ORADELL, N.J. — The news that health care company CareOne was seeking to demolish Oradell's historic Blauvelt Mansion earlier this month mobilized a group of local activists to come to its defense.
Among the group's most outspoken proponents is Oradell Historic Committee Member JoAnn Young, who is sharing her vision of the 118-year-old mansion with Daily Voice.
"I am dreaming of a holiday season in the not-too-distant future when the Blauvelt Mansion will be lighted again, exterior and roof repaired, white lights outlining its distinctive facade, with a candle in every window, on all three floors.
There will be lights on some of the newly planted trees and on a special night, luminarias will outline the long driveway, welcoming Bergen County residents to a gala evening, to raise money for a good cause.
"The first floor of the mansion will be decorated with pieces of period furniture, donated or purchased by generous friends and neighbors. On the second floor of the mansion, a half dozen small non-profit foundations will lease office space sharing services, expenses, and information.
"Their rent will help make the Blauvelt Mansion self-supporting, in addition to the fees charged for public events. The third floor of the Blauvelt Mansion will be used as a workspace for various organizations and groups. Meetings, Lectures and Workshops will be held on both the first and third floors...
"Taking my vision even further, the Great Lawn will be designed and executed by Rutgers’ Department of Landscape Architecture. The beautiful era-appropriate gardens and walkways will welcome visitors and, no doubt, bridal parties looking for a fantasy photo op.
"All this, and even more, is possible if we pull together now and work with our public officials to save the Blauvelt Mansion."