What’s Going On Here? once again checks in on the progress of an unusal construction project in Fair Haven, and finds the developer has had to significantly curb its historical preservation goals.
The project is the building of a new headquarters for ForeFront Corporation, based a few doors west on River Road. One goal of the plan was to preserve a 150-year old old house-turned-retail structure on the site, and then merge it with new construction to the east.
As we’ve previously reported, the old structure was relocated to the rear of the property and then slid back into place atop a new foundation earlier this month.
But little now remains of the circa 1880s building. After the costly repositioning, removal of layers of siding uncovered “150 years of neglect, framing alterations and decay,” Forefront CEO Michel Berger tells redbankgreen via email.
The extent of the damage “was completely unexpected by all,” including architect Matt Cronin, Berger said. “It has been a disappointment after all the effort put forth.”
Now, salvaged beams and other artifacts will be repurposed to accent the new building, he said.
Berger also addressed a rumor that Forefront has acquired and plans to raze 804 River Road, the home of the soon-to-close Threads needlepoint store next to the building site, shown above. Not true, he said. But “if we were to acquire 804, of course, we would not raze that charming building.”
Monmouth County records show Forefront has instead obtained an easement to continue using the driveway that separates the two properties.
(Photos by John T. Ward. Rendering by Matt Cronin. Click to enlarge)