By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
The Stephen Crane House in Asbury Park is being repaired, painted and spruced up in time for the planned summer programs.
Asbury Park Historical Society Vice President James Henry, said the main focus in this phase of the rehabilitation is the parlor, which is where most of the programs take place.
“Our focus is on the parlor and restoring that to its original condition,” he said.
Cracks in the plaster have been fixed along with restoration of the plaster molding lining the ceiling. The wallpaper is being taken off and will be replaced with a “period type” wallpaper.
Stephen Crane moved to the Fourth Avenue house Asbury Park in 1883 at the age of 12 with his mother and his sister Agnes.
The society spent approximately $7,500 for the work.
The house is now listed on the state registry of historic places as well as on the National Registry of Historic Places.
The exterior of the house is also getting some cosmetic work. Henry said many of the cedar shingles have been replaced, including those some that are scallop shaped.
Henry said, however, the historical society has a “long wish list” to complete the upgrades and rehabilitation.
Some items on the list include separating the electrical, gas and water systems of the museum, located on the first floor and the rental unit apartment located in the southeast corner of the second floor. The apartment has had a long term tenant for several years,
Other future upgrades include new windows, heating system and central air conditioning, items that will depend on future fundraising.Window air conditioners are now being used.
Henry said a fundraiser, held last year, yielded generous donations from a few donors. Those funds allowed for the current upgrades.
“We were fortunate to have some very big donors,” he said.
“It’s going to be a long time,” Henry said regarding the completion of all desired upgrades.
The society is hoping all repairs will be completed by mid June.
“We wanted to get that parlor fixed up as quickly as possible for the summer season programs,” he said.
Henry said additional funding is needed, but also put out the call for volunteers who can use their expertise to help in the rehab.
Some upcoming programs for the summer include groups from Brookdale Community College and Monmouth University presenting writing seminars and historical programs.
“People can enjoy what’s in the city in the way of cultural opportunity,” he said.
Curator of the Stephen Crane House Museum Frank D’Alessandro lives in a small house located in the rear of the property.
“The front parlor will be as nice as it was in the 19th century. Once that is done, we’ll be able to continue with our frequent literary, spoken word, and cultural programs. I think Mrs. Crane, Stephen, and sister Agnes would approve,” D’Alessandro said.
The APHS is holding a fundraiser at McLoone’s Supper Club Sun., June 12.
Donations to the historical society can be made by mail, 508 Fourth Avenue, or by visiting aphistoricalsociety.org.