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Moorestown, NJ
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 57.869 W 074° 56.702
18S E 504694 N 4423816
Quick Description: This former hub of the community is but one of many 18th & 19th buildings lining Main Street in historic Moorestown, NJ. All of these homes are contributing structures to the Moorestown Historic District found on the NRHP.
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 3/13/2010 9:45:19 PM
Waymark Code: WM8CXC
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 3

Long Description:
I received some information from the Department of the Interior on this beauty. Here is what they had to say:

Original building built 1812. Rear section with stage added in 1859 and jail in 1876. New two-story Romanesque front built and other improvements made in 1888. 2½-story, 3-register Romanesque Revival-style brick building, painted. Recessed entry behind brick arch supported on impost blocks and corbeled brick entablature with checkerboard pattern. Double leaf 9-light doors with infilled transom. First floor 6/6 light windows with semicircular tripartite transom, stone sills and arched lintels with brick denticular ornament; second floor tripartite arched window with 1/1 double hung windows, semicircular infilled transoms,stoned sills and brick arched lintels with same ornament (same window configuration repeated on both side gables). Single-arched window with brick detail in center, molded box cornice and side gables. 1-story rear and brick addition. Individually listed on the National Register. 1½-story gabled brick building with frame additions in rear. - Contributing.

This building happens to be only one of three structures which have independent listings on the NRHP. I saw a car in the driveway and lights on so I guess it is still privately owned. A historic sign out front marks the cultural significance of this municipal building.

For over a century and a half, the Old Town Hall was the center of civic and social life in Moorestown, although its present appearance belies its age. The building was constructed to serve Moorestown's municipal needs in 1811-1812 as an unadorned 1-story structure, to be "finished in a strong plain style:" It continued in this form for almost fifty years.

By the mid-1850s, Moorestown Township was sharing ownership of Town Hall with the Moorestown Literary Association. The building was inadequate for these dual purposes. To raise money for improvements, shares of stock were issued. With the proceeds, the building was doubled in size in 1859. A stage was installed to facilitate lectures and performances.

Still, as Moorestown grew, the building was inadequate. A jail was constructed on the southeast corner in 1876. Then, in 1888, the shareholders transferred their stock to the Women's Christian Temperance Union. The WCTU agreed to improve the building. In exchange, they enjoyed its use for a period of ten years, after which ownership reverted to Moorestown Township. The WCTU raised the front of the building to 2 1/2 stories, cladding it in a Romanesque Revival exterior carried out with elaborate brickwork. The main entrance is through a compound arch set in a gabled porch. Above this, the wall is articulated by a wide entablature with a corbeled cornice. The second story is dominated by a triple-arched window, above which is a round-arched window in the apex of a crossgable. A similar motif appears in the facade of the gable end. The windows of the first floor are also round-arched. All the window surrounds are decorated with Romanesque billet molding formed by alternating projecting and recessed bricks.

Besides its functions as municipal building and meeting place for the Literary Association and WCTU, Old Town Hall has housed recruits during the Civil War, flower shows and other exhibits, and Moorestown's first movie theater. SOURCE


This is the NRHP Listing

Name: Town Hall

Address:
40 East Main Street
Moorestown, NJ USA
08057


Date of Construction: 1812

Web Site for City/Town/Municipality: [Web Link]

Architect: Not listed

Memorials/Commemorations/Dedications: Not listed

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