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Historic Van Zile House on Midland Park / Wyckoff Border Leveled

May 11th, 1647 – Peter Stuyvesant arrives in New Amsterdam to replace Willem Kieft as Director-General of New Netherland, the Dutch colonial settlement in present-day New York City.

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Midland Park NJ, according the Bergen County Historical Society , stone houses of Bergen County, an endangered species with no protection? .

In a Facebook post yesterday the Bergen County Historical Society said, ” It was brought to our attention that the Van Zile House has indeed been leveled, another part of Bergen County’s unique past, gone forever. Each and every stone house in Bergen County is unique. They are unique not only to NJ but also in their construction which reflects different styles and time periods. They define our Bergen County towns and without them, we could be Anywhere, USA. They are a part of our cultural landscape and our shared heritage. What can be done? Tax incentives to owners who maintain their historic houses would be a fantastic start and has been down in other states before and is but one possible solution. Adaptive reuse is another alternative for some. Further, heightened awareness of these buildings is also important because again, when they are gone, they are gone, and an important part of Bergen County culture and identity will be gone too. “

8 thoughts on “Historic Van Zile House on Midland Park / Wyckoff Border Leveled

  1. Anyone who had $275k to purchase and was willing to shell out over $10k in taxes a year could have had this house. It’s been for sale for over a decade until a sheriff’s sale. Why didn’t the BCHS step in before it was falling apart? If they care about the historic homes, they need to be proactive rather than reactive and fight before the new, legal owner(s) buys one of these properties.

  2. Any one have a photo.

  3. Replying to “Anonymous”:
    As a member of the BCHS committee that helped to raise attention to the issue of the Van Zile House a year ago I have these questions:
    1, what if anything did you do? Did you attend governmental meetings in Midland Park and hold the politicians accountable for not creating and enforcing a local historic preservation ordinance? Did you speak up? If the house was as you suggest for sale and falling apart for a decade, the reason you spoke up a decade ago and helped find a non-demolition solution is ______?
    2, as a volunteer organization, we rely on volunteers, meaning people like you. Did you step up to volunteer for ours or another organization that might have helped to save the house?
    3, our committee attempts to promote preservation in all 72 communities in Bergen County. Has it occurred to you how difficult it is for a small group of volunteers to keep track of all historic properties in all 72 municipalities? You did or did not alert BCHS about your concerns over the Van Zile House in 2009?
    It is of course easy for you to Monday morning quarterback. It is of course just as easy for you to become part of the solution. Maybe in the future you can divert your energy to coming up with positive solutions, voicing your concerns to elected officials, insisting that your municipalities create and enforce historic preservation ordinances, and help to ensure the successful survival of a nearly 300-year old house rather than criticizing those of us who tried?

  4. 1, what if anything did you do?
    Nothing.
    But then again, it is not MY charter to preserve the stone houses in Bergen County
    .
    2, as a volunteer organization, we rely on volunteers, meaning people like you. Did you step up to volunteer for ours or another organization that might have helped to save the house?
    No.
    But then again, it is NOT my volunteer organization. It is not MY responsibility to recruit volunteers for the cause of saving stone houses in Bergen County. Perhaps there is a leadership and/or focus and/or determiniation problem at your organization.
    .
    3, our committee attempts to promote preservation in all 72 communities in Bergen County. Has it occurred to you how difficult it is for a small group of volunteers to keep track of all historic properties in all 72 municipalities? You did or did not alert BCHS about your concerns over the Van Zile House in 2009?
    No.
    And I did not alert you.
    Then again, it is not my desire to keep track of all historic properties nor to promote preservation in Bergen County.
    .
    Rather than blaming others for your failure to fulfill your mission, perhaps you should look inward and work to solve your organizations problems. You are failing at YOUR charter of preservation in Bergen County.
    Perhaps you need to improve your outreach and education.
    Perhaps you need to improve your recruitment strategy.
    Perhaps you need to find ways to increase your budget.
    Perhaps you need to find ways to be more efficient in tracking all historic properties in Bergen County
    – Maybe use technology
    – Maybe use social media
    – Maybe work with the administation in all 72 municipalities
    – Maybe work with realtors or neighborhood groups
    – etc, etc, etc…
    .
    BUT the one this you SHOULD NOT do is to blame and shame others for your failure to fulfill your charter… for that is the best way to ensure your future and continuing failure.
    .

  5. As am a member of the Zabriskie family that came to New Amsterdam in 1662 I know of many old houses that have been demolished. Fortunately the Steven T house on Paramus Rd. Isn’t one of them .

  6. I just found out about the house two weeks ago and its already gone?!? I really wanted to go see it beforehand.

  7. I recently purchased 131 Godwin ,Old Stone,was wondering about the old stone house just down the road .Would have bought it but didn’t know anything about it.
    We need to somehow educate and inform people about these important structures.

  8. Oh for goodness sake. Woods are being destroyed all the time for sports fields and stores; and cars. Beautiful green Island and trees at the train station in Ridgewood destroyed. It looks like a shopping mall parking lot there now; like Paramus Park Mall.

    PLEASE Do NOT tell me that I and others do not attend meetings and write letters. I have for many years. It does nothing. Graydon pool was saved. But that is all. The Schedler house was saved, but damn’t the seven acres of land is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT. Wooded untouched land is an extinct species. In the Overstory by Richard Powers; a couple creates undeveloped wild land out of their yard and refuses to mow or cut down growth in protest for too much development and fear of how over development will impact human life. Book won 2019 Pulitzer Prize and author was awarded the Macarthur genius award.

    People cry over an old house; yes, it has value; but what about woods and trees and plants and wildlife.

    Really, I can vomit. Putting isolated separated trees in the concrete jungle of the business section in Ridgewood and calling that BEAUTIFYING the place. Trees do not belong in a concrete jungle/environment. A business section needs to be clean , well swept and let the stores speak for themselves, damn’t. Leave the woods , like Schedler alone. THAT IS THE REAL BEAUTY and life giving environment.

    Shit, imagine the Ridgewood walking tours had one tour called Forest Bathing, about appreciating the forest, the sights and sounds. SHIT the fact that forests, woods are not a USUAL EVERYDAY part of our environement and we have to taught to appreciate the woods is really bad. Like teaching us to drink water instead of soda. Oh shit I give up.

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