The Preservation Alliance of Spring Lake, Inc. wins award

MANALAPAN, NJ – Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon is pleased to announce that the Preservation Alliance of Spring Lake, Inc. is the winner of the 2018 M. Claire French Award for Leadership in Historic Preservation. The award will be presented at the County Clerk’s 23rd Annual Archives and History Day on Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan.

“The Preservation Alliance of Spring Lake has served as a community catalyst and leader in protecting Spring Lake’s unique architectural, cultural, and natural significance,” said Clerk Hanlon. “It is my honor to present the award to an organization that has been going above and beyond, since it was founded in 1998, to preserve the history of such a unique town in Monmouth County.”

The Preservation Alliance of Spring Lake was formed in response to concern over the high rate of demolitions of the borough’s older homes and historic structures. Many of the group’s founding members had participated in the successful campaign to have the Frederic A. Duggan Memorial First Aid Squad Building placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Slated for possible demolition, the building is the oldest of its kind on the East Coast and was successfully rehabilitated and reincorporated into an active Community and Visitor’s Center in 2015 by the Preservation Alliance with the help of the Borough of Spring Lake, state and local grants, and generous donations from residents, civic groups, and supporters.

In 2000, the Preservation Alliance commissioned a study of the Ballingarry Gardens, once part of the Spring Lake estate of Martin Maloney and designed by renowned architect Horace Trumbauer, with the purpose of educating the property owners adjacent to the Gardens. In addition, the group joined with the Spring Lake Historical Society to reconstruct the beautiful ceramic tiles that graced the outside of the North End Beach Pavilion. Today, these reconstructed tiles can be seen at the entrance to the new Pavilion.

One of the Preservation Alliance’s most important and enduring contributions to historic preservation in Spring Lake has been its annual Preservation Awards. First organized in 2000, it rewards beautiful hand-made plaques to property owners in Spring Lake who have made the effort to preserve the historic features of their homes. The organization’s annual ceremony encourages local residents and homeowners to appreciate the unique history and beauty of the borough.

The Preservation Alliance will be honored for their 20 years of dedication to preserving Spring Lake’s history and will be presented the M. Claire French Award for Leadership in Historic Preservation during the plenary session of the County Clerk’s 23rd Annual Archives and History Day on Oct. 13 at 11 a.m.

The M. Claire French Award for Leadership in Historic Preservation recognizes outstanding achievements of an elected official, government employee, public servant or civic organization in supporting historic preservation in Monmouth County through education, development, planning, rehabilitation, advocacy, community leadership or other means.

Created in 2015, the award is named after M. Claire French, Hanlon’s predecessor, who was County Clerk from 1997 until her retirement on April 1, 2015. During French’s 18-year tenure, she oversaw the modernization of the Clerk’s Office, including digitizing County records and the electronic reporting of election results, as well as the expansion of the Office’s services with the Monmouth County Connection Office in Neptune Township.

The M. Claire French Award Committee members are Clerk Hanlon, former Clerk M. Claire French, Hon. Robert Clifton of Matawan and Hon. Susan Kiley of Hazlet.

This year’s Archives Week events from Oct. 13 to 17 will focus on the history of Monmouth County buildings, the subject of a month-long exhibit, opening Oct. 1, organized by the Monmouth County Archives at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan.

On Archives and History Day, more than 60 local and state history organizations will set-up displays on topics relating to New Jersey history and their organizations. With 300 expected attendees, County Clerk Hanlon encourages all local historical organizations to participate in the event and to sign up for an exhibitor table.

“Archives Day is designed for the public to connect with archivists, historians, and other preservationists,” said Monmouth County Archivist Gary D. Saretzky. “This event provides the opportunity to learn about the history of Monmouth County and to hear fascinating stories from the people who have studied it.”

For more information about Archives and History Day, including the preliminary program for the event, please visit the Monmouth County Clerk’s Archives Division website at or contact the Monmouth County Archives at 732-308-3771, ext. 3776, or email

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