RED BANK: BUILDER PRESERVES OLD HOME

219 e bergen 042716The newly restored structure at 219 East Bergen Place is believed to date back to 1874, says its new owner. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

WhatsGoingOnHereAn investment by a business owner has secured a future for another one of Red Bank’s older homes.

Mike Villane, owner of Lead Dog Custom Homes, recently completed a gut-job renovation of 219 East Bergen Place, where his young business is now headquartered.

Read More »

RED BANK: A ‘PHOTOWALK’ IN MOCO-MOTION

rb station 112514 1The Red Bank train station, named for late Mayor Dan O’Hern Sr., is among the stops for a walk-and-shoot photography outing tonight.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

It’s a late-spring evening’s stroll that takes in some of Red Bank’s most cherished architectural treasures — St. James Church, the Victorian-style train station — as well as the vistas available from the waterfront walkways of Riverside Gardens and Marine Park.

The latest in a new series of “MoCo Artwalks” hosted by the folks at the Monmouth County Arts Council, the Red Bank Photowalk sets sail tonight on a tour designed to give shutterbugs of all experience levels a new perspective on some familiar turf, as guided by Michael S. Miller of Visions Photographic Workshops.

Read More »

RED BANK-M’TOWN: BRIDGE PAVING DELAYED

hubbard 091615 4HOT-TOPIC_03So, how’s the final paving of Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown going? It’s not, apparently.

Contrary to multiple alerts about overnight closings from Monmouth County, which owns the bridge, as well as from the two towns the bridge connects, paving work that was to have been done this week hasn’t been, with the latest postponement occurring on Thursday.

A county spokeswoman offered no reason for the inactivity, but said the county is on track to complete all work on the new West Front Street span by the end of April. Meantime, the overnight closures for the paving work have not yet been rescheduled, she said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK-M’TOWN: BRIDGE WORK NEARS END

hubbard's 033016HOT-TOPIC_03The paving of Hubbard’s Bridge on West Front Street between Red Bank and Middletown will require an additional night of closure between 8 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday, according to an alert from Red Bank borough. Monmouth County officials had previously expected the work to be finished Wednesday night. Motorists are advised to plan alternate routes.

Read More »

RED BANK-M’TOWN: BRIDGE WORK PLANNED

hubbard 091615 3
Hubbard’s Bridge on West Front Street between Red Bank and Middletown will be closed for paving from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to an alert from Red Bank borough. Motorists are advised to plan alternate routes
(Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: BLOCKING AND TACKLING IN CHINA

mario williams 1Mario Williams demonstrating a block to football newbies in China, above. Below, Williams at the Danish Cafe in Red Bank last November. (Photo below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

mario williams 113015redbankgreen received the following dispatch last week from Mario Williams, a Red Bank Regional graduate who’s now spending a semester at Kean University‘s campus in Wenzhou, in southeast China:

My trip in China has been amazing so far, and I still have 3 months in the semester left. I have so many great stories to share. Today was one of my favorites! My name was apparently mentioned in a conversation recently to someone and, from that, I was invited to Jiù Shān Stadium to help run practice for the newly formed Wenzhou Redbucks Football Team.

Read More »

RED BANK: HORSE-ERA HOUSE GETS CAR LOT

286 broad 021716The circa-1875 office building at Broad Street and East Bergen Place. The driveway to the right belongs to the adjoining property. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The prospective buyer of a historic, high-profile Red Bank property won approval Wednesday night to make an alteration: the addition of a small parking lot out back.

The planning board unanimously approved the creation of a 12-space lot in the rear yard of 286 Broad Street, at the corner of East Bergen.

Read More »

RED BANK: RIVERVIEW PENALIZED

rivvu lights 120815 2The entrance to Riverview Medical Center as seen earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s Riverview Medical Center was ranked among the worst hospitals in the nation at preventing illnesses and injuries in their facilities, according to a government report issued last week.

As a result, Riverview and three other Monmouth and Ocean county hospitals will lose one percent of their Medicare reimbursements for the fiscal year that started in October under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: OLD BUILDINGS TO BE JOINED

810 River Road elevation 120915 2Architect Matt Cronin’s design would link the two River Road buildings shown below with a new glass-filled central section. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

fh 810 812-14 riv rd 120815A plan to connect a pair of 150-year-old structures in Fair Haven with a window-filled central addition elicited unanimous praise from the planning board Wednesday night.

ForeFront Incorporated, a web tech firm headquartered in a stately Victorian two doors away, intends to use the conjoined buildings as expansion office space, company principal Michel Berger told the board.

With a patio, yoga space and “mom’s room,” it’s designed to attract millenial coders and developers to his company, where the average employee is 24 years old, Berger said.

Read More »

SHREWSBURY: BOROUGH’S ‘STORY’ UPDATED

burden gefken 112315 3Mayor Don Burden and co-author Rick Geffken at the Shrewsbury Municipal Complex. The Bonanno Farm on Sycamore Avenue, preserved under an easement, is visible in the background. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

story of shrewsbury 112315 2The 350-year history of Shrewsbury Borough, a vestige of a vast township that once extended from Raritan Bay to Little Egg Harbor, has a new chapter.

With the tiny borough getting ready to celebrate the 90th anniversary of its incorporation in 2016, two avid amateur historians — Rick Geffken and Mayor Don Burden — last month debuted a new edition to the definitive history of the town, adding in information on the past half-century of rapid transformation.

Read More »

RED BANK: COLLEGE STUDENT EYES CHINA

mario williams 113015Mario Williams, seen here at the Danish Café in Red Bank, has his sights set on a semester in China. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Mario Williams was a student at Red Bank Regional a couple of years back when, on a tour of Kean University, he learned the school had a campus in mainland China. Almost immediately, he sensed that he had to go.

“I got the bug that day,” he told redbankgreen this week. Even after graduating from RBR and matriculating at the College of St. Rose in Albany, the idea stayed with him. And after transferring to Kean almost a year ago for financial reasons, “I started asking about it as soon as I got here.”

Read More »

RED BANK: BASIE PLANS MASSIVE EXPANSION

Basie expansion 1 102615An architect’s rendering of the expanded Count Basie Theatre includes additions on the east and west sides of the existing structure. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

just_in1Red Bank’s Vaudeville-era Count Basie Theatre is in for a massive, $20 milion expansion that will turn it into a “creative campus” dedicated to the performing arts in coming years, officials said Monday.

Incorporating adjoining properties acquired in recent years, theater officials plan to “move toward our longtime vision of an entire city block dedicated to the performing arts,” Tom Widener, chairman of the theater’s board of trustees, said in an announcement released Monday morning.
Read More »

RED BANK: PRESERVATION EFFORTS LAUDED

65 wallace 091515The 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)

By JOHN T. WARD

199 broad 091515Three Broad Street buildings and a home in the historic district won kudos from the Red Bank Historic Preservation Commission at a ceremony Tuesday night.

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.

Read More »

SANDY HOOK: BACKERS HOPE TO SAVE HOUSE

sandlass house 070415 2The 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
save sandlass logo

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 »

RUMSON: BLITHEWALD RAZED

76 buena vista 081815rumson fire 042015 2Five months after a devastating fire, the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald was demolished Monday.

The 132-year-old home, on Buena Vista Avenue, was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea when it burned down in April. Investigators ruled the cause of the blaze accidental. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: CHURCH CONVERSION COMPLETED

211 broad 072815 5Space 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)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb church 072815Red Bank’s First Church of Christ, Scientist has a new home, just off to the side of its former one, and some new neighbors.

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 »

LITTLE SILVER: OLD HOUSE TO BE RAZED


benevedis 070915 3
The borough-owned Benevedis house, at the entrance to Sickles Park, was badly damaged when a radiator burst during February’s cold snap, officials say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Standing as it does next door to a farmhouse that traces its origins to the early 1700s, the so-called Benevedis house in Little Silver might strike passersby as a relic of American agricultural history, too.

Well, it is 112 years old, according to Monmouth County records. Otherwise, though, the borough-owned house at 221 Rumson Road appears to have no historic value, local officials say. It’s also now badly damaged as a result of a leak from a radiator that burst over the winter.

So in keeping with a plan contemplated when the town bought the property nine years ago, the house is coming down to make way for parking, with the reluctant endorsement of a preservationist.

Read More »

SANDY HOOK: LOST RESORT REVIVED ON VIDEO

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

chris brennerFair 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?

Read More »

RED BANK: OLD YEARBOOKS GET PIXELATED

rbhs 1956A screengrab of a “popularity poll” page in the 1956 Red Bank High School yearbook. And hey, do you recognize the graduate shown below? (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rbr gradHistory lovers and those prone to the siren song of nostalgia: prepare to fall into a rabbit hole.

The Red Bank Public Library has digitized the yearbooks of the former Red Bank High School and its successor, Red Bank Regional High, from a broad swath of the 20th century.

Forty editions of the annual known as the Round Table and, later, the Log, chronicling changes in hairstyles, fashions and media from 1922 to 1980, can now be downloaded, paged through and word-searched via the Internet, minus the musty aroma.

Read More »

NEW BRIDGE OPENS JUST IN TIME FOR SUMMER

hubbard's 051815 3The first few cars of eastbound traffic head toward Red Bank over the the new West Front Street bridge between Red Bank and Middletown Monday morning. Below, Red Bank Marina owner Steve Remaley with Red Bank Councilman Mike DuPont.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

dupont remaley 051815Slightly over budget but on time, the new West Front Street bridge linking Red Bank and Middletown opened Monday morning, replacing a clanging “temporary” structure amid forecasts that it might last for 75 or more years.

Though cosmetic work on the bridge will continue for several weeks, the opening – on the cusp of the summer season, and with a temporary closure of the nearby Oceanic Bridge about to begin – marked a victory against a ticking clock, Freeholder Tom Arnone told redbankgreen.

“It was all-hands-on” to get the bridge open after a five-month closure, he said.

Read More »

HUBBARD’S BRIDGE: NOT DONE, BUT READY

hubbard 051715 2 hubbard 051715 1As seen in these photos taken Sunday afternoon, the new Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown still has a punchlist of unfinished details, such as the installation of decorative lamps, as seen at right. Still, the span is slated to open Monday with a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting on the Middletown side, Monmouth County officials said Friday.

Above is a view from the Middletown side, including a new “overheight vehicle” warning drivers of trucks and other large vehicles of the 10-foot, 11-inch trestle clearance on the Red Bank side that has claimed many a truck roof (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

NEW BRIDGE OPENS TO FOOT TRAFFIC & BIKES

hubbard 051615 2 hubbard 051615 3 An unofficial count put runner Julie Buffardi of Red Bank, above, as the fourth pedestrian to cross the new Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown after it was opened to pedestrians and bicyclists Saturday afternoon.

The span is slated to open Monday with a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting on the Middletown side, Monmouth County officials said Friday.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

NEW BRIDGE TO OPEN MONDAY… OR SOONER?

HUBBARD 051515 hubbard  plan 2008After nearly five months of detours affecting thousands of commuters, the new Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown is slated to open Monday with a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting on the Middletown side, Monmouth County officials said Friday.

A worker on the site told redbankgreen that the new span – shown at right in red, just north of the “temporary” bridge it replaces – may open to traffic on Sunday. But Red Bank police Chief Darren McConnell that he was unaware of any plans for an early opening.  (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

HUBBARD’S BRIDGE NEARING COMPLETION

hubbard 050415 1 hubbard 050415 2Two weeks before its scheduled completion, the new Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown showed further signs of advancement Monday, including a sidewalk along part of the northern rim.

Monmouth County officials say the new bridge, which will replace the steel structure that’s been closed since the start of the year, will open May 17. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RUMSON: BLITHEWALD GARDEN IN PHOTOS

rumson blithewald 1 rumson blithewald 3The April 20 fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald, which was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase in the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser, occurred the same morning that landscapers had put the finishing touches on a yard design called the Secret Garden.

Red Bank-based Siciliano Landscape, which oversaw the project with a landscaper from Marlboro, has posted a gallery of before-and-after photos of the garden, along with a link for those wishing to donate to the VNA. The now-canceled home tour was to be the nonprofit organization’s largest fundraising event of the year. (Photos courtesy of Siciliano Landscape. Click to enlarge)