LANDING - It has stood for more than a century and served as a train station, a real estate office, and several different retail stores. And now it will be home to the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, a nonprofit organization based on New Jersey’s largest lake.
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation purchased the Lake Hopatcong train station in Landing, closing on the property on November 6.
In the near future, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation aims to have the building open to the broader community as an environmental and cultural center, as well as home to the foundation’s administrative office and meeting space. It is located in the heart of Landing, where the foundation is working toward a rejuvenation of the lake entry area, and along greenway space that would connect it to the planned Lake Hopatcong trail that would fully circle the lake.
“We are a very young organization, so this was a difficult decision for our board of trustees,” said LHF president Jessica K. Murphy. “But the opportunity to restore a historical structure, create a community center, enhance the Landing ‘gateway’ area, and establish a permanent space for the Lake Hopatcong Foundation was just too compelling. We are eagerly looking forward to the days when this amazing building is our home and we are regularly hosting exhibits and events in this beautiful space.”
The foundation will soon be announcing its plans for a capital campaign to pay off the mortgage, which it intends to complete within two years. And to kick off this new chapter, the LHF will host a clean-up day on the property, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, November 22 from 10 a.m. to noon. The day would include a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a kickoff to the capital campaign. Go to www.lakehopatcongfoundation.org or call the LHF office at 973.663.2500 to learn more about this event as the details come together.
The train station building, which borders Landing Road and the New Jersey Transit railroad, was constructed by the Lackawanna Railroad in 1911 and was historically where visitors would arrive during Lake Hopatcong’s heyday as a resort community. Today, the station remains one of the first structures visitors and residents see as they approach the southern end of Lake Hopatcong, and one of only a handful of prominent historical structures that remain from the lake’s resort days.
"I cannot think of a more appropriate structure at the lake to serve as the new home of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation,” said LHF board chairman Marty Kane. “This iconic structure will be reborn and once again serve a key role at the lake as the foundation strives to fulfill its mission: ‘To improve Lake Hopatcong for everyone, now and in the years to come.’”