Restoration of Jersey City’s Apple Tree House Completed After Twelve Years

The twelve-year long restoration effort on the Apple Tree House in Jersey City, New Jersey has finally reached an end. It will serve as the new home for the Jersey City cultural affairs and tourism offices. The Dutch Colonial-style home dates to the mid-eighteenth century and was purportedly the site where George Washington met the Marquis de Lafayette to discuss military strategy during the American Revolution. It was built by the Van Wagenen family, one of the founding families of Bergen, New Jersey, on land the family held from the 1680s until the late 1940s. It was then used as a funeral home for nearly five decades. In 1996, the house was under threat of demolition and listed on the Preservation New Jersey’s Top Ten Most Endangered Historic Sites list for that year. It was purchased by Jersey City in 1999, originally to be used as a house museum. The lengthy restoration cost approximately $3.5 million and was grant-funded. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on October 28th to celebrate the project’s completion.

Lucy Davis is the Digital Media Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities. She studies public history at Rutgers University, Camden.