J. J. Vreeland
Morris Co. Up


Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.

The subject of this review, an enterprising citizen of Dover, is a native of this city and a son of J.J. Vreeland, Sr., whose sketch is given elsewhere in this work. His education in the public schools here he supplemented by a preparatory course at the Stevens Institute in Hoboken and a special course in architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

He recently found scope for the exercise of his native genius and acquired abilities in the drafting of a magnificent design for a new city hall for the city of Dover, which building is now in process in erection. A description of the building, as published in a local paper early in 1898, we give i8n the following paragraphs:

"The building as he has planned it has a frontage of fifty-six feet, to be built of buff brick with brown stone and terra-cotta trimmings, having a slate roof. It embraces a basement and three stories in height. The basement is divided up with a hallway through the center, eligible rooms on either side of the front which could be utilized for police justice's court, police headquarters, etc. In the rear are six cells for prisoners, a place for the heating apparatus, lavatories and storage rooms, where the city clerk can put away election booths, etc., and the street commissioner the city's work-tools, etc. In the first story would also be a hall through the center with two large rooms on either side, attached to each of which would be a private office furnished with all modern improvements and conveniences. The large rooms would be utilized for various purposes in connection with the official business of the city. On the second floor would be, one side of the building, a large room for the city council with adjacent rooms required by that body. On the opposite side of the hallway the architect has provided rooms for the mayor's office, city clerk's office, city treasurer's office, etc. The third floor can be divided up into office such as will be demanded by the growing city.

"Up to the time when such a building might be fully needed by the city, it is Mr. Vreeland's idea that some the rooms in the basement and on the first floor might be rented out for mercantile purposes, which would bring a return to the city that would help to pay for the building, or, at least, the interest on the money invested in it's construction. He further suggests that there might be incorporated into the erection of the building the utilitarian idea in another direction, and that is, instead of putting up in Dover a special soldier's monument, put the money into the new city hall, making that, in part at least, giving the Grand Army of the Republic a meeting place in the hall. Here also a city museum, under certain regulations, and the city's public library might, for a time at least, find a habitation. The whole structure as it will appear to the eye is artistic and substantial. There is a place for the city clock and from its flagstaff Old Glory would gracefully float.

"We are glad to be able to place this city hall suggestion before our citizens at this time. The very suggestion is an inspiration to hopefulness, an attraction toward the future, and will lead to thought on the possibilities of our city and to much that will be realized during the twentieth century. Our wish is that Architect Vreeland may soon see his beautiful and practical suggestion a culmination, with the national ensign floating over the finished structure, the pride of the city and the glory of all our officials."

Mr. Vreeland is deeply interested in the advancement of all the interests of his city, and is an efficient factor in all local enterprises in this direction.

Transcribed by Christopher Cresta


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