The Community of St. John Baptist consists of two adjacent early 20th century buildings — the Convent and St. Marguerite’s Home — surrounded by park-like grounds that include a walled garden and cemetery. The Convent was designed and built in the French Eclectic Style by William W. Cordingley and J. Durr Friedley in 1915 for the Episcopal Sisters of the Clower Order. St. Marguerite’s, now a Conference Center, is a Tudor/Jacobean Revival structure originally designed as an orphanage in 1908 by James Layng Mills and John Cameron Greenleaf.

The Preservation Master Plan included an assessment of the Convent, St. Marguerite’s, the Garden and Cemetery Walls, and the Cemetery Bell Tower. Research on the architectural history led to a National Historic Register nomination. HBA completed an assessment of the building exterior conditions, recommendations for prioritized repairs, and a plan for improved public access and code upgrade recommendations. HBA also conducted material analysis (including mortar, stucco and paint analysis) and radar and infrared surveys to identify concealed conditions. A detailed construction cost estimate with a 15-year phased plan resulted in successful fundraising and the completion of the high-priority work. The first phrase of work was a heating system upgrade in the Convent. The next phase included repairing the complex clay tile roof on the Convent, for which replacement tiles were imported from the original tile producer in the UK. NDE revealed that the tunnel connecting the Convent and Chapel was unsafe, so it was infilled and a new accessible route was installed to replace it. Funding for these projects came from the New Jersey Historic Trust and the Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

Community of St. John

Mendham, NJ

Preservation Plan, Heating System Upgrade project, Phase One Exterior Restoration