ORADELL, N.J. — At his last town council meeting as Oradell Mayor, Joseph Murray quelled the fears of dozens of residents who had shown up to protest the potential destruction of the historic Atwood-Blauvelt Mansion by property owners CareOne.
"Mayor Elect [Diane] Didio and I met with people from CareOne yesterday and they have agreed to continue dialogue with Mayor Didio to find a mutually satisfactory resolution and hopefully to preserve the mansion," Murray said.
"That conversation will probably commence in January.”
His statement was met with applause from the crowd, many of whom were holding signs that read "Save The Blauvelt Mansion."
Daily Voice reported earlier this month that health care company CareOne had taken out the necessary documents to apply for a demolition permit for the Blauvelt Mansion on Kinderkamack Road to make a facility for dementia patients in its place (SEE: Construction Permit For Oradell Mansion Sought By Assisted Living Facility ).
A group of local activists quickly mobilized to save the 118-year old building by starting a Facebook page and a petition that has received nearly 6000 signatures.
Many advocates during Tuesday's meeting were relieved that some headway was finally being made to save the Great House.
"For the first time in eight years, I have to change my tone," activist JoAnn Young told Council. "My message of tonight was 'please don't give CareOne a demolition permit.'
"Well my message is still the same, but I don't feel that sense of the alarm that I did —this is just wonderful news."
Local Assemblyman Tim Eustace also came to the meeting to support the Blauvelt and thanked the council for taking some action.
"I want to congratulate [Mayor Murray] and the mayor elect in your efforts to preserve the Blauvelt mansion," Eustace said.
"We are not good stewards of our history here in Bergen County and hopefully we can now change the direction on that."