ORADELL, N.J. — A Fort Lee-based assisted living home has taken out the necessary documents to apply for a demolition permit for the Atwood-Blauvelt Mansion on Kinderkamack Road to make a facility for dementia patients in its place, Oradell Construction Officer Steve Depnek confirmed.
Numerous Oradell residents and local groups began coming to the defense of the historic landmark last week after CareOne announced it's considering destroying it.
Oradell Mayor-Elect Diane Didio has reached out to CareOne to set up a meeting to discuss the fate of the mansion, she told Daily Voice.
“I’m encouraged by the support," said Didio, whose name is among the more than 5,100 that as of Tuesday morning had signed a petition in support of preserving the mansion.
"I am hopeful I will be able to meet with them shortly to explore opportunities to restore the mansion in everybody’s best interest."
Activists have also started a Facebook page dedicated to saving the Blauvelt Mansion. The page urges followers to write letters to Oradell's mayor and town council in support of preserving the 118-year old building.
"The Blauvelt Mansion is an iconic part of Oradell’s history," Oradell Historic Committee Chairman Robert McConnell said. "It antedates the formation of the borough of Oradell and all through our history it has been an integral part of our community."
Committee member JoAnn Young has been working since 2007 to try to save the mansion. She believes this latest development will inspire some action after years of being "stonewalled" by CareOne.
“After 8 years of working on this project every month, I am so happy to finally something come to a head," Young says. "I think the people in town now see that the demolition could happen and they are willing to step up and save the mansion."
"We need to get something done here."
The Daily Voice has reached out to CareOne for comment, and will update this article when we receive a response.