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New Action to Save MLK’s Former Camden Home

(Camden, N.J.) Today, Rep. Donald Norcross (NJ-01) announced that Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, a non-profit corporation, has offered to become custodian of a Camden City property that was once home to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., while King studied at the former Crozer Theological Seminary in Upland, Pennsylvania in the 1950s.

The action comes three weeks after Rep. Norcross brought together civil rights icon, Congressman John Lewis (GA-05)  and local leaders to support historic preservation efforts at the property, located at 753 Walnut Street in Camden City.

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(Photos provided) Rep. Donald Norcross, with property owner Jeanette Lilly Hunt, Rep. John Lewis (GA-05), and Camden Mayor Dana Redd stand outside 753 Walnut Street in Camden, which local historians have identified as home where Martin Luther King, Jr. resided in the 1950s (Photo taken September 19, 2016)

“Today, I’m proud that I was able to bring our community together to help restore and save this important piece of American history. We owe it to future generations to ensure this national treasure is safeguarded for many years to come,” said Rep. Donald Norcross.

The agreement, between Cooper’s Ferry Partnership and property owner Jeanette Lilly Hunt, would enable Cooper’s Ferry to preserve the landmark, just as it did with the historic Walt Whitman House, also in Camden City. Simultaneously, the parties are working collaboratively to identify an organization to maintain the house, once it’s preserved.

“It’s obvious this house is critical to our past and needs to be preserved for the future. We’re proud to be partners making this a reality,” said Anthony Perno, CEO of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership.

The Camden City Historical Society is expected to designate the property as historically significant at an upcoming meeting.

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Row home located at 753 Walnut Street in Camden, which local historians have identified as home where Martin Luther King, Jr. resided in the 1950s. (Photo taken September 19, 2016).

“I am delighted that the momentum to preserve this historic house is gaining the attention it rightfully deserves.  The City is committed to work with the owner of the house, Ms. Hunt, as well as Congressman Norcross, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership and others to do what is necessary to save this wonderful piece of history,” said Camden Mayor Dana Redd.

Previously, Rep. Norcross has appealed to the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office to have the Walnut Street home designated as an historic site.

(Source: Press Release Rep. Donald Norcross)