On May 17, 2022, the Methodist Church at 319 La Reine Avenue was designated
one of the State’s 10 most endangered historic sites by Preservation New Jersey.
“The 10 Most Endangered Historic Places program spotlights irreplaceable historic,
architectural, cultural, and archeological resources in New Jersey that are in imminent
danger of being lost.” (preservationnj.org)
The church was built in 1900 on land donated for that purpose by the Ocean
Grove Camp Meeting Association. Members of the Bradley Beach Methodist Episcopal
Church raised funds for the building when they realized that their numbers had
outgrown the “little church in the woods” which had been purchased and moved to the
site from Asbury Park with the help of James Bradley, then Mayor of Asbury Park. The
present structure designed by architect, William C. Cottrell, encompasses ample flexible
spaces, with light flooding in through soaring stained-glass windows, and beautifully
crafted hard-wood pine throughout. These are materials and workmanship that are no
longer available in our present day. The building is located just a block or two from the
actual geographical center of town.
In early 2020, the building was purchased by the town of Bradley Beach with a
view to creating a community center. However, there is also support for the sale of the
property for demolition and development. The issue will likely be decided by survey and
referendum in this fall.
Saving this precious resource for present and future generations will require a
ground swell of community support. Please help us promote the preservation of this
historic treasure for use as an inspiring community and cultural center where citizens of
all ages will gather, learn, play, and grow together!
An anonymous and generous trustee will match all future donations up $5,000 in total from now until July 4th.