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Montgomery Township’s Original Town Hall in Need of Help

By Barbara A. Preston | Posted June 20, 2024


Montgomery Township Administrator Lori Savron said township officials are looking at the original municipal building, located on Harlingen Road near Route 206, for a refresh.


“It dates from 1913,” Savron said. “It’s the original town hall. It has served as a community center, police headquarters, the recreation center offices, and a senior center. “And, I think it was possibly a school as well, as most historic buildings in Montgomery have been.”


Montgomery Township NJ Town Hall historic

MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP'S ORIGINAL municipal center at 14 Harlingen Road was built in 1913. The township administrator is looking for support to rehab the building.


Currently, the department of public works uses it as a break room. There are some issues with the interior. The floor is sagging. The bathroom needs some work.


“I’m looking at what stabilization methods would be needed. We certainly don’t want to get the building to a condition where it falls into demolition by neglect ... where we would not be good stewards of our own structures," Savon said during a recent Montgomery Township Committee meeting. "There is an opportunity, because it is a contributing structure to the Harlingen national and state historic district. Somerset County’s historic preservation grant program has significant funding for buildings like this.


“We won’t be ready by this year’s submission date,” Savron said. “But, I’d like to do some further investigation on the structure and bring a proposal to [Township Committee] on what it would look like if we applied for this grant next year.”


Mayor Neena Singh said it is a great idea.


Savron added that the historic town hall building is not in the floodway of the nearby stream, but it is in the flood hazard area.


Committee Member Devra Keenan asked whether town officials should consider moving the building out of the flood hazard area.


Savron responded that, “The water has never come up to the building.


Keenan said, “The water had never come up to some residents’ roofs [on Opossum Road] either. I think we should be smart, and if we can get money, let’s think about where we could move it.”


Savron said, at this point we have a year to look at all of the options. “I don’t know if the grant would cover relocation,” she said.


Keenan said she would help with looking for grants that would cover it. “Maybe there is an environmental grant,” she said.


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The Historic Town Hall

The original town hall is now named for a notable Montgomery resident, the late Robert S. True, the longtime road department foreman. True was a local Black community leader in the township and an employee of Montgomery Township for 30 years, the last 16 of which were spent as foreman in the township’s road department.


The Department of Public Works building, located on Harlingen Road, was named in honor of Mr. True in 1983.

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