The Miller Children Slams Rutgers for Neglecting Historic Mansion
By: Nicolette Accardi
The Miller children are outraged at Rutgers University for putting the historic 1740s “Miller House” up for sale in October, which was meant to be the Rutgers University president’s new house.
The Miller family says the university neglected the Piscataway home, which was purchased 12 years ago for $1.2 million. The “Miller House” is located at 857 Hoes Lane West and was purchased by Bernard Miller in 1954. After Miller’s death in 2003, Rutgers University Facilities and Capital Planning Department got in contact with his widow, Mary Miller, about purchasing the mansion.
Rutgers officials purchases the home to use it as the President’s new home, but broke their promise by spending $90,000 on renovations of the old presidential home before President Robert Barchi moved in.
Due to budget issues, the Rutgers Board of Governors decided to sell the property. The sale price is yet to be determined and Rutgers is looking for buyers. According to NJ.com, renovations are estimated to be $10.9 million
Megan O’Connor, a Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences first-year student, thinks Rutgers should have taken advantage of owning a historical landmark.
“I’m surprised Rutgers didn’t take advantage of owning a historical landmark since Rutgers itself is a university with a lot of history,” O’Connor said. “I think it would have really complemented the university.”
According to NJ.com, the Miller family is worried people will think their parents let the house rot since the home now has visible signs of deterioration such as peeling paint and a collapsing roof.
“I don’t want it to look like my parents left that home like that,” Mary Miller, the Miller’s daughter, said to NJ.com. “Rutgers kind of made a promise and they didn’t follow through with it. They didn’t protect that house.”
The historic, boarded-up home has also been a target for vandalism and theft.
According to NJ.com, Rutgers Vice President of University Facilities and Capital Planning Antonio Calcado said police would patrol the property, but that would not stop the mischief from happening to the home.
Deterioration could have been prevented if the home was made a historic landmark, but Bernard Miller rejected the idea due to maintenance requirements says NJ.com.
Raj Vaidya, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, thinks the ‘Miller House’ will be in better hands with a new owner.
“Since its old, I would agree with them selling it just under the confidence that the new owners will maintain the same image of the house,” Vaidya said.
It is estimated that the property is worth $560,500.