USS Ling on list of 10 most endangered historic places for 2022


A Hackensack icon, the 2,500-ton submarine USS Ling, mired in the mud of the Hackensack River, landed on a top 10 list on Tuesday morning.

The World War II submarine was announced as the area’s only entry on Preservation New Jersey’s list of 10 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2022. The nonprofit’s annual list is designed to raise awareness of threats to the cultural and architectural heritage of the State.

In the case of USS Lin, the threats are significant and numerous, nonprofit officials said. Despite physical and political obstacles, David Prieto, a Bergen County resident who is among those working to save the 312-foot submarine, said there was hope for its preservation.

“I envision a future where the Ling stays where it is in Hackensack, embedded by the river,” he said.

The story continues under the gallery.

A diesel-electric submarine named after a fish, USS Ling is one of five surviving Baleo-class submarines. It was built in the middle of World War II. Construction began in Philadelphia about a year after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Her service was brief, as the war ended only months after the Ling was commissioned. Still, the Ling survived. She entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet and remained there until 1960, when she began an 11-year run as a training ship at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

From there it became the centerpiece of the Naval Museum of New Jersey on River Street. The submarine was staged as if ready for battle, complete with demilitarized torpedoes. The officers’ uniforms were laid out in the cramped dormitories. The dining hall tables were marked with checkers and backgammon designs.

A World War II-era submarine, the USS Ling, has stood on the Hackensack River in Hackensack, NJ since 1973.

Not currently floating, the USS Ling has been in trouble for decades. First, the vessel began to list after becoming stuck in the silt of the shallow Hackensack River. Then, in 2012, severe flooding from Super Hurricane Sandy damaged the ship and the gangway needed to board. Further damage occurred in 2018, when vandals breached and flooded the hull.

The submarine has since been gutted and is now secure through the combined efforts in 2020 of Louisville Naval Museum Inc. and the Submarine Memorial Association. The latter took possession of the USS Ling in 1972 and brought it to Hackensack the following January for complete restoration, preservation and transformation into a museum.

Matthew Benedykcinski, L, and David Laney work to secure lines to the USS Ling as they investigate the possibility of moving the ship.  Photo taken September 14, 2019.

The museum has been closed since 2016, when its lease was terminated by Stephen Borg, former publisher of The Record. Earlier in the year, the Hackensack Planning Board approved Borg’s plan to subdivide the nearly 20-acre site adjacent to the river vessel into four lots for redevelopment. Borg and city officials have all denied responsibility for the USS Ling.

Preservation New Jersey officials cited the need for its stabilization and restoration to connect future generations to 20th century military history. The USS Ling and the rest of the 2022 10 Most Endangered list were generated from nominations by the public, officials at the nonprofit organization said. They were highlighted with the aim of sparking creative solutions and selected based on criteria such as historical significance and architectural integrity.

Other locations on New Jersey’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Places list for 2022 include:

Anchor Cafe, Perth Amboy, Middlesex County

The Anchor Cafe in Perth Amboy has been named one of New Jersey's 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites.
  • “The Anchor Café is a 3-story brick and terracotta structure with a steep slate roof and dormer windows built in 1905. A round tower with a conical roof gives it a commanding presence in the streetscape. The building drips with architectural terracotta in the form of keystones, brackets, window moldings, roof ridges and a large terracotta plaque depicting an anchor.”
  • “These architectural details survive through the goodwill of their owners and with little oversight.”

Caldwell Public Library, Caldwell, Essex County:

  • “Caldwell Public Library is a 1917 Classical Revival style Carnegie library, designed by architect and Caldwell resident Lynn Grover Lockward. It is one of four Essex County Carnegie libraries still in its building original.”
  • “The borough plans to demolish the Caldwell Public Library and redevelop the area as part of a civic complex to include the borough hall, police department, community center and health and social care facility. .”

Roebling Pre-Stretcher Equipment and Buildings, Florence Township, Burlington County:

  • “The Roebling Wire Rope Pre-Stretcher and its buildings are the last remaining industrial structures of John A. Roebling’s Sons Steel Mill and Mill, which operated in Roebling from 1905 to 1974. The company pioneered construction of suspension bridges.
  • “The EPA now argues that demolishing the two buildings and moving the equipment to a new building on the property will be the most cost effective.”

The Sandlass House, Highlands, Monmouth County:

The William Sandlass House, as it is now known, was once the headquarters and family residence of the former Highland Beach Excursion Resort.  A group wants to turn the now decaying structure into a museum.
  • “The Sandlass House, located at the entrance to the Sandy Hook Unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area, is the only surviving building of a once sprawling resort complex built as part of Sandy Hook’s Golden Age. .Built in 1893, the house was part of the Highland Beach Excursion Complex which served as a community center from 1888 to 1961.”
  • “The house is now under imminent threat of a roof collapse due to lack of repairs and maintenance.”

The Stockton Inn, Stockton, Hunterdon County:

The Stockton Inn has been named one of New Jersey's 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites.
  • “The Stockton Inn is near the site of taverns dating back to the 18th century. The Colligan family ran the inn for several decades from 1915 and it became a well-known establishment popular with creative locals and visitors during the next 80 years.”
  • “Today, the hostel is vacant and deteriorating with weather-related roof damage. The prolonged closure of this landmark has created a ‘dead zone’ in the center of the active downtown.”

St. Peter’s High School, Jersey City, Hudson County:

  • “St. operate as a single building.Built with Romanesque Revival and Italian elements, the school has terracotta ornamentation, corbelled brick arches, brownstone trim and a cupola.The school has operated for over 150 years, serving generations of immigrants.”
  • “In 2019, Prep applied to the Jersey City Historic Preservation Commission to demolish the school and replace it with a parking lot. The application was unanimously denied, but Prep is currently appealing the denial.”

First United Methodist Church, Bradley Beach, Monmouth County:

The former First United Methodist Church at 319 LaReine Ave in Bradley Beach.
  • “The First United Methodist Church is a Queen Anne-style masterpiece in the heart of Bradley Beach. The interior features beautiful woodwork, stained glass and the original Jardine pipe organ.”
  • “On March 1, 2022, at a town hall meeting, architects retained by the Borough of Bradley Beach presented residents with three proposals to transform the church into a community center and ran into objections from some residents and elected officials concerned about the cost. will likely be decided by referendum later this year. »

Cemeteries, Statewide:

  • “With 10 nominations for most cemeteries in 2022, including Johnsons Cemetery (Camden), Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery (Belleville), Reton Cemetery (Fort Lee) and Doremus Cedar Grove Farm/Canfield Cemetery ( Cedar Grove), Preservation New Jersey reiterates the urgency with which New Jersey state law must be changed to safeguard these keys to our individual and statewide histories.”

Underrepresented Stories, Statewide:

  • “New Jersey needs more funded research, including local, county, and statewide context studies that match themes with specific sites, and at the same time begin to break down the barriers that prevent sites from being listed on local, state and national registries.”
  • “Preservation New Jersey urges municipalities, counties, and state agencies to request and develop resources to identify sites that tell underrepresented stories and to advance the national conversation about revamping the criteria and process of historical designation.”

David Zimmer is a local reporter for For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @dzimmernews


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