West Orange Planning Board approves recommendation to designate four historic properties

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — On Wednesday, Oct. 6, the West Orange Planning Board welcomed newly appointed public advocate Sarabray Thapar and new Planning Board member Chris Morgan.

The Oct. 6 agenda included a presentation by the West Orange Historic Preservation Commission to recognize and establish sites as new township historic landmarks. HPC Chairperson Brian Feeney and Vice Chairperson Martin Feitlowitz introduced Patrick Harshbarger from Hunter Research. Harshbarger brought 30 years of architectural historian experience toward each site presented.

Presented sites included:

  • Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 315 Main St., which was built in 1907.
  • The Williams/McManus/Lehmann House, 122 Main St., which was built in 1856 and 1857.
  • Hedges Block, 56 Main St., which is now better known as the former Main Street Hardware. The original building owner, Samuel Hedges, sold flour, grain and feed for horse dealers. Until 1905, the West Orange Fire Department, Police Department and clerk’s office occupied the building, leaving still visible notations on the walls.
  • The State Diner, 567 Valley Road, a pristine dinette fashioned as a railroad car by Kullman Dining Car Company.

According to Feeney, designated properties must have the exteriors of their structures maintained. The Historic Preservation Commission can issue a certificate of appropriateness to assist property owners on how to protect their investment and the unique, prestigious historical character of a site.

The Planning Board unanimously approved the HRC recommendation to designate the four historic properties. The board declined to designate the George V. Hecker Carriage House, built in 1866, as a historic landmark.

The board thanked Downtown West Orange Alliance Executive Director Megan Brill for moderating the monthly meeting.

Photos Courtesy of Susan McCartney