Holmdel Township Committee, Monmouth County Board of Commissioners, NJ State Legislature

Picture is from American Museum of Natural History/R. Mickens


Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the Horn Antenna sits on 42 beautiful acres in Holmdel Township on Crawford Hill, the highest point in Monmouth County. The Horn Antenna was instrumental in the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation by scientists Dr. Robert Wilson and Dr. Arno Penzias, which helped confirm the “Big Bang” theory of cosmology. Both men earned Nobel Prizes for their discoveries.

The Holmdel Township Committee recently authorized an investigation into whether the property where the Horn Antenna resides should be designated as “an area in need of redevelopment.” Consequently, this property is in danger of becoming a high-density residential development and the future of the Horn Antenna is at stake.

Citizens for Informed Land Use (CILU), Friends of Holmdel Open Space (FOHOS) and Preserve Holmdel (PH) say NO to developing the property and removing or destroying the Horn Antenna.


Please sign our petition urging the Holmdel Township Committee, the Monmouth County Commissioners, and our legislators to preserve the Horn Antenna and Crawford Hill.

To: Holmdel Township Committee, Monmouth County Board of Commissioners, NJ State Legislature
From: [Your Name]

Holmdel Township, NJ is the home of Crawford Hill, the highest point in Monmouth County, NJ. This is the site of the historic Horn Antenna that was used to first observe the background cosmic microwave radiation that confirmed the Big Bang Theory of the creation of the universe.

The Holmdel Township Committee recently authorized an investigation on whether to delineate Crawford Hill for redevelopment and it appears that the property's current owner may want to move the Horn Antenna and develop the site. Community members would like the horn and the property it sits on preserved in perpetuity.

The property at 791 Holmdel Road on Crawford Hill (Holmdel Township Tax Block 27, Lots 6, 6.01, and 7) is approximately 42 acres and is located ¼ mile north of Holmdel Town Hall. It was previously owned by Bell Telephone Laboratories, Lucent, Alcatel, and Nokia. It is currently unoccupied and not being used as a research laboratory, as permitted in Holmdel's Research Laboratory (RL-40) district.

This property includes the National Historic Landmark, the Horn Antenna, used by Bell Labs researchers, Dr. Robert Wilson and Dr. Arno Penzias, to observe cosmic microwave background radiation and demonstrate the Big Bang theory of cosmology. Consequently, both men won the Nobel Prize for their discoveries. This property also contains the top of Crawford Hill (380+ feet) which is the “high point” of Holmdel and Monmouth County.

The property includes an approximate 50,000-square-foot research laboratory visible from Holmdel Road. The portions near the Horn Antenna and the high point are level and could support a play or picnic area. The remainder of the property is mostly mature forests with steep slopes, limited road access, and several walking/hiking trails.

The property has recently been purchased by Crawford Hill Holding, LLC. The undersigned understand that there are considerations to either move or remove the Horn Antenna and to rezone these properties for high-density residential development.

The undersigned declare our interest in preserving the Crawford Hill property and the Horn Antenna as a National Historic Landmark and public park with public access for passive recreation. The Horn Antenna should be a priority site for preservation because of its scientific significance in our understanding of the origin of the universe. This historic monument and the grounds it sits on should be memorialized in perpetuity. The property is also valuable as a park because it contains the highest point in Monmouth County and as such would be very attractive to hikers and other nature enthusiasts.

Holmdel residents recently approved an increase in the municipal open space tax so that funds are available to preserve high-priority properties such as the Crawford Hill site. The undersigned urge the Holmdel Township Committee members to take appropriate immediate steps to protect, preserve and maintain the nationally designated historic structure and grounds for the Horn Antenna in accordance with the recommendations of the Master Plan.

The undersigned also request that the Holmdel Township Committee members take the lead in exploring all opportunities with partners, both public and private, to acquire the entire site as a park with public access and to preserve and maintain the Horn Antenna at its historic location. The Committee is encouraged to contact other interested parties such as the Monmouth County Park System, Monmouth County, Monmouth Conservation Foundation, and other previous partners in Holmdel’s land preservation program to successfully preserve the Crawford Hill properties and the Horn Antenna for the public.