The teenage home of famous American author Stephen Crane in Asbury Park was officially placed on the New Jersey State Register of Historic Places this month.
The 1878 house, located at 508 Fourth Avenue, is slated to be purchased by the Asbury Park Historical Society in the near future and preserved as a museum dedicated to Crane and as a public meeting place for the historical society and other city and educational organizations.
“Obtaining this official designation is a huge first step in acquiring a permanent home for the historical society,” President Don Stine said.“Many members spend a lot of time and effort putting this lengthy application together but, in the end, it has finally paid off.”
The next step is to have the house placed on the National Register of Historic Places, which is awarded by the National Park Service. This process is expected to take a few months.
A power-point presentation about the house, along with the election of four historical society officers, will occur at the annual reorganization meeting on Thurs., Jan. 15 at the Public Library at Second and Grand Avenues at 7 p.m.
The Historical Society has begun a major $250,000 fundraising campaign to purchase and restore the Crane House, built in 1878. It is probably the oldest house in Asbury Park and is also the 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.
“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 Asbury Park history,” Stine said.
Donations to preserve the house can be made by sending a check or money order payable to the Asbury Park Historical Society (with “Stephen Crane House” in the memo field), P.O. Box 543, Asbury Park, NJ 07712.
Donations can also be made through Paypal at the historical society’s website: www.APHistoricalSociety.org.