The Somerset Freeholders awarded almost $900,000 in grants last week for historic preservation efforts in the county .
Rocky Hill received $50,000 to restore the historic Rocky Hill Borough Hall.The former Rocky Hill School is a brick, two-story, four-classroom Colonial Revival schoolhouse built in 1908 and now used as the borough hall. It is considered a pivotal structure in the Rocky Hill Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The project will return the interior first-floor and stairwell to their original configuration, repair and repaint wainscot in the hall and stair to appropriate colors, restore the tin ceiling, restore original wood flooring and remove vinyl flooring from stair treads, restore the steps, and restore interior window transom and paint. Doors will be restored to historically appropriate finish. Newer doors, electrical lighting and HVAC radiators units will be replaced with appropriate materials. Some flooring will also be replaced.
Franklin Township received $223,985 to restore the Van Wickle House, a one-and-one-half-story Dutch-American frame house with a stone foundation located at 1289 Easton Avenue in the Somerset section of the township. It is currently believed that it was constructed circa 1722. The house has been actively used by the Meadows Foundation since 1977. It is now closed to the public.
Hillsborough received $293,938 to restore the Van der Veer-Harris House, which is located at 344 U.S. Highway 206. The late-18th or early-19th century dwelling with significant Colonial Revival renovations was originally the home of Lawrence Van der Veer, a prominent local doctor. In 1940, Robert Harris incorporated olonial Revival style changes into the home’s renovation. The renovations were designed by Chester A. Paterson, a well-known advocate of the colonial revival style.