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Home arrow Working with Section 106 arrow ACHP Case Digest arrow Summer 2004 arrow New Jersey: Development of Revolutionary War Battlefield, Edison (closed case)
New Jersey: Development of Revolutionary War Battlefield, Edison

Agencies: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, American Battlefield Protection Program, and Environmental Protection Agency

As reported in the Spring 2004 Case Digest, nearly all of Edison, New Jersey’s former American Revolutionary Battlefield known as Oak Tree Pond will be restored to its historic appearance as a battlefield landscape. The original battlefield was destroyed by a developer’s actions in 2001 to make way for a strip mall.

One acre of the park, however, is still slated to become the site of a bank. The ACHP has worked with the bank owner, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the community to ensure that the bank’s adverse effects on the surrounding area are minimized.

While the consultation on the effects of the bank’s construction on the historic property was successful overall, the bank’s proposed 18-feet-high security lighting within the park’s natural setting continued to concern preservationists.

Re-enactors recreate the Revolutionary War battle at Oak Tree Pond, Edison, New Jersey



Re-enactors recreate the Revolutionary War battle at Oak Tree Pond, Edison, New Jersey (photo courtesy of Jim Hebenstreit, Save the Oak Tree Pond Organization)



Although the battlefield landscape also will have lighting along its pathways, Save the Oak Tree Pond consulting parties believed that the bank’s proposed lighting would compromise the setting of the parkland and intrude visually upon the landscape of Oak Tree Pond.

The consulting parties researched the bank’s properties in other communities and found that exceptions to the 18-feet-high security lights had been granted in accordance with the wishes of the local communities, including one in nearby Metuchen, New Jersey.

The consulting parties brought this information to the attention of bank officials, who agreed to the change and submitted an amended lighting plan to the Edison planning board, using light fixtures matching the 12-feet-high fixtures planned for the park.

Upon approval of the lighting, the consulting parties signed a Memorandum of Agreement that, among other things, requires the bank to conceal the building through vegetative screening that is compatible with the landscape planned for the park. It will also serve the park by providing parking and handicapped access.

Despite the efforts of Oak Tree Pond preservationists, their work is not yet over. Restoration of the park’s landscape has presented its own challenges and delays, and a planned dedication ceremony has been postponed.

In addition, New Jersey’s “Crossroads of the American Revolution” Heritage Area, which will include Oak Tree Pond, still requires Congressional action to establish and fund the network of historic sites that are key to understanding the events of the American Revolution.

With the continued advice and technical assistance of the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program and critical volunteer efforts from local supporters, Oak Tree Pond preservationists continue to strive toward bringing the history of the Oak Tree Pond engagement area to the public.

For background information on this case, visit the Spring 2004 Case Digest.

Staff contact: Martha Catlin

Posted August 9, 2004

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