Connolly & Hickey 

Grover Cleveland Birthplace
Carriage House, Caldwell, New Jersey
Client: Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association
Grant: New Jersey Historic Trust

View of the existing Carriage House

Grover Cleveland Birthplace      
(click on image for larger view)
Brief Historical Overview:
The Grover Cleveland Birthplace was built in 1832 as the manse for the First Presbyterian Church in Caldwell, where President Grover Cleveland's father was the minister from 1834 to 1841. The two-story frame manse was the birthplace of Stephen Grover Cleveland, the only New Jersey-born president, born in 1837. The building was owned by the church until a group of people interested in preserving the house as a museum purchased it in the early-twentieth century. It was first opened to the public in March of 1913 by the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association. The house is still run as a museum today and is owned an operated by the State of New Jersey with the assistance of the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association. The house and grounds are interpreted as a manse in a small New Jersey town circa 1840, with a collection that includes items related to Grover Cleveland. The Grover Cleveland Birthplace, including the Carriage House, was listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places in 1976 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

Scope of Services:
The Carriage House is currently being underutilized and can be adaptively reused to serve as a Visitor's Center that will enhance the Grover Cleveland Birthplace site and provide much-needed additional amenities and space. The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association has developed a long-term plan for the rehabilitation of the Carriage House, which the State of New Jersey has approved. The plan includes preserving and converting the Carriage House into a Visitor's Center with the construction of an addition. The proposed Visitor's Center will include a small meeting room, a larger multi-use assembly room, a docent office, storage space, accessible lavatory facilities, and a janitorial area. This additional space is critical as site visitation has increased significantly and the Grover Cleveland Birthplace site no longer has enough space and lacks needed amenities. The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association would like to utilize energy efficiency and green technologies when converting the Carriage House, with goals for the building to have a small "footprint" and low operating costs. Connolly & Hickey is currently working with the Association to pursue these options. The Project Team will also make sure that the addition to the Carriage House complements and is compatible with the existing historic building yet is distinctly new; the addition will be in compliance with The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.

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Connolly & Hickey  l   P.O. Box 1726  l   Cranford, New Jersey 07016  l   info@chhistoricalarchitects.com  l   973-746-4911   facebook