The Union Hotel in Flemington, New Jersey became internationally famous during the trial of Bruno Hauptmann who was convicted of kidnapping aviator Charles Lindbergh’s baby in the 1930s. Journalists from around the world stayed at the Union Hotel and filed phone reports from its bar, lobby and rooms. Assemblywoman Donna Simon has launched a legislative initiative to help re-open the historic hotel, which has recently been called the “critical component” by planners studying how to revitalize downtown Flemington.

“This stagecoach stop that became famous for its role in the Lindbergh trial is an important part of our history and remains critical to Flemington’s down town,” says Simon. “Re-opening the Union Hotel will create jobs, revitalize Flemington and its economy by attracting new businesses and draw visitors to experience the many restaurants, bed and breakfasts and shops in the area.”

Simon’s measure is designed to promote economic development and the preservation of historic buildings by allowing liquor licenses for historic hotels, such as the Union Hotel, which became famous for housing prosecutors and press during the Lindbergh trial, known as the “Trial of the Century.” Under the bill, hotels could qualify for a special liquor license if they are listed on the state and national registers of historic places, were built before 1880 and have at least 24 rooms.

Flemington Business Improvement District Executive Director David Rucki says Simon’s legislation, “will hopefully achieve what we try to do best, which is recruit, revitalize and retain. In terms of revitalization, this building, this structure is paramount to the success of our downtown and for our business district. In terms of recruitment, we hope to fill it with wonderful businesses, hopefully a wonderful hotel. In terms of retention, it should hopefully bring back economic vitality to an area that desperately needs it.”