Tuesday, February 7, 2012

HELP! Green Castle Hotel threatened.

 UPDATE 10/23/2012: Great News! City Council has denied the appeal made by the Holy Angels Parish/Diocese of Camden to raze the Green Hotel!!
UPDATE 8/14/2012: Please note that Woodbury's City Council has scheduled the application for Holy Angels Parish – Appeal of Planning/Zoning Board Denial of Certificate of Appropriateness– to be fought on October 22, 2012.

UPDATE 6/8/2012: The church and their legal representatives are seeking to appeal the city's decision preventing them from tearing down this contributing historical building within the officially recognized Green Era Historic District  #88000992 on the State Register of Historic Places! Apparently they just don't get it. I urge you to contact them to express your interest in preserving this unique Second Empire Victorian Era Hotel! See below for their contact info.

Hotel Green Woodbury New Jersey threatened by the Holy Angels Catholic Parish for demolition

Your help is required! Woodbury, NJ stands to lose yet another Green landmark. This time it's the Green Castle Hotel, a lovely Second Empire Victorian building with beautiful keystone lintels built by Lewis Green (former mayor of Woodbury and father to G.G. Green, Woodbury's first millionaire). This hotel is located at the corner of Cooper St. & Railroad Ave in the Green Historic District and was built in 1881 to accommodate the many trains arriving across the street at the now preserved Eastern Stick style train station, home of the successful Woodbury Station Cafe. It does not go unnoticed that many in this town would like to raze structures such as this one that stood as welcoming symbols to visitors and tourists arriving everyday from far and wide to visit this once, and still proud city.

The Details:

An application has just been submitted to the Historic Preservation Commission by the Holy Angels Catholic Parish and their governing Diocese of Camden requesting permission to raze the building for yet another parking lot! This is an absolutely absurd request as there is ample free parking all around the area including the church's own large parking lot, free street parking at the side of the church on Euclid Street, a free city parking garage a half a block away on Cooper Street and plentiful free city off street parking across the street on Railroad Avenue.

They are stating that as a religious / charitable organization they do not have the money to maintain the structure, which is apparent given the current visible condition of the building, but they certainly were able to come up with the $271,000 to purchase it in 2005 knowing they would need to maintain the structure. They are also stating there is no historical value in the building and its architectural style and that it could serve no other purpose. One could easily see this as an Internet cafe, coffee shop, art gallery, or better yet, a fully preserved Victorian hotel bed and breakfast to attract some historic-minded tourism to the town. How about a Green-themed historic center showcasing the many innovations and attractions the Green family brought to the area in the 1800s?  If the diocese does not want to donate or sell the building to more interested parties, Paul Willham, owner of the Indianapolis based Victorian Antiquities & Design Historic Restoration company suggests they think of potential adaptive reuse of the building, maybe as classrooms, a meeting space or future community center space.


call, write, email or Facebook the parish and diocese KINDLY stating that you are not happy with their plan to demolish the building. It is apparent from past efforts in obtaining architectural restoration quotes and applying for preservation grants that the parish would like to see the building saved.

Can you offer them any suggestions?

The Diocese of Camden, Holy Angels Parish and their legal representative contacts are as follows:

Diocese of Camden 
631 Market Street
Camden, NJ 
Phone: 856-756-7900 
Fax: 856-963-2655

Holy Angels Parish
64 Cooper Street
Woodbury, NJ
Phone: 856-845-0123 
Fax: 856-845-7409

Rev. Msgr. Joseph V. Di Mauro, Pastor


Holy Angels Parish's legal representative: 
Francis J. Monari, Esquire, McKernan, McKernan and Godino
113 North Sixth St.
Camden, NJ

Sands, R. W. (2006). Woodbury: Images of America. (p. 128). Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing.


Daniel said...

Bryan please remind the city of this post from February 2012