Why is Halcyon Park Eligible as a Historic District?
In 1995 when New Jersey Transit
was planning the extension of the Newark City Subway, a report was commissioned
to determine if there were any historic properties that might be affected.
The excerpts below are from
- a report prepared by Lynn Drobbin
& Associates that determined that Halcyon Park Historic District is
eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
- an opinion letter by the Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer concurring with the findings of the report that Halcyon Park Historic District is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, and
- Lynn Drobbin & Associates' Response to the opinion letter.
The Halcyon Park Historic District
is listed on the New Jersey and
National Registers of Historic Places. (see page
2, Bloomfield Township)
Historic Architectural Resources Background Study for the Newark City Subway Extension and Vehicle Base Facility (April, 1995), U.S. Department
of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration.Prepared for BRW Rail Link Team, Suite 300, One Gateway Center, Newark, NJ 07102. Prepared by Lynn Drobbin & Associates, 629 Fifth Avenue, Pelham,
2.2.2 Halcyon Park Historic District
Halcyon Park is a well-preserved example of an
early-to mid-twentieth century planned residential community. The southern border of this early-twentieth
century residential development extends along Watsessing Avenue, within a few hundred
feet of the proposed VBF [Vehicle Base Facility] site and is further defined by
Franklin Street on the north and Berkeley Avenue on the west. The backyards and garages
of the Halcyon Park community that face along Watsessing Avenue are the closest portions of the District to the VBF site.
Halcyon Park is laid out on an irregular grid
and centered on a median parkway that features a small lake with a
fountain. Houses within Halcyon Park, built between 1905
and 1930, include a number of well-preserved examples of early-twentieth
century residential architecture in Bungalow, American Foursquare, Colonial
Revival, Tudor, and Queen Anne styles.
district is characterized by winding narrow streets and modest scale houses
situated on closely spaced lots. The
original pair of rubble-stone entrance pavilions and stone columns located at Berkeley and Watsessing Avenues denotes the main entrance to Halcyon Park. Although these entry pavilions have been modified by their conversion
into residences, their architectural integrity is largely intact.
Halcyon Park Historic District is
eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C as an
intact twentieth century planned middle-class residential community with a
cross-section of the vernacular architectural styles from that period.
Letter from Dorothy P. Guzzo,
Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer to Mr. David Koening, Historic Preservation Specialist, New Jersey Transit, December 4, 1995, HPO-L95-8
These comments, provided in addition to Historic
Preservation Office (HPO) Comments of September 28, 1995 (HPO-I95-40), are in
response to information submitted November 6, 1995 supplementing the report:
Architectural Resources Background Study for the Newark City Subway Extension and Vehicle Base Facility, by Lynn Drobbin &
Associates, April 1995.
Identified properties are within the Area of
Potential Effect (APE), described as 0.25 mile from the outer edges of the
proposed rail alignment, station sites, and vehicle base facility.
I concur with the findings of the report that the
following resources are eligible for
listing in the national Register of Historic Places:
Halcyon Park Historic District, Bloomfield Township,
Essex County, is eligible for the national
Register of Historic Places under Criterion C as an intact collection of early
twentieth century residential housing in a planned setting reflecting attention
to open space and neighborhood character. The district, as amended in the supplemental information, is defined as the area bound by Berkeley Avenue between Watsessing and Franklin Avenues, the rear of properties facing Franklin Avenue between Berkeley and Florence Avenues, and Watsessing Avenue between Franklin and Berkeley avenues.