Mount Holly, NJ, 26 September 2012 – Last night the Mount Holly Historical Society (MTHHIS) presented their annual Beautification Award for the restoration the Warden’s House. RYEBREAD architect Regan Young accepted the award on behalf of his client, the Burlington County Freeholders. The ceremony was held at the Burlington County College Culinary Center in downtown Mount Holly.
The Warden’s House is connected to the Burlington County Prison Museum, an 1811 structure designed by famed Philadelphia architect Robert Mills. The County of Burlington constructed this small, two-and-one-half-story, Second Empire Victorian red brick addition in 1888 to house the Burlington County Warden and his family. The building is located within the Mount Holly National Register Historic District.
Having fallen into underutilization and disrepair over the decades, the Burlington County Freeholders decided to restore the building’s exterior and in the same project, perform needed interior repairs and improvements. The NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s Historic Preservation Office reviewed & approved the project, and it was restored in accordance with Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
Mount Holly’s Regan Young England Butera: Referendums, Engineering, Architecture, Design (aka RYEBREAD) were the architects for the renovation, John Bowie Associates of Wallingford, PA, the preservation consultant, and Robert Frizell from Forked River was chosen general contractor via competitive public bidding.
Upon completion of the restoration last year, the Warden’s House now displays the work of Burlington County’s prolific 20th Century folk artist, Hugh Campbell. The building also hosts the offices of the Prison Museum Association, an organization dedicated to protecting and promoting this unique historic asset.
The MTHHIS Beautification Award is presented annually to a restoration or new project that contributes to the architectural character of historic Mount Holly. The Warden’s House restoration has already received citations from the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia and the NJ Historic Preservation Office.
Young sees his firms work on the Warden’s House as part of their mission of revitalizing buildings and communities. “Our historic downtowns’ density, diversity, and historic fabric are assets, not liabilities. Our buildings and thoroughfares can be designed for greater livability, while respecting both our past and present. Our water features should be better utilized, and our public spaces shaped as outdoor rooms.”
He continues, “The right planning tools are available now. Better human habitats can come only from a successful collaboration among professionals, government, institutions, business & property owners, and residents. Thus skill, inspiration, perseverance, compromise, communication, and revision are all essential parts of the downtown revitalization process. To make it happen, local professionals need to take the lead in envisioning what our communities can be.”
The Mount Holly Historical Society is dedicated to the maintenance and preservation of the town’s many landmark sites. They are the caretakers of both the clock on Main Street and the Fountain in Fountain Square. In addition, the Society helps to run many of the museums around in the county seat.