Elks Hall, a 94 year-old stately brick building, located on 40 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, and notable for the large elk sculpture in front, is in danger of being sold and torn down to make space for a new skyscraper.
As a volunteer for the New Brunswick Historical Society, and manager of the society’s Facebook page, Elizabeth Ciccone, Business Manager at SC&I, began posting announcements to Facebook to help save the Elks building.
One post included a poll to gauge whether local residents wanted to save the building, which is just yards down the street from Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts and the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. 90 percent of the respondents voted in favor of saving the building.
This post captured the attention of Preservation New Jersey—a non-profit organization promoting historic preservation in the state. They decided to add Elks Hall to its list of the 10 most endangered sites.
To bring attention to endangered buildings in New Jersey, in order to ultimately help procure funding to save them from destruction, Preservation New Jersey holds an annual press conference. Every year at this event, the organization highlights 10 sites and 10 different people represent them.
This year, Preservation New Jersey asked Ciccone to represent Elks Hall at the press conference. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the conference was held virtually on Thursday, May 14, 2020 on WebEx. Preservation New Jersey’s video of the press conference can be found below and on their website. (Elks Hall is introduced around minute seven and Ciccone is introduced during minute 26.)
Ciccone posts at least once per day on the New Brunswick Historical Society Facebook page, featuring pictures of historic buildings and notable citizens both in the New Brunswick area and on Rutgers University-New Brunswick campus.
“The history of New Brunswick is the history of Rutgers and vice versa,” said Ciccone.
As of today, the Facebook page has 1,895 likes and 1,957 followers. Each post reaches about 2,000 to 4,000 people on average per day.
When asked how her position at SC&I helps her in her volunteer role, Ciccone said, “Being the business manager at SC&I means I’m really good at administrative and financial work. So I’m using those skills and applying them to my volunteer commitments.”
More information about the Rutgers School of Communication and Information (SC&I) is on the website.