ASSEMBLY, No. 2639







By Assemblyman CORODEMUS



A Supplement to "An Act making appropriations for the support of the State Government and the several public purposes for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1997 and regulating the disbursement thereof," approved June 28, 1996 (P.L.1996, c.42).


    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


    1. In addition to the amounts appropriated under P.L.1996, c.42, there is appropriated out of the General Fund the following sum for the purpose specified:





40. Community Development and Environmental Management

42. Natural Resource Management

    Capital Project:



         Restoration of The Thomas A. Edison MrmorialEdison Memorial mnSample Line .................................................................



            Memorial Tower in Edison .................................




      2. This act shall take effect immediately.





      This bill makes a supplemental appropriation for Fiscal Year 1997 of $782,000 from the General Fund to the Department of Environmental Protection for the restoration of the Thomas A. Edison Memorial Tower in Edison, Middlesex County. The tower is currently closed to be public because it is in a serious state of disrepair and in dire need of restoration and preservation due primarily to deteriorating concrete. The Tower is owned and managed by the State, but leased to the city of Edison which handles the day-to-day operations.

      The Thomas A. Edison Memorial Tower in Edison marks the location of Thomas Edison's laboratory and manufacturing facilities in Menlo Park. Edison worked at this located from 1876 to 1886. The tower commemorates the achievements of Thomas Edison at the very site where these achievements took place. In addition to its historical significance, the tower is also architecturally significant. The tower is one of the last works of John J. Earley, a pioneer in the field of architectural concrete, and is one of two monuments in this State designed in the Art Deco style.

      The tower is listed on both the State and National Register of Historic Places. Therefore, the tower is significant architecturally and historically for both this State and the nation and deserves every effort made toward its restoration and preservation.

      A grant in the amount of $781,527, representing one half of the total project costs, has been approved by the New Jersey Historic Trust and appropriated on January 10, 1996 by P.L.1995, c.420 to the Division of Parks and Forestry in the Department of Environmental Protection; the grant funds were appropriated from the "1992 Historic Preservation Fund" established pursuant to the "Green Acres, Clean Water, Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 1992," P.L.1992, c.88. However, matching funds of 50 percent of the project cost must also be provided from other sources before the project can proceed. This bill represents those matching funds. If the project has not progressed to the point where the department can claim a certain portion of the grant award by January 10, 1998, the New Jersey Historic Trust may take action to revoke the award. To date, there has been no significant progress on the project.





Supplemental appropriation for FY 1997 of $782,000 from the General Fund to DEP for restoration of the Thomas A. Edison Memorial Tower in Edison.