Nutley Museum Exterior Renovation, Beautification Underway

Parks & Public Property Dept. Overseeing Project

An exterior renovation and beautification project is underway at the Nutley Museum located at 65 Church Street in Nutley.   

The Museum houses an interesting collection of Nutley Historical items such as guns that belonged to former resident Annie Oakley along with a coin shot by Oakley during a town fair;  A Narwahl's tusk brought back from the Arctic during Admiral Peary's expedition in the early 1900's by a former Nutley Mayor Emil (Diebitsch spelling) who served as Peary's astronomer; The anti collision beacon from the top of the ITT Tower; an old telephone switchboard that was used in town hall until the 1980's; and the first Nutley indoor phone booth that was used in Guthrie's general store. 

The first floor of the facility is used as a meeting room and is also available for rent by the public for family gatherings and by civic organizations. 

The Nutley Museum is one of the many public buildings that the Nutley Parks and Public Property Department maintains.

The history of the museum is fascinating. The land on Church St was donated to the town by Henry Stager in 1853 (Henry's descendant Eleanor Slomkowski  currently serves on the Board of the Historical Society) and a wooden schoolhouse was built.  This elementary school burned down in 1874.

The current stone structure was built in 1874-1875 and served as a school until about 1930.  Through the 1920's the building served as an  Industrial Skills/VO Tech type of school for students from Nutley High School.  The caretakers residence was built sometime between 1949 and 1952 and the Museum Gallery officially opened in 1954.

“Historically, the Nutley Museum has been an essential component in preserving the history of  “Old Nutley” stated Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci.  From old time photos, historical books and maps to remnants from the ITT Tower that once stood in Nutley, this unique facility houses the past for the future to see. 

As caretakers of the Municipal Building and grounds it is essential to maintain the original structures of the historical sites in Nutley” said Tucci.

The building will receive new siding to the back portion of the facility, reconstruction of the foundation, exterior painting,  enclosed on-site trash facility, roof upgrades and repairs.

"We are able to make cost-conscious decisions and get more value for our dollar by performing these upgrades in-house” said Tucci.  The Parks & Public Property staff has concentrated their efforts on completing these improvements in an efficient and time effective manner.

Landscaping, scenic beautification and historical preservation are also components of the improvements to the facility.  The plan of work includes removal of brush and overgrown bushes, and overall changes in the landscape design. 

The Nutley Historic Society acquired the facility in the late 1940’s. “ It is this distinguished group that has spearheaded the momentum and drive that has taken the Museum to where it is today” said Tucci.  "We urge residents to take the time to capture the history of Nutley by visiting the museum."

Source: Parks & Public Property Dept., 2007

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