From Ed Ng of the Chester Historical Society:

We are continuing our efforts to repair, restore, and adaptively reuse Chester’s Rockefeller Center, located next to the Gazebo in Municipal Field on Main Street.  As you may recall, in 2021 CHS funded a Rockefeller Center Historic Preservation Plan by Connelly and Hickey Historical Architects, applied for and received a Certificate of Eligibility to the State and National Register of Historic Places, applied for and received a Morris County Historic Preservation Commission grant to produce the construction documents that are needed to undertake the repair and restoration of the building.  In 2022, working with Chester Borough (the building’s owner), we will use the guidance from the construction documents to apply for grants to undertake the interior and exterior repairs and restoration.

To help tell the story of Rockefeller Center’s history, future repair, and restoration, we have added a display to the three-sided kiosk that stands between the building and the Gazebo (see above).  The front side panel recounts the history of Rockefeller Center from the start of Chester’s Iron Heyday in 1867 to the story behind its naming in the 1950’s.  The second panel in the rear, brings us up to date, recounting the efforts of the Chester Historical Society and the Borough to save the building from demolition and move it to its current location.  Some of the 2022 repairs and restoration documents are also reproduced showing how extensive the work will be if we are successful in our grant efforts.  There is a video on our YouTube Channel which recounts the history of Rockefeller Center as of 2021 which can be accessed by clicking: .  Of course it is also available on links at our website.

The development plans for two other important historic Chester sites are ongoing.  I would like to thank Mayor Asdal, the Township Council and Planning Board for including in the Request for Proposal (RFP) for Development of the Glenlora Site, a stipulation that “The development should incorporate the existing historic structure” which are the stone barn and stables built by William H. Seward in 1878.  We will be monitoring the RFP and responses from developers as the process moves forward.

The development plans for the Larison’s Turkey Farm site which the Developers are calling “Chester Town Center” are being reviewed by the Chester Borough Land Use Board.  I would like to thank Mayor Hoven and the Land Use Board Chairman Ken Kasper for arranging a tour of the site with the Developers, the LUB, and other members of the public in December 2021.  The tour was very informative, but there are still many questions about the development.  Hopefully those questions will be raised and answered at upcoming Land Use Board meetings which are usually held the first and third Thursdays of each month.  Please double check for the Land Use Board meeting agendas.