William J. Martin, AIA, Master of Ceremonies for the 2023 Bergen County Historic Preservation Awards

May 31, 2023

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Photo of William J. Martin presenting at the 2022 awards

William J. Martin, AIA, Serves as Master of Ceremonies for the 2023 Bergen County Historic Preservation Awards

Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III and the Board of County Commissioners, the Department of Parks & Recreation, the Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs and the Bergen County Historic Preservation Advisory Board presented the 2023 BERGEN COUNTY HISTORIC PRESERVATION AWARDS on May 4, 2023, at the Valley Brook Golf Course in River Vale, NJ. 

The presentation of the 2023 Historic Preservation Awards was made by members of the Bergen County Historic Preservation Advisory Board, with William J. Martin, A.I.A., serving as the Master of Ceremonies. 

Bill’s remarks included the following… 


“Historic preservation of places is important for many reasons. Historic preservation protects the cultural and architectural heritage of a place, which reflects its history, identity, and diversity.

Historic preservation educates the public about the past and fosters a sense of connection and appreciation for different cultures and traditions.

Historic preservation enhances the aesthetic and environmental quality of a place, which contributes to its livability, attractiveness, and sustainability.

Historic preservation supports the economic and social development of a place, by creating jobs, generating revenue, promoting tourism, and revitalizing communities.

Historic preservation is not only about saving old buildings or objects, but also about preserving the stories, values, and meanings that they embody. Historic preservation is a way of honoring the past, celebrating the present, and shaping the future of a place.

There are four criteria that are generally used to identify a building as historically significant and therefore having historic value…

First, the building is a recognizable historic form or consistent style. An example of this is Bergen Counties’ many colonial-era Jersey Dutch stone houses.
Second, an event of historical importance happened at the site. An example of this is George Washington sleeping here.
Third, a person of historical significance was associated with the site. An example of this would be General Poor and his association with the Church on the
Green in Hackensack.
Fourth, the building itself is important and unique in its architecture. An example of this would be the Darlington Schoolhouse on Rt 202 at Darlington Ave in Mahwah.

Historic preservation has many benefits for a population. It provides community identity and quality of life. Historic preservation strengthens community identity by allowing historic
structures to create unique places for us to live and work. Each Bergen County town is unique, in part, due to these preservation efforts.

With climate change becoming a bigger and bigger issue, the most sustainable building is the one that is already there. Restoring, adapting and reusing an historic building prevents debris from filling up a landfill and reduces the energy needed for construction since the building is already there. Restoration of existing buildings allows for energy-efficient improvements to be made further
reducing energy consumption to benefit Bergen County’s environment.

Historic preservation encourages new and creative community development by providing established neighborhood history from which architects and builders can draw inspiration to create new visually compatible buildings. This supports a strong economic future and allows Bergen County to develop and redevelop to serve the needs of all of our residents in an appropriate way.”


The HISTORIC PRESERVATION ADVISORY BOARD includes multiple additional AIA members: John Cohen, A.I.A., Chairman; Matthew Wolchko, A.I.A., Vice Chairman; and Bruce A. Barton, A.I.A.  


History Publication New York, Susquehanna & Western – Vol.1: Jersey City to Passaic Junction by Carolyn Hoffman, and published by Rudy Garbely. 

Historic Preservation Project 57 Jefferson Avenue, Westwood, Brian T. Keane, Esq., Owner, and Brian J. Callahan, AIA, Architect.

Historic Preservation Project Cole-Allaire-Boyd House, Susan Boyd & Bill Zeigler, Owners.

Historic Preservation Project The Old South Church in Bergenfield 

Kevin B. Tremble won the 2023 Claire Tholl Award For lifetime achievement in historic preservation in Bergen County, selected for this prestigious award for his knowledge of the significance of Revolutionary War history in Bergen County, his volunteerism, and his promotion of public awareness of Bergen County history.  
This award was established in 1997 in memory of Claire K. Tholl of Upper Saddle River, an eminent architectural historian, map-maker and long-time member of the Historic Sites Advisory Board who passed away in 1995.

AIA New Jersey congratulates all the winners!

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