Historic Lambert's Tower open to the public
PASSAIC COUNTY — With the cutting of a symbolic ribbon, the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders officially reopened a restored Lambert’s Tower. This is the first time that the historic tower has been open to the public in over 40 years. The reopening ceremony coincided with the start of a program to introduce trained park attendants in Garret Mountain to assist visitors and help protect the county’s investments in the updated tower and park facilities.
“This restoration has been a long time coming. I am proud that the county has restored one of the historic gems within Garret Mountain,” said Freeholder Director Pat Lepore. “This was a huge effort by all our planning and engineering staff, and importantly included grant funds made possible by the efforts of Congressman Pascrell and the State.”
The planning for the restoration of Lambert’s Tower started back in 2004 with the help of Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., who was successful in securing grant funds from the US Park Service and NJDEP Green Acres. Ultimately, the county spent approximately $2.1 million to restore the historic tower to condition it is in today, of which half the funds were reimbursed through the grants. The additional funding was supplied by the Open Space and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.
According to Passaic County Historian Ed Smyk, Lambert’s Tower has been closed to the public for 45 years. The restored and rehabilitated sentinel over Paterson and environs has not been allowed to crumble into ruin, but has obtained what one can call a “new lease on life.”
“The reopening of Lambert’s Tower will help keep Passaic County history intact for the next generation,” said Pascrell, Jr. “This is what happens when different levels of government work together to benefit the community.”
“Open space and recreation is a cornerstone of my commitment to residents and families of Passaic County. The investments we make in our county parks will pay dividends for future generations,” added Freeholder Theodore “TJ” Best, former chair and member of the Passaic County Public Works Committee.
The opening ceremony took place at the entrance to Lambert’s Tower in the Garret Mountain Reserve on Wednesday, July 2, noon.
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