It is the policy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park to allow special events, filming and photography when and where possible, while adhering to the National Park Service mandate to "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." (16 U.S.C. 1) In order to manage special events, filming and photography, a permit issued by the superintendent is required.

Permits are required for the following:


Commercial Photography

Commercial filming is defined as digital or film recording of a visual image or sound recording by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience, such as for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement, or similar project. Still photography requires a permit when the activity takes place where or when, members of the public are not allowed, or when the activity uses models, sets or props that are not part of the natural or cultural resources of the park.

Breaking News

Sound technicians, and film or video news crews at breaking news events do not require a film permit. However, breaking news events are subject to restrictions and conditions necessary to protect park resources and public health and safety, and to prevent impairment or derogation of park resources and values. Breaking news is an event that cannot be covered at any other time or place.

Visitor Photography

  • Flash photography and tripods are not permitted.
  • Personal photography for private, non-commercial use is permitted at the Laboratory Complex. This includes cell phones, handheld cameras and video cameras that are set to take non-flash photos.
  • No photography is permitted inside the Glenmont mansion.
  • All photography, professional or amateur, which utilizes equipment (including tripods, monopods, lights, detachable flash, umbrella, multiple lenses, props, selfie sticks, microphones) or models requires a permit.

Filming and Photography permits are scheduled on Mondays and Tuesdays, or after 5:00 p.m. based on availability once the permit application is approved. All permits are subject to a location fee and cost recovery fees. Permits may have additional insurance and compliance requirements. Please contact the Permit Coordinator for additional information.


1. Application fee: $50.00

2. Location fee:

Motion Pictures/Videos Still Photography
1-2 People, Camera and Tripod Only $0/Day
1-10 People $150/Day 1-10 People $50/Day
11-30 People $250/Day 11-30 People $150/Day
31-49 People $500/Day Over 30 People $250/Day
Over 50 People $750/Day

3. Cost Recovery: $50 per hour per ranger

Application process:

Please read over the PERMIT INFORMATION SHEET carefully. Contact the Permit Coordinator to discuss the permit requirements, fees and to make an appointment for a scouting visit. After the scouting visit, you will need to complete the application and mail it to the Permit Coordinator.

Your application must be received in sufficient time for evaluation by the park staff before the start date for your activity. Requests which involve complex logistics or coordination with other visitor activities will require additional time to process. Your request will be evaluated on the basis of the information in your application.

Please be aware that the $ 50.00 application fee is non-refundable. If your request is approved, a permit containing applicable terms and conditions will be sent to the person designated on the application. Additional fees may be charged based on the size and complexity of your permit. An estimated fee schedule will be provided upon approval of the permit.

Information and Forms:



Permit Coordinator
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
211 Main Street
West Orange, New Jersey 07052
973-736-0550 extension 17
Fax: 973-736-6567


A special park use is a short-term activity that takes place in a park area and:
  • Provides a benefit to an individual, group, or organization rather than the public at large;
  • Requires written authorization and some degree of management control from the NPS in order to protect park resources and the public interest;
  • Is not prohibited by law or regulation;
  • Is not initiated, sponsored, or conducted by the NPS.

National Park Service (NPS) regulations authorize the conducting of special events provided:
  • There is a meaningful association between the park area and the event;
  • The observance contributes to visitor understanding of the significance of the park, and
  • A permit has been issued by the superintendent.

Private Business Meetings and Events

Thomas Edison NHP can accommodate a variety of private meetings, tours, and events for organizations, businesses, and corporations through a Special Use Permit. Permits are issued for any time on Mondays or Tuesdays, or in the evening after 5:00 p.m., when the site is not open to visitors, based on availability.

Permittee is responsible for any food arrangements. There are no cooking facilities available. Caterer will provide all personnel, tables, chairs, tableware, linens, coat racks and tents as needed. Facility guidelines for caterers and event planners can be found below.

The following areas at the Edison Laboratory Complex are available for meetings and events:

Building 11
This multipurpose room can accommodate a maximum of 40 people in rows of chairs (auditorium style). It can be set up in different ways for smaller groups. Tables and chairs may be available with advance arrangements. There is a podium and wall-mounted screen available for power point or video presentations with public wifi in the room. Permittee is responsible for any other presentation materials such as flipcharts. There is a small room with a sink and countertop adjacent to the main room that can be used for light refreshments.

Building 1 – Visitor Center
This room can accommodate approximately 60 people in rows of chairs (auditorium style). Chairs are provided. There is a podium and wall-mounted screen available for power point or video presentations but there is no internet connection available. Permittee is responsible for any other presentation materials. The Museum Store is adjacent to the main room. Restrooms are located in this building.

From April through October (weather permitting), there is a 30’ x 60’ tent on the grounds of the Laboratory Complex. Over 100 people can be seated in rows of chairs (auditorium style) or with round tables and chairs. The permittee would be responsible for all furnishings and audiovisual equipment inside the tent. There is no wifi in this area. There are two 20 amp electric receptacles available. The tent is not heated or cooled.


National Park Service guided tours of the Edison Laboratory Complex may be scheduled alone or with a meeting or event. The tour is about 90 minutes in length but can be longer or shorter depending on your schedule. Please discuss any special needs, themes or topics of interest with the Permit Coordinator.

The recommended tour size is 25-30 people. Larger groups can be divided with a staggered tour schedule. Larger groups may also consider an open house style visit with National Park Service staff stationed throughout the historic buildings for a self-paced tour.

Tours of the Glenmont estate may be available as part of your permit but there are no indoor spaces that can be used for meetings or events. Maximum tour size in the Glenmont mansion is 20. Under certain circumstances small events may be permitted on the grounds. Tents and all furnishings would be the responsibility of the permittee.

More information:

Please review the PERMIT INFORMATION SHEET below and make an appointment to see the space before submitting your permit application. Email the Permit Coordinator, to schedule a visit.

There is a $50.00 application fee for the permit, plus a cost recovery fee of $50.00 per hour (per NPS staff needed) for the time on site, and an entrance fee of $15.00 per person if you would like a tour. Certificate of Insurance and bond may be required.

Once you are certain you would like to use the space, you will need to submit an Application for Special Use Permit, which you can find below. Please do not send any fees until we confirm your event. An estimated fee schedule will be provided upon approval of the permit. Facility guidelines for caterers and event planners can also be found below.


Special Events

Permit Coordinator
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
211 Main Street
West Orange, New Jersey 07052
973-736-0550 extension 17
Fax: 973-736-6567

Last updated: January 11, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

211 Main Street
West Orange, NJ 07052


973-736-0550 x11
As part of our Covid-19 response, phones are monitored as staff are available with messages being checked daily. If a ranger is unavailable to take your call, we kindly ask that you leave us a detailed message with return contact information and we will be happy to get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.

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