NJ's 'most endangered list' includes Anchor Cafe in Perth Amboy, Stockton Inn
Two Central Jersey sites, one on Raritan Bay and the other on the Delaware River, have been included on this year's list of the "10 Most Endangered Historic Places in New Jersey."
The Anchor Cafe in Perth Amboy and the Stockton Inn in Stockton were on the list released Tuesday by Preservation New Jersey.
The annual list, compiled in recognition of National Preservation Month, highlights historic, architectural, cultural, and archeological resources that are in danger of being lost.
Selections are based on three criteria: historic significance and architectural integrity, the critical nature of the threat to their survival and likelihood that inclusion on the list will have a positive impact on preservation.
The Anchor Café on New Brunswick Avenue is a 3-story brick and terra cotta structure with a steep slate roof and dormers that was built in 1905.
Speaking at a press conference at the Statehouse, John Dyke, the Perth Amboy City Historian who has produced a documentary about Perth Amboy's terra cotta industry, said the Anchor Cafe is a "prime example" of the city's endangered terra cotta structures and facades.
Many buildings in the city have been stripped of their terra cotta facades, Dyke said.
Dyke said he and city officials are working on an ordinance to protect the remaining terra cotta in the city.
According to Preservation New Jersey, Perth Amboy has "an unusually dense concentration of buildings designed with architectural terra cotta."
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In the late 18th century, the terra cotta industry fueled the growth and prosperity of Perth Amboy and provided jobs for the city's immigrant population.
The Anchor Café, according to Preservation New Jersey, "embodies the unique terra cotta architecture of Perth Amboy" and survives "on the good will of their owners and with little oversight."
The Stockton Inn
The inn, closed since 2017, sits near where taverns have been located since the 18th century. The Colligan family ran the inn for several decades beginning in 1915. A patio with a waterfall and wishing well was added in the 1930s, which inspired the lyrics for the classic song, “There’s a Small Hotel” by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart.
In 2020, Avon Road Partners unveiled plans to redevelop the site as a 780-seat outdoor concert venue and a health spa with additional hotel rooms, but after the proposal was met with vehement oppositions, the plans were dropped in 2021.
According to Preservation New Jersey, the closure of the property for five years "has created a "dead zone" in the center of Stockton's active downtown. Preservation New Jersey "supports adaptive reuse or if needed, sensitive redevelopment of the site that allows for preservation of the much-loved Inn and respects the character of downtown."
Other sites on the endangered list are: Caldwell Public Library, cemeteries across New Jersey, Roebling Prestretcher Equipment and Buildings in Florence Township, The Sandlass House in Highlands, St. Peter’s Grammar School in Jersey City and First United Methodist Church in Bradley Beach and the USS Ling in Hackensack.
Mike Deak is a reporter for mycentraljersey.com. To get unlimited access to his articles on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: NJ's 'most endangered list': Anchor Cafe in Perth Amboy, Stockton Inn