Freeholders Honor Museum For Preservation And Restoration Project

The Morris County Freeholders have honored the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts in Madison with a Historic Preservation plaque for their dedicated effort to preserve and restore their more than century-old museum building, which once served as the borough library.

The museum, located on Main Street in downtown Madison, is architecturally unique – one of the few Richardsonian Romanesque style buildings remaining in Morris County.

Museum Executive Director Deborah Starker and Museum Board Secretary Virginia Wilson accepted the historic plaque at the freeholder’s June 22 meeting held at the County Administration Building in Morristown.

The restoration project was partly financed with the assistance of the Morris County Historic Preservation Grant Program, which provided $613,000 for the project over a number of years. The Museum of Early Trades provided 20 percent matching funds for these projects.

“This is quite a beautiful building, one that really displays the history of Madison and of our county,’’ said Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo. “It is certainly a structure well worth preserving, and prime example of the need for our historic preservation grant program.’’

Morris County Historic Preservation Program Coordinator Ray Chang provided details of the Museum’s project:

The structure was built in 1900 as the Madison Public Library, a gift to the people by philanthropist D. Willis James.
The building served as the town library until 1967 when it outgrew the space. It is still owned by the Borough of Madison and has been home to the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts for more than 45 years.
The building is individually listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places and is a contributing resource to a Register-listed historic district.
With assistance from County Historic Preservation grants totaling more than $613,000, the Museum has successfully completed two phases of moisture mitigation, replication of four original early 20th century wall sconces, and a preservation plan.

The mission of the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts is to foster the understanding, cultivation, and appreciation of America’s past by presenting and interpreting history, culture and the lives of the inhabitants of New Jersey from the state’s earliest settlement through the present day.

For more information on the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, visit:

For information on the Morris County Historic Preservation Grant Program, visit:

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