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Upper Makefield wants Taylorsville designated a historic district


Spurred by concern over the future of the 119-year-old Washington Crossing Toll Supported Bridge, the historic preservation push is picking up steam in Upper Makefield.

On June 18, the township board of supervisors approved a contract with consultant Jeff Marshall that authorizes the preservation expert to spearhead an effort focused on getting the Taylorsville section of the municipality designated a historic district.

Marshall’s work will include preparing and submitting necessary documents to the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum State Historic Preservation Office, which would determine if Taylorsville qualifies for the special designation.

Marshall, former president of Heritage Conservancy, has already been working on related efforts whose aim is to get the Washington Crossing Bridge — and potentially other buildings near it — placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Much more rigorous standards must be met to alter structures with the designation.

The Washington Crossing area marks the famous spot where Gen. George Washington and the Continental Army crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night en route to a Revolutionary War victory at the Battle of Trenton.

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission is considering replacing the bridge — possibly with a bigger, broader, more modern span — something township officials have been pushing back against ever since learning of the potential project earlier this year.

By getting the bridge, other structures, and Taylorsville historical status, officials believe they stand a better chance of preventing the large-scale bridge overhaul that some fear could fundamentally change the character of the area, while bringing in unwanted ills like increased traffic.

DRJTBC’s plans for Washington Crossing Bridge have not been finalized. Residents and supervisors have been attending the commission’s meetings to voice concerns over the project.

Upper Makefield officials said residents should keep up the pressure.

“We continue to encourage residents to attend the meetings in person or virtually to voice your opinions about the Washington Crossing project,” said Supervisor Chair Yvette Taylor.

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