Cultural Center Headquarters

Cultural Center Headquarters

300 Mendham Road
Morris Township, NJ 07960

300 Mendham Road
Morris Township, NJ 07960

T: (973) 326 - 7631

Hours:
M-F: 8:30am - 4:30pm 
Sat-Sun: Closed

Directions

The Cultural Center located at 300 Mendham Road nestled within Lewis Morris County Park, serving as the headquarters of the Morris County Park Commission.

History

The first-known use of the land on which the Cultural Center sits was as a chicken farm prior to the turn of the 19th century. In approximately 1900, the first buildings, establishing the use of the area as a nursing home, were constructed.

The main building was erected in 1928-1929 for the Aurora Health Farm, which was founded in 1920 by Dr. Robert Shulman, a Brooklyn doctor. A regional newspaper in 1940 compared the facility to a first-class hotel. However, changes during the post-war years of WW2 led to the decision to close the institute. The entire property was sold to the Esso Standard Oil Company (Exxon-Mobile) in 1952. Esso used the building as a training center, and built a special records vault in the basement intended to withstand nuclear war. The corporation’s needs changed about the same time that Morris County was establishing its park system. The Cultural Center was dedicated on January 29, 1969; its first parcel being received from Esso Standard Oil on December 23, 1959 (Recorded Date).

In 1968 the Park Commission had acquired all of the 105 acres and the buildings. The original early wooden Aurora Health Farm building became the headquarters for the Morris County Girl Scouts, but was demolished in 1992. For a while, the newer hospital building, presently in use by the Park Commission staff, was used by the Park Commission as its administrative headquarters.

In 2011 it housed the Morris County Park Police as well as the Morris County administrative staff making up the IT, Marketing and Communications, Recreation, and Visitor Services departments; the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority (MCMUA); the Morris County Heritage Commission; and the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC).