BERKELEY – With hopes of shining a new light on local treasures, the Berkeley Historical Society Museum installed 12 new basement windows on July 11.
The old windows were framed by plywood and some of them were broken, leading to leakage and heating system freeze-ups. While the society members could only do minor maintenance work to the old building, the township was able to step up and make the installment of new windows possible.
“Berkeley Township Historical Society is very grateful to Berkeley Township Mayor, Carmen Amato, and the Berkeley Township Council for this renovation,” Jerry Beer, President of Berkeley Historical Society, said. “[The windows] both add significant aesthetic appeal and should greatly reduce the cost of heating in the winter.”
According to township figures, the cost of the windows was $4,399.
Beer explained that the windows are just one of many improvements the society would like to see made over the next few years. The society soon hopes to also install new window shades inside.
The first phase of the renovation, a front porch renovated by the township in 2008, added new handrails, columns, mahogany wood floors, and steps to the entrance.
The focus of the Berkeley Township Historical Society has been to preserve the civil, religious, and political history of Berkeley Township through their displays since 1974. The society works to share the rich history of Berkeley Township by developing collections of donated documents, pictures and artifacts.
The building was built on a tract of land purchased by the town on July 9, 1890, for $40 from Enoch W. Potter and his wife. They had bought it from Ralph Gowdy and his wife in 1886. It was used as the Town Hall and Police Department until 1978, when the current municipal complex was completed.
Collections focus on the history of Berkeley Township, including deeds dating back to 1769 and a variety of donated artifacts. Town relics have been preserved for generations within the museum.
Membership in the Berkeley Historical Society currently numbers 110 families, but according to Beer, they could always use more. School visits also used to be more popular during the year, he said, and classes are welcome to visit.