Sunday, June 01, 2014

Trenton Times Article on Veblen House

The Trenton Times ran a front page article today, Sunday, on the Veblen House and the Rogers House--another county-owned historic building that has fallen into disrepair. (It's early morning, and I first wrote "fallen into repair". Wouldn't that be nice.) Veblen House is part of Herrontown Woods, the first 95 acres of which were donated by the visionary mathematician Oswald Veblen and his wife Elizabeth to Mercer County. They intended the house to be given a public use, but the county rented it out until 1998, then boarded it up.

The Trenton Times article brings much-needed attention to the issue of saving government-owned historic buildings. Those that fall off a government's priority list tend to be left unprotected, even when a low-cost intervention like patching a small hole in a roof would add many years to their longevity. Fortunately, the Veblen House has a metal roof that has kept it protected through these many years.

The online version of the Trenton Times includes a series of twelve photographs of the house and cottage. For years, there's been an ongoing confusion about which house is which, so I've added a post entitled "Will the real Veblen House please stand up".

Though the Veblen House doesn't look like much from outside, it's a fascinating, one-of-a-kind house, given added dimension by its peaceful wooded setting on the edge of the preserve, and the extraordinary career of Oswald Veblen. News about work on trails and habitat at Herrontown Wood can be found at Work on putting a nonprofit together to rehab the house and cottage is coming along, and the Rotary Club of Princeton has been holding monthly workday Saturdays at the Veblen House grounds.

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