UPDATE: Short on Cash, Swede's Run Restoration on Hiatus

Supporters of the project may seek council's help by asking them to release money from the Open Space Trust Fund.

UPDATE: Mayor John Button said he'd have no problem considering a proposal from the Swede's Run Barn supporters to use the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund for the project. 

"It's a very appropriate use of the fund," he said. "I think they should put a presentation together and come to us."

, Button and the rest of council decided the project was too expensive for the township to fund, though they did agree to waive permit fees. 

Since the amount the township would be asked to put forward at this stage would be much smaller, Button said he'd be much more open to the idea. 

"I would definitely consider that," he said.


Restoration of the Swede’s Run Barn is on hiatus until supporters of the project can come up with the money they need to finish it.

Project volunteer Dave Schill said and donations, to date, have not been enough to cover the improvements to the historic structure.

Supporters had raised approximately $17,000 through donations, but need several thousand more to complete the project, Schill said, though he could not yet provide an exact figure.

“We need to raise funds so we can continue,” he said.

While donations remain a viable source of funding——Schill said the group has also considered approaching the township to seek the release of money from the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

The land the barn sits on (the 129-acre Benner Farm/Swede Run Fields) was purchased, in part, with money from the Trust Fund, which in the eyes of many—including the most ardent Open Space supporters—would make the restoration project a worthy cause.

that money from the Trust Fund be saved solely for open space and passive recreation projects.

He said the township has an obligation to not only acquire open space, but also to preserve it. “And if there’s a building on the land we bought (with Trust Fund money),” that’s part of the deal too.

“On its face, (the Swede’s Run Barn restoration) seems to be a textbook Open Space spend,” Chiacchio said. “It’s certainly a conversation we want to have.”

The councilman noted however, he would need to see an exact dollar figure before he would support spending that money.

Schill said he needs to come up with that number before the restoration supporters approaches the township.

“We were trying to avoid that (asking the township for help) so we could totally pay for it with donations, but there’s so many projects,” he said.

On the plus side, the work done to date is absolutely impressive, Schill said, crediting and stonemason George Bobb of doing a masterful job restoring the 150-year-old structure, while preserving its historic integrity.

“It’s really a work of art,” Schill said. “Because even though we do it in today’s methods, we tried to replicate what it would have looked like originally.”

He said Bobb—after evaluating the existing condition of the building’s stone and mortar—dug out all the decayed mortar and repacked the joints with new material that was better than the original mortar, which will result in “joints that will last much longer than what was done years ago and has since turned to sand.”

Once all the joints on the interior and exterior were addressed, the interior walls were coated entirely with a coat of mortar-based stucco, then finished with a burlap bag to simulate the look that was discovered during the initial survey of the building, Schill said.

With the roof and stonework completed, Schill said all that remains is for Paul Canton (of ) to install the door frames, after which the Boy Scouts and their parents will put the doors in place. Then all that’s left is for Schill himself to install a short set of steps from the front door of the barn down to the earth floor inside.

Donations by check should be made out to with “barn restoration” on the memo line. Donations should be mailed to Julie Maravich, 660 Chester Ave., Moorestown, NJ 08057.

Ed Nice May 30, 2012 at 04:01 PM
I think they should use the fund because one of the legal uses is historic preservation along with development of lands for recreation and conservation purposes. Of course that option is not for acquisiton only right or is the excuse its only acquisiton only when the money is for fields not farms, maintenance or historic use?? LOL!! Hey ciacco, where does the law say its for passive recreation?? Can you or maybe Rob Scott point it out where that is written in the law so we don't have to rely on what politicians have to say??
Dudley Foramen May 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Ed, To a naive, simpleton like myself, it seems pretty clear cut. The fund is called the "Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund." Preserving a historic farm building seems to fit very nicely into that scope. Covering athletic fields with plastic, perhaps not so much. Maybe I'm getting hung up on terminology, though. You sound like you're pretty knowledgeable about the subject, so I would definitely defer to your wisdom. I agree with you that the politicians seem confused.
Ed Nice May 30, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Hey Dud it is pretty basic. Your comment about the material is kinda stupid. Are lights or dams or wells ok but a pervious surface like turf not?? According to ciacco a farmhouse with a roof that stops water is ok but a pervious field is not?? How did they pave the lots at Winner farm or put in the pavillions at Boundary Creek? Are you sayin lights are OS eligible but turf is not?? Aren't the clubs offering to pay for the cost of turf so what is the excuse now?? Would Jordan/Ciacco vote YES if we added sod to the field so their hypocrisy only extends towards turf yet they voted yes to turf the ballfields at PRYOR so which is it but they voted NO to the softball fields?? That is what simpletons like me and you and the rest of the voters want to know. My problem is Jordan/Ciacco make this stuff up as they go because of politics and not to work for the taxpayers. Lies and excuses don't do anything for me
Ross Chatham May 31, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Restoring the building is all well and good, but are they just gonna leave it unlocked so people can check it out? Is someone actually going to be working there for people to go inside? Can we book the building to sit indian style on the floor and have drinking parties? There are many unanswered questions.
ConcernedQuaker May 31, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Agree with Ross- I like the fact that we are restoring and keeping a historical structure on public grounds, but before we sink taxpayer dollars into it, what's the public usage of the stucture going to be? Benches and tables for picnics? Avaible for groups to book as a puiblic meeting space? Or locked doors and let it deterioate unused until it needs a taxpayer infusion again?
HomeBrew May 31, 2012 at 02:09 PM
There undoubtedly are many potential uses for the building. (How about restrooms?) Fortunately for Moorestown, a group of hard-working and dedicated volunteers rescued it from collapse so that we may consider the options. Thanks to all of them.
Ed Nice May 31, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Hey HB are you ok with OS money for a roof and barn but not grass fields at WB South? What is MSOS position on using the money for the barn and roof which I believe is made of either plastic or asphalt. LOL!!!!
diehardrep May 31, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Well stated Home Brew. I noticed things have been relatively quiet on the Patch lately. I think Ed has worn everybody out. What ever anyone else says is stupid. Whatever he says is turf. I think I'll call him Tur-fed.
Ed Nice May 31, 2012 at 04:09 PM
DH did you come up with that all by yourself ?? LOL!!! If all you can do is insult me then go for it. Facts are stubborn. Did you want to say something on whether the OS money is ok for the barn and artificial roof material just not for fields?? What is today's excuse of the day from the DH rep gonna be??
Charlotte Knight June 01, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Could someone please explain to me (and others I am sure) the choice of roofing materials used on the barn. The roof does not appear to be historically correct or particularly attractive.
Ed Nice June 01, 2012 at 02:38 PM
The roof that was used is a fake slate roof. It is not a asphalt roof that is used on most homes. It is used for historical renovations because it is cheaper than real slate tiles. The cost is, I would say about half as much and from a distance looks the same as real slate. This is probably a GAF product but maybe not the best one for the job do to its color differences. There are a lot of real slate roofs that are multi shaded. For more uniform color you would pay more for the product. In this case I think they were looking for the multi color to match what was there. All in all it does look nice when you up on it, from a distance I think the lack of paint on the fascia is what is throwing the look off for everyone. Short and the skinny is that they are 15,000 short on money to complete the job and it would be much worse if they had used real slates. This whole project should have been submitted for funding to the township manager and paid for with the trust fund. That is what it is there for and it would have not effected the fund in any way.
The Situation June 01, 2012 at 03:32 PM
I sure hope it's fake something. It looks like the dumpster was picked and they just threw a bunch of leftover shingles on. I've never seen any real slate roofs from a distance that look like that thing. They should have put real slate on and just let the thing collapse.
Charlotte Knight June 01, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Thank you Ed!
Charlotte Knight June 01, 2012 at 03:49 PM
How about cedar shingles on the roof? Would that not have been appropriate ?
Moorestown rocks June 01, 2012 at 05:59 PM
You gotta love situ, at it again!
Ed Nice June 01, 2012 at 07:11 PM
They could have gone that route but I think that they wanted to try and keep with the same theme as the original. The real slates are much more labor intensive then the fake slates and they are less money for the material. I have done one job with the fake slates and the house looks great. The shingle we picked out had a more uniform color to it though. Hey maybe Tait had the shingles laying around and gave them to the project at a cheap cost or donated them. I don't know. I am a builder that does some commercial work but I mainly work on residential homes which is why I am able to give you a little incite on the products and why they may have used what they used. Cedars would have looked great also but may still be a little more money than the fake slates. It depends on the grade of cedar they would have used. I would think the labor would also be a bit more money for the cedars. All I have to say ....... like the roof or not....... it looks a lot better than it did, which was falling down. If you all want more info, I would call the township manager and ask who is the front person that took the bull by the horns to get the work done. I think it is being organized by all volunteers though. I would think the final decisions are make by the township manager.


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