The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms is delighted to announce plans to undertake a full rehabilitation of the Administration Building on the Craftsman Farms campus. This project, made possible through generous Open Space funding support from the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills, will be launched in the latter half of 2017.
Shortly after the museum’s Board of Trustees adopted the organization’s current 5-year strategic plan, the vision for this project emerged. A key objective of the strategic plan was a goal to expand museum facilities to accommodate and encourage future growth. Expanded space was needed for staff offices, exhibitions, programs, and collections storage. While the current administration building project received considerable focus over the past 5 years, in truth, expansion of the museum’s facilities has been an objective of its leadership for many years.
In 2013, Trustees were greatly assisted with progress toward the goal of expansion with the help of Open Space funds from the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills which underwrote feasibility studies on two original buildings, the White Cottage and the Administration Building. The results of these studies led Trustees to take a much closer look at the Administration Building, which was recommended for rehabilitation in the museum’s 2009 Historic Site Master Plan, as the answer to the organization’s most urgent facility needs. (At the same time, Trustees established a stabilization plan for the White Cottage, a project that will also launch in 2017. Funded by generous grants from the New Jersey Historic Trust and the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills, this project will be featured in a future newsletter.)
Currently housing administrative offices, the Administration building, in the Stickley era, was used for utilitarian purposes, with a garage at its lower level and a workshop on its upper floors, which were devastated by fire around 1950. After the fire only one floor was rebuilt. Originally, this building was located at the far end of the residential core of the property. Its rear windows would have overlooked the orchard, which is now the main parking lot. Today, with Route 10 serving as the only access point to the property (the original access on Route 53 is blocked), the Administration Building is the first building seen by visitors.
With the promising results of the feasibility study, Trustees began working with HMR Architects on a plan for total rehabilitation of the Administration Building—a rehabilitation that would bring substantial progress in expanding facilities, particularly space for programs, staff offices, and collections storage. The new design preserves the original garage at the lower level, making it a combination multi-use conference room and program space, with seating for up to 100 people. The main and 2nd floor will be office space, with a large area on the upper floor set aside for collections storage. In rebuilding the two floors, not only does this plan re-establish Stickley’s original vision for the building, it provides a suitably impressive entrance to this important National Historic Landmark.
Read more about our temporary relocation plans and all of our upcoming programs in the Summer 2017 issue of Notes from the Farms.