POINT PLEASANT BEACH — The old U.S. Coast Guard [USCG] building on Inlet Drive has been unanimously named onto the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service, paving the way for the building’s preservation for years to come.
“It’s a huge day for historic preservation in Point Pleasant Beach,” said Mayor Paul Kanitra. “We officially have our first town site heading to the National Register of Historic Places.”
Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support efforts to protect America’s historic and archeological resources and preserve them, according to the National Park Service.
Mr. Kanitra testified to the registry committee, explaining what one of the borough’s most recognized landmarks meant to Point Pleasant Beach, its residents and visitors.
“I explained to them how iconic the Coast Guard station is to Point Pleasant Beach,” said the mayor. “It really sits right at a major focal point for the town in that inlet area right near the beach.”
The USCG building was constructed in 1936, replacing the Manasquan, Bay Head, Mantoloking, Chadwick Beach and Toms River stations because of its ocean access and protected mooring facilities, according to the USCG. In 1939, a boathouse was added, and in 1976, an enlisted quarters.
The only one of those early five stations that remains in service is at Manasquan, where the old station now serves as an electronics shop for Coast Guard Group Sandy Hook.
“It is an example of a particular type of architecture that was employed at the time, which obviously is a very beautiful method of building,” said Mr. Kanitra, adding it is one of the few surviving older Coast Guard buildings.
The building honors the area’s important maritime history, Mr. Kanitra said.
“We have this renewed focus on history in the town happening right now and to have the building serve as a catalyst for that, where hopefully it will spur other buildings, owners, to consider undertaking the process,” said Mr. Kanitra.
According to the mayor, the site will also serve as a destination for visitors.
“There’s a lot of people who travel to see National Historic sites,” Mr. Kanitra said.
“What the borough would like to do with the building is obviously preserve it properly for generations, but we also want to put our town historical society museum there and we want to give space for our newly energized committees to be able to work and hold events as well,” said Mr. Kanitra.
“There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity for that location where it can serve a benefit for the residents of Point Pleasant Beach and as a destination for tourists to come and learn more about our history and the area in general,” he said.
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