Morven Museum & Garden receives $500,000 National Park Service historic preservation grant

Morven Princeton
Morven Museum & Garden. File photo.

Morven Museum & Garden has been awarded a grant for $500,000 from the National Park Service to rehabilitate the former mansion and grounds.

Located on five acres of land in the heart of Princeton, Morven was the home of Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. It later served as the New Jersey governor’s mansion. The museum showcases the cultural heritage of New Jersey through exhibitions, educational programs, and special events.

The grant, administered by the National Park Service, is from the Semiquincentennial Grant Program funded by the Historic Preservation Fund, which was created by Congress in 2020 to honor the 250th anniversary of the United States by restoring and preserving sites and structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places that commemorate the founding of the nation. The money will help prepare Morven for the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

“This builds on the recently awarded National Park Service Save America’s Treasures grant, allowing us to address maintenance issues and provide an exceptional visitor experience at the only extant New Jersey home of a signer open to the public,” Morven Executive Director Jill Barry said.

Funding will be used to apply a whitewash treatment to the building that is historically accurate. Testing of treatment methods for the building will begin immediately to determine the safest and best application to the entire building next summer. The funds will also support an upgrade to Morven’s elevator to ensure ADA compliance. Funding will help the museum address site lighting needs in advance of the anniversary year, which is expected to draw more visitors as the national spotlight turns to important American Revolutionary sites.

The National Park Service awarded $7 million to 17 preservation projects in 12 states for the inaugural round of funding for the Semiquincentennial Grant Program on Aug. 10. Three New Jersey sites received funding. In addition to Morven, funding will also go to the Indian King Tavern building in Haddonfield and the Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage in Sommerville.