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Historical Society Celebrates the Brick Academy Top Floor Restoration Completion

Public Reception- November 9, 2008 2-4pm

The Somerset Hills – On Sunday, November 9, The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills hosted an open house at the Brick Academy to celebrate the completion of the historic landmark’s final phase of restoration work. The public was cordially invited to attend the free event, which was held from 2 to 4 p.m.

Somerset County Freeholder Denise Coyle discusses the top floor restoration effort with June Kennedy, Historical Society Trustee and Bernards Township local historianBuilt in 1809 as a private classical academy, the Brick Academy served as a public school from 1853 to 1903. The newly preserved top floor, which has been restored to its late 19th century public schoolroom appearance, will be open to the public for the first time during the event. Twentieth century partitions and ceilings have been removed to recreate the original large classroom space, and the original walls and floors have been restored.

The Historical Society will honor the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Somerset County Cultural & Historical Commission, which provided grant funding for the restoration work.  Special exhibits planned for the event will feature artifacts recovered during the restoration work, “in-progress” photographs, and the Historical Society’s collection of early school desks.

“We are delighted to reach the final phase of this long-term restoration project and look forward to sharing the progress on the schoolroom with the entire community,” commented Chairman Marcella A. Miccolis. Daniel W. Lincoln, Historical Society President, added, “History is important in so many ways. It helps to understand the present when you can compare to the past, for example, what it must have been like to go to school when the roads were dirt and there was little or no electricity, or having to eat a cold potato for lunch. I guess there have been a few improvements since 1900!”

Plans are to use the space for new education programming aimed at area school children, which will be introduced during 2009 as part of the Brick Academy’s 200th anniversary celebration in 2009.

2See the Top Floor Effort and Help Dress Up the Schoolhouse

Learn more about the Top Floor Project and how you can help our Top Floor Wish List search...Click Here




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Submitted: Ann Parsekian
October 23, 2008



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