. 13.

The ordinance also codifies modifications made to the boundaries of the existing Cranbury Village Historic District.

“The hamlet sits deep in the crevasses of the warehouse district. Light industrial zones on all sides and Monroe Township on the backside. This does not change those zones or districts,” Spann said. “It does not change Cranbury’s master plan, but this was part of the Master Plan Re-examination to look at these homes and their historic significance.”

She added that with the culmination of the Historical Preservation Advisory Commission (HPAC) and every homeowner on that street being part of the meetings or involved, they were able to find the historic information and credentials needed to identify the homes as historic.

“What it could support is how the Planning Board or Zoning Board might look at an application knowing it abuts a residential area,” Spann said.

The Cranbury Station hamlet still contains the former railroad station house which was on the Camden and Amboy branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

The hamlet is an unincorporated community of Cranbury Township that borders Monroe Township and contains Halsey Reed Road. The railroad established a station in Cranbury at this location in the 1830s and took passengers from New York and Philadelphia. By 1880, a hamlet had grown up around Cranbury Station.

According to the ordinance that was adopted, the Cranbury Station Hamlet Historic District will consist of four homes on the west side of Halsey Reed Road and south of the joined connection with Station Road. They are 96 and 96A Halsey Reed Road, 92 Halsey Reed Road, 90 Halsey Reed Road and 88 Halsey Reed Road.

The homes date to the mid-19th century and they abut the Camden and Amboy railroad track.

During the summer of 2021, the Cranbury Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) recommended to the Planning Board that the Cranbury Station hamlet be designated as a historic district. The commission then forwarded their recommendations for adoption to the Township Committee.

In addition to a list of properties for the Cranbury Station Hamlet Historic District, a list of properties would also be recommended for the existing Village Historic District.

The HPC assessed certain properties in the existing Village Historic District buffer and Historic District. The modifications recommended include properties where a portion of the lot is in the Historic District and the rest of the property is outside of the historic buffer.

Properties include 1 Prospect St., 5 Prospect St., 23 N. Main St., 12A, B and C Station Road, Brainerd Lake, and 22 Station Road, according to the ordinance.

There were portions recommended for removal. They are a portion of 38A Maplewood Avenue (a driveway to Village Park) and a portion of 24 Wynnewood Drive (section of Cranbury Brook Preserve).

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