The Sandlass House, reimagined as a museum, above, and as seen in July, 2015, below. (Rendering by Anderson Campanella Archictects. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
[See update below]
By JOHN T. WARD
A group of preservationists trying to save the last remnants of a long-forgotten Sandy Hook beach resort from the wrecking ball.
Dubbed the Jersey Coast Heritage Museum at Sandlass House, the group has begun circulating a petition calling on the National Park Service, which owns the house as part of Gateway National Recreation Area, not to knock it down, and allow them to turn it into a museum.
The White Street municipal lot is the scene for eye-popping autos of every era at Sunday’s 14th annual Red Bank Firefighters (a.k.a. Doc Holiday) Car Show. (Click to enlarge.)
Their century-old stationhouse at 40 White Street may have been decommissioned and, as reported here on redbankgreen, green-lighted for a retail/residential conversion. But that hasn’t stopped the volunteer firefighters of Red Bank’s Liberty Hose Company from returning to their long-time home turf for an event that’s taken its place among the borough’s most colorful annual traditions: the Red Bank Firefighters Classic Car Show.
It’s a contest of old-school sporting skills when the Monmouth Furnace Base Ball Club meets the Chesapeake Nine in a Sunday afternoon game at Sickles Field.
Forget the recent rulebook revisions governing base-running during double play situations. Send the DH to the bench; leave the protective helmets in the equipment locker — and if you’re pitching today, be prepared to hurl a complete game, or even work every game on the team’s schedule.
When the Monmouth Furnace Base Ball Club takes to the diamond at Little Silver’s Sickles Field this Sunday, the team will be playing by a somewhat different set of rules than the ones that currently apply to professional-league competition.
Decoys, shorebirds and wildlife art (above) are the stars of the show…and artist-author David Rhodes (below) is the special guest exhibitor…as the annual Two Rivers Exhibition returns to Rumson’s Forrestdale School on Saturday.
It’s one of those best-kept-secret events that keep local life here on the greater Green so worthy of continued exploration — and for enthusiasts of a certain sort of niche craft, it’s an excursion that sure beats getting up before dawn and shivering the morning away in some lonesome duck blind.
Back for its third annual edition this Saturday, March 12, the Two Rivers Exhibition of Sporting Collectible Art commandeers the all-purpose room of Forrestdale School (60 Forrest Avenue in Rumson) between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., for a one-stop occasion in which some of the finest carvers of decoys and shorebirds from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland will compete for Best in Show honors (entries to be judged on anatomy, originality, likeness to species, and proper flotation). Also offered will be wildlife-themed art (watercolor, acrylic, oils, photographs, metal, pottery and more), artist demos, antique decoy appraisals, silent auction, 50/50 raffle, and lunch menu — a must-see “if you love birds, are interested in learning about the history of decoys or simply enjoy nature and delight in seeing all the beauty it has to offer.”
Anzhelika Doliba’s pencil portrait “Angelica” (above) and Bob O’Keefe’s stained glass piece “Poe” (below) are among the works on display during the Guild of Creative Art’s Holiday Show 2015.
Bob O’Keefe’s Stained Glass
Long before our neck of Monmouth County could boast its own wine-and-cheese gallery scene or paint-and-sip studio, there was the Guild of Creative Art, the creative collective that’s watched the contemporary landscape of the greater Red Bank area take shape over the past 55 years, from the window of its ever-fascinating house on Shrewsbury’s Route 35 main drag.
This Sunday, December 13, the evergreen local treasure welcomes the public to a yearly happening that stands as a complement to the hustle and bustle of the surrounding stores and stripmalls: the annual All-Member Holiday Show.
Ray Rapcavage, developer of 22 proposed townhomes in Red Bank, is planning a charity garage sale this Saturday on the Clay Street side of the site, which also fronts on Harding Road and Hudson Avenue. All proceeds from the sale will go to the Red Bank chapter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County, Rapcavage tells redbankgreen.
The sale features “hundreds of items” stored in the garages that front on Clay, Rapcavage said, including building supplies — such as windows, barn flooring and columns — as well as bicycles, children’s clothing, and toys. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A hearing on Rapcavage’s building proposal is scheduled resume at the zoning board meeting on December 3. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Collectibles can be appraised, and records preserved, during a daylong event at the library. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
History and nostalgia will mix and mingle at the Red Bank Public Library on Saturday, October 17, when an antiques-roadshow-style event crosses paths with a records-digitization project.
One part of the event, dubbed “What’s In Your Attic?” and organized by the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library, connects local residents with expert appraisers to offer value estimates on antiques and collectibles.
The other enables patrons to preserve their own photos, films and other memorabilia on digital media.
The home of Paul and Nancy Cagno, at the corner of Wallace and Mount streets, above, and the circa 1903 mansion that’s now the office of Smallwood Wealth Management, at 199 Broad Street, below, were among the four structures cited. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Kicking off what members hope to become an annual series, the commission honored property owners in four categories for “adding to the value of Red Bank by adding to the character” of the town, in the words of Chairwoman Michaela Ferrigine.
The Sandlass House, at the entrance to Sandy Hook, is the subject of a campaign by a new preservation group, whose logo is shown below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The last remnant of a Sandy Hook beach club that was the subject of a Fair Haven man’s nostalgic documentary earlier this year now has a support group.
Chris Brenner tells redbankgreen that his video gave rise to an effort to save the Sandlass House, which overlooks the Shrewsbury River from the site of a long-demolished resort called Highland Beach and is slated for demolition.
Supporters plan to press their case for preserving the structure this Friday in Shrewsbury. Read More »
Space beneath the steeple, complete with spiral staircase, is now an office. The new First Church of Christ, Scientist worship space, below, is a fraction of the original size. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
This week, and right on schedule, lawyers, healthcare providers, a ribbon manufacturer and a boudoir photographer started moving into 211 Broad Street, the steepled structure that was a church for 62 years. Read More »
More than a year after a bittersweet move from their hundred-year old firehouse, the members of Liberty Hose Fire Company return to White Street once more this Sunday, for the annual Red Bank Firefighters (a.k.a. Doc Holiday) Car Show. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
By TOM CHESEK
It was a center-of-the-street faceoff worthy of the original Old West legend Doc Holliday – one that didn’t play out in favor of Red Bank’s Liberty Hose fire company, which had to “get out of Dodge” when the borough auctioned off its century-old White Street firehouse in 2014 (as reported here on redbankgreen).
Undaunted, the past and present members of Liberty Hose, since relocated to the First Aid building on Spring Street, reconvened in front of their historic headquarters last July for the continuation of a local summertime tradition: the annual Red Bank Firefighters Car Show – also known as the Robert “Doc” Holiday Car Show, in honor of a fondly remembered volunteer responder of bygone decades.
Chris Brenner, below, made the above video to shed light on a vanishing piece of Sandy Hook history. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Fair Haven resident Chris Brenner was fishing the Shrewsbury River one day last summer when low tide exposed the vestiges of a pier on the western side of Sandy Hook.
Brenner knew what the pier had been: part of a sprawling resort called Highland Beach that thrived for some 80 years years at that location. His mother, Jill, and late father, Ted, had even met there in the 1940s, at a popular bar called the Bamboo Room.
But looking to his right, as a stream of cars brought visitors across the Route 36 Azzolina Bridge to a park that’s now part of the federal Gateway National Recreation Area, Brenner wondered to himself: How many of those people even know what was once here?
Yes, many of the dealers who shared the collective’s space found refuge in the Gizzi family’s Riverbank Antiques just down the street, and the umbrella business found a new home in Asbury Park. But the optics, as they say, were less than ideal. The demolition of the building gouged a huge hole in the district, which for years had thrived in part on the ability of shoppers to stroll from one sprawling emporium to another.
But the change created opportunity, the first fruit of which is detailed in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.
Decoys, shorebirds and wildlife art from the region’s top carvers and artists are on display and for sale during the annual Two Rivers Exhibition, coming to Forrestdale School on Saturday.
For enthusiasts of such craft, it’s the real deal — particularly if you find the guys from Duck Dynasty either too dag-nasty, or simply a bunch of quacks.
When the New Jersey Waterfowl Carvers Association hosts its annual Two Rivers Exhibition of Sporting Collectible Art in Rumson on Saturday, it will once again represent the finest one-stop collection of hand-carved decoys, shorebirds and related wildlife art created by some of the region’s best sculptors – including John Hanson, Dennis Jenny, Keith Salkeld, David Thibault, Rob Wilson – all of it on display and on sale.
La Orquidea opened for business Thursday, just in time for the Valentine’s Day rush. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn notes the passing of a torch on Red Bank’s West Side.
The longtime former home of Johnny’s Jazz Market, vacant since the death of butcher Ralph “Johnny Jazz” Gatta four years ago, finally has a new tenant. And the proprietor of the new Shrewsbury Avenue shop, called La Orquidea, is someone who may be familiar to patrons of another former Red Bank favorite, the River’s Edge Café.
Born in the final year of the Baby Boom, the Antique Center of Red Bank, said to be the oldest continually operating antiques cooperative in America, turns 50 this month.
The late Nan Johnson, an antiques lover who found herself with too much stuff after redecorating her Lincroft home, launched the venture with 12 dealers in an old Red Bank clothing factory in 1964, and it eventually grew to comprise three massive buildings anchoring the borough’s Antiques District.
Now scaled back to two spaces run by her son, Guy Johnson, above, the center plans a celebration this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with refreshments and bargains at 195 and 226 West Front Street. Dozens more photos can be seen at redbankgreen‘s Flickr page. (Click to enlarge)
The doll’s fictional backstory is that she’s the American-born daughter of Russian immigrants living on New York’s Lower East Side in 1914. And for some of the real girls in attendance, the event was an occasion to dress up like Rebecca, while others emulated different dolls in the American Girl line, including a Nez Perce Native American doll named Kaya from 1764. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge.)
American Girl character Rebecca Rubin invites kids ages 6 and up to a special Tea Party at Rumson’s Congregation B’nai Israel.
As the Jewish Daily Forward put it in 2013, “today’s most famous Jewish character is 18 inches tall” — and on November 16, Rebecca Rubin casts a big profile as the special guest of honor for an American Girl Tea Party event at Congregation B’nai Israel in Rumson.
For the 11:45 am event that commemorates Jewish Book Month, children ages 6 and up are being invited to “bring your favorite doll to meet Rebecca Rubin” at a get-together that includes a light lunch, beverage, dessert, crafts and puzzles. While the tea party is a week away, seating is limited, and attendees are being urged to RSVP no later than this coming Wednesday, November 12.
The underside of the church roof, above, will remain exposed to the new second floor and mezzanine. Below, the church’s steeple also will be retained. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The pews and organ are gone. But touches of what made the former First Church of Christ, Scientist in Red Bank a place of worship remain as the 62-year-old structure is transformed into an office building with the decidedly secular name of “211 Broad Street.”
The giant clerestory windows have been preserved, though their arched tops are now at eye-level on a second floor erected in what had been open sanctuary space. The original wood dentil molding has been retained. And there’s a small round window, hidden for years behind the organ, that will deliver light and views previously available only to the occasional maintenance worker.
Most prominently, there’s the steeple. For passersby, its storybook patina-green spire will continue to soar toward the heavens – though by this time next year, some office occupant who gazes upward will be able to get an eyeful of its guts.
“It’s like architectural sculpture,” developer Bob Silver, of Bravitas Group, said of the intricate lacing of timbers. “We never even considered taking it down.”
More than 250 attendees braved drippy tents for a “farm to table’ fundraising dinner at the Parker Homestead in Little Silver Saturday night. The menu, crafted by celebrity chef David Burke, included New Jersey wines and cheeses, Barnegat bay shellfish and bushels of locally grown vegetables. The $250-per-plate event benefitted the Parker Homestead – 1665 restoration project and the Monmouth County Historical Society. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
Rumson’s Oceanic library, a former post office, needs a new roof. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
By SUSAN ERICSON
The Seabright Lawn Tennis and Cricket Club in Rumson provided a verdant backdrop for the Oceanic Library’s Raise the Roof campaign Saturday night. A cocktail party with hors d’oeurves lured 250 or so attendees to place bids at a silent auction.
The antique building seemed an appropriate setting. Filled with trophies and photos dating back to the 1800s, it is a charming reminder of how an historic building can stand the test of time when cared for properly.
Before they get down to the important matter of a block party later that day, at least a dozen homeowners on Madison Avenue and St. Nicholas Place in Red Bank plan to host a group yard sale this Saturday. Bargains will be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (File photos. Click to enlarge)