A Heartbreaking Loss on Midway – but now an opportunity to fight back hard!

Another loss. Come to Tuesday night’s hearing to support a new ordinance that is ready to go!

On Thursday September 14, 2023, wrecking equipment destroyed in less than a day a charming little home which had stood at 402 Midway for over a century.

Didn’t matter that it was in perfectly marketable condition.

Didn’t matter that it had fine American chestnut woodwork that had never been painted.

All that mattered was that a developer could make a buck by destroying the home and the mature trees, and then subdividing and building three houses on the site.

He could do that because this year he went to court and destroyed Riverton’s Historic Preservation ordinance (and then proceeded to destroy the Groves Mansion on Lippincott Avenue.)

It now looks like Riverton is poised to take strong action against future teardowns – and you can help. There is a new draft ordinance going to Borough Council this Tuesday that promises to give us a solid demolition ordinance every bit as good as the ones that defend other beautiful, historic towns in New Jersey from destruction.

It will be introduced for “first reading” THIS TUESDAY 9/19/2023 at 7:00 PM at Borough Hall.

This ordinance is intended to fully support the “Concept Document” produced by the ad hoc citizens’ “Preservation Roundtable” group this summer. Read that “Concept Document” here.

Council voted to support that document at their meeting in August. That document also explains who the Roundtable are and how Riverton lost the historic protections we’ve thought we had for 25 years.

We believe the Mayor and Council will be on board. Come support them in person (get there early) or attend via Zoom at https://zoom.us/j/93447182894?pwd=SVN4TjJiM3FicGFxdVduQ2xvTVRBZz09

Now – It’s always frustrating that legislative procedures don’t permit Borough Hall to release working drafts like this to the public pre-introduction. But after Tuesday night, assuming they agree to introduce it, we will make sure everyone can read the proposal for themselves here at HSR – and we encourage everyone to read it, support it, talk it up!

If accepted on Tuesday, we understand that the Mayor and Council plan to schedule a special public meeting in the gym at Riverton School on Wednesday October 11, 2023 at 6:00 pm. (Note the early time.) Public comments will be encouraged and we hope all of our supporters of preserving of Riverton’s history will speak in support of Council’s ordinance.

Please support the future of Riverton’s past!

Published by

Roger Prichard

Roger is a board member of the Historical Society of Riverton, the Borough Historian, and the researcher and author of most of HSR's historical interpretive markers.

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