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Major Fund-Raising Effort On to Purchase Crane House


Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane

The Asbury Park Historical Society has begun a major $250,000 fundraising campaign to purchase and restore the historic Stephen Carne House in Asbury Park. The house, built in 1876, is probably the oldest house in Asbury Park. It is also the teenage home of famous American author Stephen Crane.

Stephen Crane [1871- 1900] was a prolific American author who began his literary career in Asbury Park as a teenager. Throughout his short life, Crane wrote notable works in the Realist tradition as well as early examples of American Naturalism and Expressionism. His writings include “The Red Badge of Courage,” “Maggie: A Girl of the Streets” and many other important fiction, poetry and essays.

“The good writers are Henry James, Stephen Crane and Mark Twain,” wrote Ernest Hemingway in The Green Hills of Africa in 1935.

The current house owner, Frank D’Alessandro, has offered to sell the house to the Historical Society for $1- but it will cost a lot more than $1 to undertake this task.

“We will have closing costs, insurance, some taxes, utilities and major restoration expenses related to obtaining the house. However, this is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the historical society and we can not let it pass us by,” Historical Society President Don Stine said.

“Asbury Park has lost many historic buildings in recent years and now it is time to take a stand and preserve this important piece of both Asbury Park and American literary history,” he said.

In order to help facilitate the purchase and restore the house, located at 508 Fifth Avenue, the Historical Society has filed an application, with documentation, to have it placed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. The application is now under review by the New Jersey State Historical Preservation Office.

The Historical Society is creating a special Stephen Crane House Endowment Fund and is trying to raise $250,000 by the end of August to facilitate the purchase and restoration of the Victorian-era house. The society will also pursue any grants available once it purchases the house.

“Our goal is to raise $250,000 and we hope we can garner public support in our effort so we can continue the community and educational programs already associated with the house,” Stine said.

Endowment fund packets can be obtained by contacting Stine at or by telephoning 732-774-4590.

Donations can also be made by sending a check or money order payable to the Asbury Park Historical Society (with “Stephen Crane House” in the memo field) to P.O. Box 543, Asbury Park, NJ 07712. Donations can also be made through Paypal at the historical society’s website:

More information on Stephen Crane, the house, and the endowment fund are also posted on the society’s web site. All contributions are tax deductable.

Below is a video from the fund-raising site:

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