Connolly & Hickey 

The Barnyard Complex of Fosterfields Living Historical Farm
Morris Township, New Jersey

Client: Morris County Park Commission
Grant: Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund

Fosterfields

Fosterfields Fosterfields Fosterfields Fosterfields

Fosterfields Fosterfields Fosterfields  
(click on image for larger view)
Brief Historical Overview:
Fosterfields, today a living historical farm in Morris County, was the home of Jonathon Ogden from 1768 until 1825. During this period, the property was farmed and Ogden constructed a number of buildings including a farmhouse, barn, cow house and other outbuildings. The property was sold to Henry Mooney in 1826 and although he sold parcels of the property to others during his 22-year tenure, the nucleus of the site continued to be farmed. In 1852, Mooney sold to Lt. Joseph Warren Revere, a retired naval officer who continued to farm the property. Revere constructed The Willows, a notable Gothic Revival country house that exemplifies the architecture of the period. After Revere's death, the property was sold to Charles Foster in 1881. Foster transformed the site, particularly the Barnyard Complex, into a modern agricultural business employing some of the latest technologies including ensilage and steam power. The barnyard was expanded during his tenure to include the Ensilage Pits, Granary, Engine House, Creamery, and Sheep and Hog Shed. Foster appears to have also modified the Main Barn and Carriage House as part of his initial improvements to the site. After Foster's stock of Jersey cows was sold at auction in 1925, his daughter Caroline Foster modified the Main Barn and removed a number of the farm structures. Caroline Foster continued to farm the property on a small scale after she inherited it in 1927; she lived at Fosterfields until her death in 1979 at the age of 102.

Scope of Services:
The Historic Structures Report developed for the Morris County Park Commission resulted in specific recommendations for both future study of the site including archeological investigations, as well as long and short-term recommendations for restoration and rehabilitation. The Historic Structures Report guided the recent Phase III & IV restoration of the Barnyard Complex to its late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century appearance which is the site's period of interpretation. The HSR reviewed the historical significance and development of the Barnyard Complex, developed a chronology of construction and substantiated the County's already established Period of Significance. The document also assessed the existing conditions, made recommendations for repair and restoration including reconstruction and estimated probable costs.

Connolly & Hickey completed the contract documents for the restoration of the existing buildings at the Barnyard Complex to their late-nineteenth/early-twentieth-century appearance. The work included detailed documentation of existing conditions, the generation of design and contract documents for each building component as well as mechanical, electrical and life-safety upgrades, bidding the project to qualified general restoration contractors and contract administration during construction. Phase III which was completed in 2010 included restoration of the Granary, Engine House and Hog and Sheep Shed including repairs to their roofs, siding, windows, doors and interior finishes. Phase IV, which is substantially complete, includes rebuilding the heavy-timber superstructures of the Main Barn and Ensilage Building including new roofing, siding, windows and doors as well as repairs to the interior finishes and features, upgrades to the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, and restoration of the stucco finishes, fences and site features.

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Connolly & Hickey  l   P.O. Box 1726  l   Cranford, New Jersey 07016  l   info@chhistoricalarchitects.com  l   973-746-4911   facebook