Welcome to 222 West State Street
Some of the attendees at the building dedication on March 24, 2007, identified with their titles at that time:
League President Dave DelVecchio, Mayor Lambertville, Ginny Hook, President, 222 W. State Street Urban Renewal Corp., and League Executive Director, William Dressel cut Ribbon for Opening of New League Headquarters. Senator Peter Inverso along with Assemblyman Baroni (right) and Board Members, Trustees and Past Presidents pose for this Historic occasion.
Welcome to the League’s new home.
In January of 2007 the League relocated from its long-time 407 West State Street home to the larger, renovated Roebling Mansion at 222 West State Street.
A $40,000 EDA predevelopment loan was used to finance a feasibility study for the project. Financing for the $6-million restoration and expansion of the property, located within the State House Historic District and directly opposite the State House complex, included nearly $1.4 million in low-interest EDA loans and a $3.6-million Wachovia loan provided under the federal New Markets Tax Credits program. Additionally, a $750,000 Capital Preservation Grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust helped fund the restoration and preservation of the building.
The League purchased the 5,000-square-foot structure from the City of Trenton in 2005 and historically restored the exterior and first floor. The second and third floors have been transformed into modern office space. Additionally, approximately 11,000 square feet of office space was added to the rear of the building. It was a major move for the League and a historically significant undertaking for the city. And, it was all made possible with a combination of public and private financing and a strong partnership among the New Jersey Historic Trust, EDA, Wachovia and the League.
Windows over the building's front archway.
When 28-year-old Ferdinand W. Roebling Sr. purchased his home at 222 West State St. in 1870 from U.S. Senator John P. Stockton, little did he know that the property was destined to one day become the headquarters for the state’s pre-eminent association serving all of New Jersey’s municipalities.
In 1870, the building was sold to Ferdinand W. Roebling, Sr. by United States Senator John Potter Stockton, whose father, Robert, had also served in the Senate and as President of the Delaware & Raritan Canal. His father, Richard, preceded him in the Senate, after which he served in the House of Representatives. And his father, also named Richard, had represented New Jersey as a Member of the Continental Congress, where he became a signatory to the Declaration of Independence.
The home’s new owner was the second son of John A. Roebling, the manufacturer/inventor of wire rope and the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge. Ferdinand, Sr., the financial and business genius of the John A. Roebling’s Sons Company family firm, was also the driving force behind the establishment of the Trenton Free Public Library and the man most responsible for the design and construction of Trenton City Hall. Three generations of Roeblings resided at 222.
Ferdinand Directed Finances
The financing package likely would have intrigued Ferdinand Roebling. As secretary/treasurer of the Roebling Wire Company, which his father founded in Trenton in 1849 at the height of U.S. Industrial Revolution, Ferdinand Roebling was the business’s financial officer.
The technology behind the business was the senior Roebling’s invention of wire rope, or steel cable, which had far-reaching applications for the transportation, communications and construction industries in a growing America. He chose Trenton as his new location to be close to the Cooper Iron Works business, his major wire supplier, and because of the city’s proximity to railroads, waterways and thriving East Coast markets.
John Roebling is best remembered for the application of his invention in suspension bridges, culminating in his design of the Brooklyn Bridge. John’s sons, Ferdinand, Washington and Charles, were all involved in carrying on their father’s business legacy. They incorporated after their father’s ironic death from tetanus poisoning, which he contracted during the early stages of the Brookyn Bridge’s construction.
Over its life span, the Roebling Wire Company/John A. Roebling’s Sons Company supplied steel cable for more than two dozen suspension bridges in the United States, Canada and South America. The company was sold to the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company in 1952, which, in turn, was sold to the Crane Corporation in 1969. All Roebling plants were out of operation by 1974.
Lone Surviving Roebling Mansion
The three Roebling sons all built homes along West State Street in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but the residence at 222 West State St. is the only one that remains standing. The home was vacant for three decades, but not without controversy. An attempt by a developer to demolish the building, which is listed on both state and national Registers of Historic Places, was rebuffed in the 1980s. The city acquired the mansion in the late 1990s through eminent domain.
The New Jersey State League of Municipalities purchased the 5,000-square-foot structure from the City of Trenton in 2005 and restored much of the exterior and first floor. The second and third floors were transformed into modern office space. Additionally, approximately 11,000 square feet of office space was added to the rear of the building. The League occupies about half the space and lease the remaining space to tenants. A parking lot is also accessible at the rear of the property. It’s a major move for the League and a historically significant undertaking for the city. And, it was all made possible with a combination of public and private financing and a strong partnership among the New Jersey Historic Trust, EDA, Wachovia and the League.
Proposed sketch of the Roebling Mansion after its rehabilitation, 2005.
League Restores City Mansion (Article reprinted with permission from the Times, February 19, 2007)
Building's Grand Opening
Open House and Dedication
March 24, 2007,
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Words of Welcome: David DelVecchio, Mayor, Lambertville, then League President
Prayer of Dedication: Father Leon Inverso, Diocese of Trenton
Introduction of Guests: William G. Dressel, Jr., League Executive Director, & Secretary, 222 West State Street, Urban Renewal Corporation
Ribbon Cutting: Virginia D. Hook, League Past President, & President, 222 West State Street, Urban Renewal Corporation
& then Mayor of Trenton, Douglas Palmer
Harpist: Barbara Biggers
2007 League Officers and Members of the League Executive Board
(As they were listed at the time of dedication)
DAVID M. DELVECCHIO, Mayor, Lambertville
GENE FEYL, Mayor, Denville
1st Vice President
ROBERT L. BOWSER, Mayor, East Orange
2nd Vice President
TIMOTHY C. MCDONOUGH, Mayor, Hope
3rd Vice President
JAMES ANZALDI, Mayor, Clifton
JOAN BOAS, Council Member, Mount Holly
CORY BOOKER, Mayor, Newark (Ex-Officio)
LUCILLE CHAUMP, Mayor, Oceanport
CHUCK CHIARELLO, Mayor, Buena Vista
GIUSEPPE “JOE” CHILA, Mayor, Woolwich
DANIEL N. CORANOTO, Deputy Mayor, Hampton Township
JOHN DEAN DERIENZO, Mayor, Haworth
MALCOLM C. FRASER, Mayor, Cape May Point
CORDELIA “CORY” O. FULLER, Council President, Chatham Borough
GLEN D. GILMORE, Mayor, Hamilton Township (Mercer)
JERRAMIAH HEALY, Mayor, Jersey City
MARTIN L. MARKS, Mayor, Scotch Plains
GARY PASSANANTE, Mayor, Somerdale
DOUGLAS M. RAINEAR, Committee Member, Upper Deerfield
HERBERT D. STILES, JR., Mayor, Elmer
JOSEPH TEMPESTA, JR., Mayor, West Caldwell
JANET TUCCI, Mayor, West Long Branch
DANIEL VANPELT, Mayor, Ocean Township (Ocean)
BRIAN C. WAHLER, Mayor, Piscataway
RUDOLPH J. WENZEL, JR., Mayor, Washington Township (Bergen)
LOUISE WILSON, Deputy Mayor, Montgomery
2007 League Staff Members
WILLIAM G. DRESSEL, JR., Executive Director
MICHAEL J. DARCY, CAE, Assistant Executive Director
DONNA BALTZ, Legislative, Administrative Support
SHIRLEY CADE, Legislative, Administrative Support
MIKE CERRA, Senior Legislative Analyst
SUZANNE DELANY, Seminars, Administrative Support
KYRA DURAN, Managing Editor
TOM FRATTICCIOLI, Subscriptions Manager
DAVID HARKNESS, Manager, Seminar Programs, Advertising Manager
MARIE JOHNSON, Financial Administrator
DEBORAH KOLE, Staff Attorney, Bureau of Municipal Information
DOROTHY “DEE” KOTCH, Annual Conference, Administrative Support
GAYLE KRYGIER, Assistant Financial Administrator
KRISTIN LAWRENCE, Assistant Exhibit Manager
JON R. MORAN, Senior Legislative Analyst
TARAN SAMHAMMER, ‑Bureau of Municipal Information, Research Coordinator
BECKY WRIGHT, Executive Assistant, Administrative Support
HELEN YELDELL, Senior Legislative Analyst