of the 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing
The year 2012 saw a strong start towards the ultimate restoration and reuse of the landmark building on Scotch Road in Ewing, and has given us MUCH to be thankful for:
- Preservation New Jersey (PNJ) officially became the “responsible party” for the building, signing a 50-year lease with the Presbytery of New Brunswick in April to take full responsibility for its restoration, reuse and renewal
- the new name - “The 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing” – which gives a nod to its age, location and historic use as a sanctuary, but no specific connection to a congregation
- a public celebration of the new stewardship for the building on May 5, 2012 which included the presence of local, county, state and federal officials - and lots of food, balloons and supporters!
- the removal of the “Red Tag,” and a much-needed scrubbing and polishing of the first-floor interior by caring and dedicated volunteers, preparing it as a venue for a well-attended case-study “field trip” during the New Jersey Preservation Conference in June 2012
- the receipt of several grant awards for preservation of this future community asset, including:
- the removal of several years of vines and weed growth on and surrounding the exterior, again with the help of a handful of dedicated volunteers, and members of Boy Scout Troop #15
- the launch of our new website (www.1867Sanctuary.org), Twitter feed (@1867sanctuary), Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/1867SanctuaryAtEwing), and many friends “liking” and “following” us!
- very positive press coverage in the Trenton Times, US 1, and Ewing Observer
- very little impact from storms in August and the recent hurricane and nor’easter, despite huge impacts nearby, including the loss of several large trees in the surrounding cemetery
- a successful “Race to Restore” 5K Run/Walk in October with the support of PEAC Health and Fitness, which brought people together on a beautiful day for recreation, energizing, great door prizes, and to benefit our 1867 Sanctuary restoration effort
- the beginning of the adaptive reuse planning process, which will gather input from various stakeholders - including the public - as to how they wish to see this community asset used in the future (concert venue, arts venue, ecumenical worship space, wedding rentals, etc)
In 2013 we completed the Adaptive Use Study, a major study that helped to create the vision of a new life for the building, and to determine the steps and costs necessary to achieve this vision. We also:
- obtained complete architectural documents and an engineering cost estimate for structural reinforcements and and adaptive use
- completed remediation and removal of asbestos in the basement and in tile in the vestibule
- held our first "Rock & Roll Car and Bike Show in September, a very successful event featuring many participants, good food and music by Ewing's own Temporaries band.
- repaired and relit of the steeple lights in time for Christmas!
Accomplishments in 2014 included:
- Repairs to rotted window sills along both sides of the nave
- Repairs to deteriorating sections of wood and brass on the doors
- Upgrades to the fire alarm and security systems on the building
- Repair of faulty lighting in the nave
- Repair and temporary replacement of heating units
- Condition assessment of the exterior brownstone
- Our first annual "Heart & Soul" Valentines Day dinner gala, featuring dinner piano music by Marianne Lauffer and R&B dance music by the Temporaries
- Our second annual "Rock & Roll Car and Bike Show" fund raiser, bigger and better, featuring The Tone Rangers Band
Many of these physical improvements have been funded in part by 1772 Foundation grants, with matching money provided by YOU!
Our second annual "Heart & Soul" Valentines Day dinner gala was a great success! Held at the Mountain View Golf Club, it featured an excellent buffet, a silent auction, and music for dinner and dancing by After Dark enjoyed by all ages.
We look forward to OPENING in November 2015!
Work currently underway to open the 1867 Sanctuary:
- patch holes in the walls, including those created for masonry and engineering analyses
- sampled paint chips from the vestibule to determine historic paint colors (that will be used in the restoration!)
- scrape peeling paint, and repaint the entire 1st & 2nd floor interior
- upgrade 1st floor bathroom fixtures and facilities
- repoint stones at front door
- replace entryway flooring
- clean upholstery and carpeting
- remove and reconfigure pews and chancel structures
- replace the broken boiler, and
- refurbish the organ
Work proposed as soon as possible after opening (with additional funds):
- install redesigned and improved interior and exterior lighting
- install basement restroom facilities and kitchenette
- install reinforcing tie-rods
- create a side driveway for limos, service vehicles, and handicap access
Work proposed for within the next 5 years (with additional funds):
- power to light outside marquee sign
- movie screen and digital projector
- museum molding and exhibit lighting
- theatrical lighting
- widen the chancel/stage
- external masonry work (implement conservator plan)
- basement renovations including new corridor and Green Room, stairway realignment, relocation of oil tanks and power panel
Please sign up for our e-newsletter to be informed of future progress, activities and events! We thank you for your help!