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Historic Vanderbeck-Walton House Headed for Demolition

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Vanderbeck-Walton House, sits at the corner of Maple Avenue and Prospect Street, and is on the state and national historic registers, it is surrounded by a beautiful but overgrown garden and is an attractive and architecturally interesting home. The current owner has targeted the home for demolition , which the Village approved in 2017 . The house is one of 13 sites in Ridgewood listed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to the Ridewood Historic Preservation Commission the Vanderbeck-Walton House may have been built by the same person as the Naugle House in Fair Lawn, dating back to 1790. The Naugle House was purchased by Fair Lawn and is being renovated with grants.

Bergen County was a part of the 17th century Dutch province called New Netherland, in the area in northeastern New Jersey along the Hudson and Hackensack Rivers that would become contemporary Hudson and Bergen Counties. In 1621, the Dutch West India Company (WIC) was founded to exploit trade in the Western Hemisphere, and by 1625 had established a colony at New Amsterdam (Lower Manhattan). In the hope of encouraging settlement the company, in 1629, started to offer vast land grants and the feudal title of patroon.

New Amsterdam, once located in the area below Wall St. in Manhattan, was the political and cultural center of New Netherland. Although New Netherland is often mentioned only as a footnote to the history of America, it was in reality a major contributor to the America of today.

New Netherland was initially lost to the English in 1664 when director-general Peter Stuyvesant gave little resistance to an English fleet that sailed into the harbor and captured the colony. Officially, it was after the second and third Anglo-Dutch Wars, with the New Netherland settlement changing hands several times, that New Netherland was finally ceded to the England under the provisions of the Treaty of Breda and Treaty of Westminster on November 10, 1674. Although the colony was no longer technically “Dutch”(as it pertained to the higher political system), the people continued to live as though they were Dutch for generations. As such, the culture of this region was permanently shaped by the Dutch.

The Village of Ridgewood wasn’t organized as a separate municipality until 1876. By then, the settlement we call Ridgewood was almost two centuries old. The land that Ridgewood occupies was originally a hunting and fishing ground of the Lenni Lenape Indians that became a part of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam founded in 1624. Forty years later, the British captured New Amsterdam and renamed it New York.

Ridgewood’s Historic Preservation Commission serves in an advisory capacity to the village . According to the Village of Ridgewood ‘s Website :The Historic Preservation Commission has the following duties and responsibilities:

A. To identify, record and maintain a system for survey and inventory of all buildings, sites, places, landmarks and structures of historical or architectural significance based on the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archaeology and Historic Preservation (Standards and Guidelines for Identification) and to aid the public in understanding their worth, methods of preservation, techniques of gathering documentation and related matters.
B. To advise the Planning Board on the relationship of the Historic Preservation Plan Element of the Master Plan to other Master Plan elements.
C. To advise the Planning Board on the inclusion of historic sites and landmarks in the recommended Capital Improvement Program.
D. To advise the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment on applications for development pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-110.
E. To provide written reports pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-111 on the application of the Zoning Ordinance provisions concerning historic preservation.[1] [1]: Editor’s Note: See Ch. 190, Land Use and Development, Art. X, Zoning.
F. To carry out such other advisory, educational and informational functions as will promote historic preservation in the municipality.
G. The Commission shall have all of the responsibilities detailed in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-109 and as the same may hereafter be amended and supplemented.

Meetings are held on the second Thursday of every month at 8:00 p.m. in the Garden Room on the first floor.

In Midland Park, another historic stone house is threatened with demolition. Built in 1736, the Van Zile House is part of a trio of historic homes on Godwin Avenue. The owner, 714 Godwin Avenue LLC, applied last spring to demolish the building, which is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

8 thoughts on “Historic Vanderbeck-Walton House Headed for Demolition

  1. This is such a great house…

    Hey why did the new RHS girls varsity soccer coach quit after only 3 weeks on the job ? Was the Booster Club too much for him…??

  2. This may have been a interesting and/or lovely house at one time but sadly not anymore. It’s time for it to go.

  3. It could be renovated in the original historical design and should be, but won’t be, because most people have the aesthetic sensibility of pigs.

  4. Sorry but renovating a home in this condition will cost a fortune. Not every ‘historic’ home is worth salvaging and unfortunately this is one of them.

  5. It’s hard to let a home go for decades without maintenance and then suddenly ‘care’ about it when it’s practically falling down. I’m sure an historic-minded citizen (or group) can pick it up for a decent price and restore it. If not, it’s time to let it go.

  6. Hey…wouldn’t a baseball field fit on that piece of property? We need to look into this.

  7. This house is actually historic but the council would prefer to restore Schedler which has as it’s only historic fact that it is old. It was not used for anything important; nothing historical happened there except for a possible battle (which many areas in Ridgewood can claim) which technically said it was “on the hill” which would not be at the Schedler property but off of Kingsbridge road where “the hill above the Saddle River” actually is. And it can be noted that the majority of the house consists of later additions and it is in far worse shape then the one described in the above article.

  8. They’re both rat holes, beyond any hope of being restored to their ‘historic’ significance and quite frankly not that historic. They should both be demolished.

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