MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ,
Oct 18, 2012
Camp Evans, the former Army post in Wall Township, N.J. and site of top secret work that helped win World War II, has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Interior as one of only 26 new sites receiving national historic landmark designation, announced Congressman Chris Smith.
“Having been to Camp Evans numerous times and worked with the leadership of the non-profit organization InfoAge dedicated to the preservation of this site—I am aware that it may be the most significant historic location associated with the development of radar,”
said Smith, who in April urged the National Park Service to approve this designation and to do so in a timely manner. “The top secret American research conducted right here in Monmouth County helped win battles on the warfront and save American lives. The new designation will forever secure Camp Evan’s much-deserved prominence in the history of our national defense and security, as well as honor the thousands of people from the New Jersey and New York areas who worked there practically anonymously to protect the nation and especially our troops. An added bonus is that the federal designation will open doors to grant funding and attract visitors who want to learn more about the fascinating history of Camp Evans.
For more than a decade Smith helped prevent the closed site from being auctioned off to developers, and worked with the Army to clean up and preserve the site. InfoAge hosts many events at Camp Evans that are open to the public. Click here to see a list of events
“This year marks the 70th anniversary of the naming ceremony of Camp Evans. 2012 also marks the 100th anniversary of the site serving as a Marconi Wireless Station. The designation of Camp Evans as a National Historic Landmark on these important anniversaries will have a strong symbolic impact for the individuals who have worked since the Army’s withdrawal to maintain the historic and cultural significance of the site,”
Smith wrote. Click here to read Smith’s letter
“The men and women of InfoAge, and Director Fred Carl in particular, have done tremendous work to preserve this site and raise awareness of the critical role Monmouth County has played in our nation’s history,”
Fred Carl, Director of InfoAge located on Marconi Road, credited Smith for helping gain the designation, as for his well as critical assistance in 2001, 2004 and 2007 in working with the Army to preserve Camp Evans.
“We would not be here today if it weren’t for Congressman Smith
,” Carl said. “If he didn’t step in there would be no Camp Evans
.” He said the new designation would assist in grant applications for projects on the site, as well as raise Camp Evans’ profile and increase visitors.
The U.S. Army Signal Corps acquired Camp Evans in 1941 and the site functioned as an electronics development, testing, and production facility during World War II. It immediately became one of the principal facilities where radar work was conducted in the United States. In many instances Camp Evans radar teams planned, set specifications for, directed, contracted and coordinated wartime radar research and production with other radar laboratories. Equipment developed, tested, documented, and upgraded at Camp Evans was used in all World War II theaters and protected American military assets worldwide.
The proposed historic district retains the overall appearance of an early- to mid- twentieth century industrial facility. While most of the area’s construction occurred during World War II, five buildings date back further, having been built before World War I—when the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America established the Belmar Receiving Station on the property.
Acknowledging the historical significance of Camp Evans, the National Historic Landmarks Theme Study conducted in 2008 recommended that this property be evaluated for possible NHL designation. Earlier this year, the National Park System Advisory Board approved and forwarded the nomination to the Department of Interior Secretary Salazar for the official designation.