PRB raising funds to preserve boro history

This hand-painted replica of the Red Bank train stationhouse is being used to raise funds for Preservation Red Bank. This hand-painted replica of the Red Bank train stationhouse is being used to raise funds for Preservation Red Bank. A miniature of the Red Bank train station building is helping to preserve historic structures in Red Bank.

In its first fund-raising drive, Preservation Red Bank will thank those who donate $50 or more to support the group’s efforts to preserve the borough’s historic fabric with a replica of the Red Bank train station building which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places,

Until now, PRB has raised funds through $10-$20 annual membership dues and its popular annual yard sale.

However, the not-for-profit community group that was formed to preserve and protect structures of historical and architectural significance in Red Bank needs funds to continue the effort, particularly its campaign to save the Olde Union House from demolition for new development.

“This has been a challenging year with our efforts against the application to destroy the Olde Union House,” a letter from the PRB trustees states.

“The face of Red Bank is experiencing extraordinary change, with some 300,000 square feet of multi-storied buildings approved or in application,” the letter to prospective donors states.

“The challenge of maintaining our historic roots is at a watershed, and we need your help.”

The group is leading the fight to preserve the Olde Union House on Wharf Avenue, one of the earliest commercial structures in the borough.

PRB has retained its own expert witnesses to testify at Planning Board hearings on an application by developer Union Street Village to demolish the historic tavern building and construct a mixed use, retail/residential/parking structure in its place.

According to PRB trustee George Bowden, a community-wide mailing about the Olde Union House application drew more than 200 responses in support of PRB’s position. The next scheduled hearing is Jan. 10.

Bowden, who also is chairman of the Red Bank Historic Preservation Commission, said the replica of the station house is made of a plastic compound and measures 6.5 inches, by 6.24 inches by 3 inches and is hand painted in authentic colors. The limited edition replica has a retail value of $19.95.

“It’s a dead ringer for the building face of the 1876 railroad station,” he said, adding that an artist for Caravelle Designs, New York, the company that produced the replica, spent time sketching and photographing the structure.

The miniatures are being offered as a thank you for donations of $50 or more and are available by mailing a check payable to Preservation Red Bank, P.O. Box 8024, Red Bank 07701. Donors should include name, address and phone number. For additional information, call PRB trustee Gladys Bowden at (732) 747-7761