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Whitman, Walt, House

Camden, New Jersey
County of Camden.
330 Mickle Street
National Register Number: 66000461
Resource type: Building.
Property type: Domestic - single dwelling. The threat level was Threatened in
2004.
Congressional District: NJ-1 Certified Local Government: YES
This NHL offers public access.
Please contact the NHL directly for visitor information.
Current use/information: House Museum.

Statement of Significance (as of designation - December 29, 1962):
From 1884 until his death, this two story, plain frame house was the home of Walt Whitman (1819-1892), the "Poet of Democracy." Whitman is best remembered for his " Leaves of Grass" whose great merit was recognized after his death.

Condition:
In 2004, deterioration of adjoining buildings connected to the Whitman House still presents a threat to the recently restored Landmark. The NHL is in imminent danger of serious damage due to the severe deterioration of adjoining and connected structures. A lack of capital funding for the last several years has prevented repair of these structures

The NHL is in imminent danger of serious damage due to the severe deterioration of adjoining and connected structures. The landmark, 330 Mickle Boulevard, is one of four connected structures (326, 328, 330, and 332 Mickle Blvd.) that make up the historic Walt Whitman House Complex which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). As stated in the NRHP inventory, the existence of these connected structures has a direct impact on the NHL and "if removed, the structural soundness of the Whitman House would itself be threatened." The level of deterioration of each connected structure varies with 332 Mickle Blvd. (built c. 1856 and occupied until 1873 by the prominent architect, Stephen Decatur Button) being in the worst condition. The New Jersey State Park Service recently acquired this property in order to protect the structural integrity of the landmark and to provide for a state of the art collection storage facility and visitor use center. Work on rehabilitating the structure was scheduled to commence in 2002 but was halted do to a loss of funding and has been placed on hold indefinitely. The condition of this site poses a direct threat to the preservation of the NHL through potential vandalism and structural failure. The adjoining streetscape of the historic complex has deteriorated and is in need of revamping to alleviate safety concerns and negative impact on the NHL. The other connected structures (c. 1870’s), 326 and 328 Mickle Blvd, are in marginal condition with significant deterioration of exterior wood, stucco (326 rear), and windows.. Due to ongoing budgetary constraints, the condition of these structures worsens with a direct impact and threat to the stability and preservation of the NHL and its collection. Plans for the creation of a park bordering the landmark have come to a halt, resulting in the creation of an empty lot and isolating rather than enhancing the context of the site.

Recommendation/Change since last report:
The adjoining buildings should be repaired with the street facade of each restored to its historic appearance. The buildings are in need of roof repairs, window repair or replacement, and restoration of missing historic fabric including shutters, etc.


Comments and questions about the database may be directed to NHL_info@nps.gov