History of Asbury Park
Donations can also be mailed to:
APHS, P.O. Box 543,
Asbury Park, NJ 07712
The Asbury Park Historical Society has launched a fundraising campaign to help finance its proposed acquisition and restoration of the historic Stephen Crane House.
The Crane House, build in 1878 at 508 Fourth Avenue, is probably the oldest house remaining in Asbury Park. The city was founded by James A. Bradley in 1871.
Stephen Crane is considered to be one of the pioneering giants in American literature, with his Realist novels “Maggie” and “The Red Badge Of Courage” garnering him much success early in his short-lived career. American author Ernest Hemingway called Stephen Crane one of three most important writers in American literature.
Crane moved to Asbury Park when he was 11 and stayed here until he was about 20. He actually began writing in Asbury Park and one of his earliest books, “The Black Riders,” was inspired by waves in Ocean Grove. Crane, who also became a war correspondent, died from tuberculosis in Germany on June 5, 1900. He was only 28 years old. Asbury Park’s Stephen Crane House is the last physical structure associated with this famous American author.
The Historical Society has filed an application with the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office to have the Stephen Crane House placed on both the State and National Register of Historic Places. If the society is able to raise enough money to purchase the house, then it will also actively seek grants and a tax-exempt status.
"We are trying to raise $250,000 by the end of the summer, at which time we hope to have enough money to cover expenses related to purchasing, maintaining, and restoring the house," society President Don Stine said.
Current Stephen Crane House owner Frank D’ Alessandro said he will sell the house to the society for $1 and the society, in turn, would take over all associated costs. The house would become the first-ever headquarters for the historical society, be used for community events, and continue its current educational programs.
"But, obviously, the house does not actually cost a dollar. There are going to be closing, escrow, insurance, utility, taxes and other ongoing costs, including restoration work," Stine said.
The Historical Society is planning to create a special Stephen Crane House Endowment Fund to help purchase and restore the historic house. A special packet outlining the historical society’s efforts and providing extensive background information about Stephen Crane, his house, and the Endowment Fund has been prepared and can be obtained by contacting Don Stine at 732-774-4590 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A special video has been also prepared, which can also be viewed at the top of this page, featuring Mr. D’Alessandro talking about the history of and past preservation efforts to save the house, including a generous donation from Bruce Springsteen who donated money from a 2001 concert in Convention Hall for a new roof.
"We are hoping that people will support us in our effort to save and restore this important piece of both Asbury Park and American history. Every contribution will help, no matter how much. We also hope people will pass this information on to others through social media or come up with their own fund-raising ideas," Stine said.
Donations can be made through the Paypal buttons at the top and bottom of this page or by mailing a check to APHS, P.O. Box 543, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Click Here to read the Press Release about APHS' fund-raising campaign