Duke Farms Foundation petitions to demolish main mansion

HILLSBOROUGH, N.J. (AP) — The Duke Farms Foundation has applied to Hillsborough Township's Historic Preservation Commission for permission to demolish the unoccupied main mansion of the estate.

The Courier News of Bridgewater reports (http://mycj.co/1LhXv43 ) the 65,000-square-foot former home of Doris Duke has fallen into disrepair with asbestos and mold problems.

A "mission-appropriate" use for the building couldn't be determined by the foundation.

Foundation executive director Michael Catania says it would "cost a fortune" to bring the structure up to code.

Catania says before the building is demolished, the foundation would attempt to preserve the mansion's more architecturally significant details.

The foundation hopes to make other portions of the 15-acre site more accessible to the public, namely its gardens, fountains and waterfalls.

A hearing on the demolition will be held July 30.


Information from: Courier News (Bridgewater, N.J.) , http://www.mycentraljersey.com