Morristown, N.J. – Morristown National Historical Park (NHP) will soon commence several accessibility and preservation projects at both the Washington’s Headquarters and Jockey Hollow areas of the park.
Preservation and construction work will affect five park structures: Ford Mansion, Washington’s Headquarters Museum, Guerin House, Jockey Hollow Visitor Center, and the Wick House along with the cultural landscape at Washington’s Headquarters Area.
The projects will prepare Morristown NHP to receive increased visitation for the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States and reflect ongoing efforts by the National Park Service (NPS) to maintain, improve accessibility and preserve park infrastructure and facilities.
Work on the projects will commence the week of January 22 with the removal of historic windows from the Ford Mansion and Wick House for their off-site repair. Plywood inserts will be installed in the window openings of the structures.
Exterior preservation and painting of the Ford Mansion, Headquarters Museum, and Guerin House is expected to start in early spring. The installation of accessible pathways at Washington’s Headquarters Area and a universal accessible ramp into the Ford Mansion will also get underway in the spring.
Meanwhile, the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center will have new ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible restroom doors installed along with automatic openers for those and the main doors into the Visitor Center. This work is expected to be completed this winter.
“We are thrilled to undertake this extensive preservation work at the park ahead of America 250 to prepare our site for the anticipated increased visitation the anniversary will bring,” said Superintendent Tom Ross. “I’m mindful that these major projects will bring some short-term disruptions to our visitors, but the end result will not only improve the condition and aesthetics of our historic structures, but also make our facilities more accessible for all.”
Visitor access to the historic Ford Mansion and the Wick House in Jockey Hollow will be restricted while the windows are removed from those structures. The windows are anticipated to be reinstalled in May upon which time we will re-open the structures to visitors.
We encourage the public to check for updates on building closures or temporary construction work closures on our website at https://www.nps.gov/morr/planyourvisit/hours.htm. and for short notice “Alerts” at https://www.nps.gov/morr/planyourvisit/conditions.htm .
Work at the Washington’s Headquarters area includes:
*Repairing the bluestone sidewalk on Morris Avenue (Route 510) for improved pedestrian safety and accessibility. Sunken pieces of the sidewalk will be reset, and cracked or broken pieces will be replaced.
*Installing new red brick ADA-compliant walkways between the visitor parking lot, the rear facade of the Ford Mansion and the Washington’s Headquarters Museum. This includes installing an accessible ramp into the Ford Mansion to allow visitors who cannot manage steps to enter the first floor of the historic house.
*Extensive preservation work on the Ford Mansion’s windows and doors and masonry work on the foundation and chimneys. The initial work will include removing windows for their repair. Additional exterior wood repairs and painting of the structure will complete the work. *Minor exterior repair and painting of the Washington’s Headquarters Museum.
Work in Jockey Hollow includes:
*Wick House: Preserving the windows and doors, re-pointing the foundation, repairing exterior wood, and painting the exterior.*
*Guerin House: Repointing the foundation’s masonry and chimneys and painting the exterior. *Visitor Center: Improving visitor accessibility by installing automatic door openers on the main doors into the building and the restroom doors. Installing new exterior and interior restroom doors and door jambs.
For more information about Morristown National Historical Park, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/morr.