Woodbridge Township Historic Preservation Commission

Woodbridge Township, New Jersey

Chartered 1669

What is Historic Preservation?
“The Congress finds and declares that —
(1) the spirit and direction of the Nation are founded upon and 
reflected in its historic heritage;
(2) the historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be 
preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to 
give a sense of orientation to the American people;
(3) historic properties significant to the Nation's heritage are 
being lost or substantially altered, often inadvertently, with increasing 
(4) the preservation of this irreplaceable heritage is in the public 
interest so that its vital legacy of cultural, educational, aesthetic, 
inspirational, economic, and energy benefits will be maintained and enriched for 
future generations of Americans … “
National Historic Preservation Act of 1966

“Historic preservation recognizes that what was common and ordinary in the past is often rare and precious today, and what is common and ordinary today may be extraordinary, fifty, one hundred or five hundred years from now.”Ruth Pierpoint, President, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, Testimony before the U. S. House of Representatives Committee on AppropriationsSubcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, March, 2010  “ ‘Place’ is the vessel within which the ‘spirit’ of community is stored; ‘Community’ is the catalyst that imbues a location with a ‘sense’ of place. The two are not divisible. You cannot have community without place; and a place without community is only a location.I would further argue that the built environment in general, and perhaps historic preservation in particular is the nexus at which the concept of community and the concept of place intersect.”  Donovan D. Rypkema, New Jersey Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony, April 27, 1996, Montclair, New Jersey


“For, indeed, the greatest glory of a building is not in its stones, 

not in its gold. Its glory is in its Age, and in that deep sense of 
voicefulness, of stern watching, of mysterious sympathy, nay, even of approval 
or condemnation, which we feel in walls that have long been washed by the 
passing waves of humanity.”  John Ruskin, 
The Seven Lamps of Architecture, 1890
“John Ruskin was referring to buildings but I think what he said 
applies to our entire communities as well. He wrote, ‘When we build let us think 
that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight, nor for present use 
alone; let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for, and let us 
think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will 
be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say as 
they took upon the labor and wrought substance of them, 
This our fathers did for us.’ What you are doing for historic 
preservation in New Jersey today, your descendants will thank you for.”  Donovan D. Rypkema, New Jersey Historic 
Preservation Awards Ceremony, April 27, 1996, Montclair, New