Train station preservation underway in Lake Hopatcong

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  • Connolly and Hickey Historical Architects begin preservation planning work on Lake Hopatcong Train Station. Photo courtesy of Lake Hopatcong Foundation

— The Lake Hopatcong Foundation has signed on Connolly and Hickey Historical Architects to create a comprehensive preservation plan for the historical train station building in Landing, which will serve as the foundation’s headquarters and as a community center, according to a news release from the Lake Hopatcong Foundation.

Connolly and Hickey, based in Cranford, has background in preservation planning, which will help as the foundation looks to rehabilitate the former train station at 125 Landing Road in Landing.

The foundation purchased the building on Nov. 6, and has been raising money and seeking grant funding to help restore it as a beautiful Lackawanna Railroad building and make it functional as a modern-day office and center for local meetings, classes and lectures, the release states.

"We are thrilled to have been able to obtain the services of Connolly and Hickey, truly the preeminent historic preservation architects in New Jersey,” said Lake Hopatcong Foundation board of trustees chairman Marty Kane, who also serves as president of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum. “Together with our builder Bob O'Donnell, and site manager Ron Kraus, we believe we have put together a ‘Dream Team.’"

So far the foundation has stripped down the interior of the building to its original stonework. A community clean-up last year brought out more than 100 volunteers to help remove debris from the building and clean-up the grounds. There are also plenty of behind-the-scenes efforts, such as applying for historical preservation grants and working to create a lake-friendly plan for the grounds.

It is expected that the masonry will be the first step in the rehabilitation process, though the foundation will not have a complete blueprint to work with until the preservation plan is complete this summer. At that point, architectural, rehabilitation, and construction efforts will begin.

"It is great to take the first step in the restoration and reuse of this iconic local building,” Kane said.

Jessica K. Murphy, president of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, said the group is looking forward to having the building encompass elements of the organization’s mission.

“We are working to both preserve the past and be stewards of the future as we rehabilitate this special structure,” she said. “We hope the final product will truly represent the lake community, and we can’t wait to open the doors to the public. We are definitely off to a great start, thanks to the expertise and support of so many people.”

The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission of “improving Lake Hopatcong for all, now and in the years to come.” It was established in 2012.

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