Historic Glen Alpin Residence Protected (NJ)

Harding Township, NJ, 10/20/04: The Trust for Public Land, Harding Township, and the Harding Land Trust announced today the protection of 9.5 acres, including the historic Glen Alpin residence. The land is now co-owned by the township and Harding Land Trust.

“The Trust for Public Land is delighted to have assembled a creative partnership among the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Morris County Preservation Trust Fund, Morris County Park Commission, Harding Township, and Harding Land Trust to protect what is a unique property with historical and natural resource significance. This is a real win for all involved,” said Leigh Rae, director of the New Jersey Field Office of the Trust for Public Land.

The property is located in the Tempe Wick Historic District in Harding Township. It is in close proximity to the Morristown National Historical Park and the Lewis Morris County Park and will provide a future link for Patriots’ Path.

“Glen Alpin is a scenic, historic and environmental gem. It’s a highly visible and beautiful site, with its fairy-tale house serenely overlooking nine acres of sweeping lawns and magnificent trees right at a heavily traveled intersection,” said Harding Land Trust Executive Director Penny Hinkle. “We are so pleased that this green and open space will continue to delight visitors and passers-by and to perform valuable environmental service for the community—filtering stormwater flowing to Primrose Brook and providing wildlife habitat.”

The property was highly desirable for protection as its history is intimately linked to that of the Morristown National Historical Park. It has been identified by the Morris County Park Commission as an important link in the Patriots’ Path route and will contain a portion of the path.

Peter Kemble (1704-1789), President of the Governor’s Royal Council for the colonial province of New Jersey, once had a home on the Glen Alpin site, and graves for several members of the Kemble family are located on the property. The current Glen Alpin residence, built about 1840 after the Kemble house was moved to a nearby lot, is an early and important example of the Gothic Revival style and has been called one of the finest in the state. According to the Trust for Public Land, if sold for development, the historic Glen Alpin home would have likely been demolished for the development of two or three new homes.

“Future generations will join us in thanking the Trust for Public Land and all who funded the purchase of Glen Alpin. As a gateway to the Morristown National Historical Park, the site helps tell the human story of Revolutionary times. This sturdy stone house, in remarkable condition for its age, is a wonderful example of an increasingly rare style, and we look forward to making it accessible to the public. Preserving this property meets nearly every goal in the township’s Master Plan,” said Harding Township committee member Mary Prendergast.

Residents of Harding Township are forming a nonprofit organization, The Glen Alpin Conservancy, to work collaboratively with township leaders and the Harding Land Trust to oversee the management of the property. Glen Alpin will become public open space, with plans for the rehabilitation of the historic residence already in the works. The township intends to rent a portion of the home for nonprofit office space to help fund operations, with provision for public access.

Funds for the $1.4 million purchase were provided by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres Planning Incentive and Nonprofit Grant Programs, Morris County Preservation Trust Fund, Harding Township Open Space Trust Fund, and Morris County Park Commission.

This project is another example of an increasing number of instances where collaboration between preservation groups has made something significant possible that no single group would have been able to do alone. Tax payers and other contributors should be very satisfied that their dollars are being leveraged in a way that maximizes the impact of those dollars,” said Harding Township Mayor John Murray.

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.9 million acres of land. With a state office in Morristown, TPL has protected more than 20,000 acres in New Jersey.