TENAFLY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey community is fighting to save a historic building from the wrecking ball.

The beige building in Tenafly has deep ties to the state’s history and women’s rights, CBS2’s Emily Smith reported.

It was constructed in 1870 and began as a hotel, housing a polling site where Elizabeth Cady Stanton attempted to vote.

“She came into the hotel, and they wouldn’t let her vote because only men were allowed to vote,” borough historian Alice Rigney said.

Stanton and Susan B. Anthony arrived by horse and carriage at the old hotel on Country Road only to be denied voting rights. The duo later got the right to vote.

The historic building has been vacant and for sale for years. In recent years, it has housed Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse.

Today, many Tenafly residents take pride in the history the building provides. But there’s now a proposal by a day care company to demolish it.

“It should absolutely be saved,” one Tenafly resident said. “How many historic sites do we have in this town, in this country for that matter?”

Tenafly still has a landmarked house that was once home to Stanton. But to think the town’s only other major part of history could be destoryed is upsetting to some residents.

“Surely somebody could fine a business that would be suited to take this building for something else,” another resident said.

“Many of us feel we’d like the tradition of seeing this wonderful, old building, which lends great character to Tenafly — it’s part of the way Tenafly used to look,” Rigney said.

Tenafly Planning Board Chair Mary Beth Wilmit said the day care company wants to build its business there, knocking down the historic building.

“It’s an ongoing process that involves a lengthy hearing,” Wilmit said in a statement. “It’s not fair to speak at this time.”

CBS2 tried to contact the attorney representing the day care company, but has not heard back.

Residents will have a chance to speak up July 8. The Planning Board will make the final decision.


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