Architecture in New Jersey
It’s not always necessary to travel all the way to a big city to visit great places and to know more about our history. In fact, sometimes we can find amazing places where we wouldn’t expect. Whenever you are in New Jersey, you might want to visit the Monmouth Battlefield State Park, located in Freehold. It’s a perfect place to spend an afternoon with the family and to see the past, the present and the future of architecture in New Jersey, all in one.
During the American Revolutionary War, the Monmouth Battlefield was the place of the first battle where the British Army was forced to consider a retreat before General Washington’s army. British soldiers could not overcome the enemy and eventually retreated, to continue their march to New York City. Today, this field is one of several public parks in Freehold NJ. Here, families can have a picnic, hike, or seize the vast area for horseback riding. And every year, a recreation of the battle takes place to remember this historical event.
About the Visitor Center
New Jersey is a place full of a particular architecture that reminds us of our past in one way or another. Sometimes, the building itself represents that which is long gone. And some other times, a modern building guides your attention to the events and places that gave shape to our past. This is the case of the Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center, an example of modern architecture in Freehold NJ that contributes to preserving an important chapter of the local history.
The Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center is located on top of the Combs Hill, which overlooks the battlefield itself. The project replaced the old visitor center, a relatively old building that was being underutilized. The new building is an exhibition place for several battle items as well as historical information.
The cantilevered roof helps protect the historical items from the sun and creates a successful transition between the open field and the cover of the building. At the same time, its combination with the perimeter of glass walls creates the perfect frame for all the views around the building. To look directly at the battlefield while standing next to a cannon that was actually fired in the place is one of the most remarkable experiences for the visitors.
A mix of past, present, and future
The Visitor Center responds to the need of renewing the image of this historical place and preserve this part of American history, all while looking ahead to the future. Its modern appearance reflects the existing connection between the past and the present. This is clear when you look at the field from the exhibition and when you visit the Craig House, a historical building that was used as a war farmhouse during the battle. On the other hand, its sustainable design, which achieved a LEED Gold certification, gives a clear signal of the path to be followed by every architect in Freehold and in the rest of New Jersey.