Miller-Cory House Gets New Lease on Life Through a Grant from The Westfield Foundation

Feature article on TAP of Westfield: Westfield’s Living History Museum Lives on Thanks to Westfield Foundation Grant

Westfield – The Miller-Cory House Museum was established by the Westfield Historical Society in 1972 and is a nationally recognized historic site.  The volunteer members of the museum are dedicated to the preservation of the 18th century dwelling, its grounds and gardens.  As a “living museum” open to the general public, the museum’s purpose is to recreate not only the atmosphere, but also the everyday activities of colonial life.

The property has been a fixture in Westfield since 1740 and has served the community as the town’s first and only colonial living history museum.

Over the years, the roof of the museum has been deteriorating and in desperate need of repair.  The delicate renovation requires the use of historically accurate materials which are not easy to come by and very costly and requires a contractor with expertise in historically appropriate materials to maintain the historical accuracy of the living museum. 

In the spring of 2020, the Westfield Foundation was approached to provide funding for this project.  The Board of Trustees of the Foundation approved a $140,000 grant to accomplish the goal.  This grant was funded by the Bertha Bogaert Fund, a fund established in the Foundation by bequest under the will of Ms. Bogaert and has been designated to provide significant funding to major projects in the Westfield area.  Other projects funded by the Bogaert Fund have included a $400,000 grant to the Mindowaskin Park playground, a $93,000 grant to equip a STEM classroom at Westfield High School, a $200,000 grant to the Westfield Y capital campaign, and others.

Since 1975, the mission of the Westfield Foundation has been to provide funding support in the arts, health, aging, historic preservation, social services and civic projects.  In pursuit of these goals, the Foundation has granted over $7,000,000 to various organizations.

Foundation Announces 1Q/2Q Grants for 2019

For the first quarter of the 2019, the Foundation granted $206,238 from their general fund and additional $30,040 from the Irna Wagner and Lydia Hoffert Fund.  The trustees granted $86,300 in funds to 8 local organizations, including: NJ Festival Orchestra, NJ Symphony Orchestra, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Union Co., CASA of Union County, Literacy NJ, the Somerset Co. YMCA, NJ Orators and Groundwork Elizabeth.  These funds support a summer concert at Echo Lake Park, supporting art programming and workplace development for youth, scholarships for students for HSE exams, purchase equipment and supplies for a community greenhouse and fund educational programming and outreach programs for community members.

The second quarter of 2019 granted $119,938 for 11 local organizations.  Recipients included Habitat for Humanity, Flintlocks BSA, the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, Second Street Youth Center, the Westfield Historical Society, Trinitas Health Foundation, IMAGINE, Furniture Assist and the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless.   The funds will help buy supplies for a new home in Plainfield, purchase equipment for a STEM trailer, renovate a private inpatient room, create an art space and purchase art supplies, purchase storage trailers and renovate a private inpatient room.

The Wagner/Hoffert funds distributed funds to Our House Foundation, Mostly Music, the Westfield Historical Society and the JCC of Central NJ.

The Foundation is also pleased to announce three new community members to the board of trustees for 2019-20: (l to r) Rupa Motwani, Gregory Irwin and Munira Ismail.