New markets tax credits were also a significant source of funding in the restoration of the Ferdinand W. Roebling mansion. The Roebling family, known for developing wire-rope cable and designing the Brooklyn Bridge, built several mansions along West State Street during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Located in Trenton’s State House historic district, this is the only remaining Roebling mansion.
The building was vacant for over 30 years, during which time a local developer attempted to demolish it. The city acquired the building from the developer in 1998 through eminent domain. It remained vacant for seven more years. In 2003, the Trenton Historical Society’s Preservation Committee named the building one of the “10 most endangered buildings” in Trenton.
Mayor Palmer knew this building was an important landmark and wanted to see it rehabilitated. For several years, Bill Dressel, executive director of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, had been looking for a larger building in the area and had hoped to move closer to the State House. The league acquired the building from the city of Trenton in June 2005 for $165,000.