Dear Friends of the Newark Historical Society, A year ago, the City of Newark announced that they were considering selling the Newark Passenger Train Station due to the extensive amount of repairs that needed to be done. Thanks to the quick action on the part of Newark Historical Society Members, the Newark community, city council members, local state representatives, and many Delawareans near and far - our community responded and helped us to raise $25,000 towards the cost of renovations. Countless people wrote letters, called their local representatives, and rallied on social media to explain what this historical building and museum means to them. It has been inspiring to see the community come together around our museum and building. After spending a full year planning various fundraisers, hosting our first Founders Weekend 5K, applying to grants, many meetings, and discussions with the City of Newark, we are happy to share that the City has committed to use state funds from the Bond Bill to fully fund the renovation at the Train Station. You can read more here. The $25,000 we raised will be put towards storage and transportation of the historical collection while renovations are taking place. I am extremely excited for these renovations to begin, which will lay a foundation for us to continue the important work of preserving and telling the history of our City. On behalf of the Newark Historical Society Board of Directors, we want to express our gratitude to everyone who supported us this past year. The outpouring of support we received from the community was truly amazing. We cannot thank you all enough. A special thank you to the Mayor, Newark City Council Members, Staff from the City of Newark, members of the Bond Bill Committee, and our local state representatives Paul Baumbach and Cyndie Romer, for their unwavering support this past year.
With deep gratitude, Kaitlyn Tanis Newark Historical Society President
Press Release * August 30, 2022 Dear Friends of the Newark Historical Society,
As many of you are aware, on Monday, August 29, 2022 it was announced at the City Council meeting that the City of Newark is considering the potential sale of the historic Newark Train Station. Originally built in 1877, the train station is home to the Newark Historical Society and the Newark History Museum. Unfortunately, several, expensive repairs are needed to make the building a viable property for the City.
As the primary occupants of the building, the Newark Historical Society has been aware of these issues for many years. In fact, both myself and our curator met with a city official prior to the August 29th meeting to discuss the repairs needed. We have noticed and reported electrical and structural issues in addition to the condition of the windows and roof. The close proximity to the active train tracks and age of the building has contributed to the state of disrepair we find ourselves in today.
The property has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982. Contrary to common thought, placement on the National Register does not protect the building from demolition, and the City of Newark's municipal code only protects the facade from being altered. The 1877 Train Station is an important representation of the history of Newark and deserves to be preserved and accessible for future generations.
While we would be sad to see the building fall into different hands; the Newark Historical Society is aware that this might be a real possibility. We are facing over $700,000 of repairs that need to be done on the building in order for us to use it as the home of the Newark History Museum. A large price tag - yes, but one we are committed to working towards in many capacities. That is why the Newark Historical Society will be committing $5,000 of our Society’s money towards the repairs that need to be done on the building, focusing first on the repairs needed on the windows.
We look forward to working with the city to identify sources of funding that would allow us to complete the necessary repairs so that the Historical Society and Museum may remain housed in such a historic location. While it is still quite early for us to have firm plans and pathways forward for repairing the building, rest assured we are working together to preserve this historic property. In the coming weeks, you will see an uptick in our communication as we strive to keep you up-to-date on projects and share our plans for fundraisers and upcoming events.
We appreciate the support. If you are interested in becoming a member or supporting the Newark Historical Society, please visit our website. Money that is donated now will be put directly into a fund for repairs to the building.
Thank you for the support, Kaitlyn Tanis Newark Historical Society President