RED BANK: APARTMENT PROJECTS PLANNED

red bank 121 monmouth street A rendering of the Monmouth Street side of the project proposed by Michael Salerno. (Rendering by SOME Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSixty-nine new apartments would be built on the edge of downtown Red Bank if two projects pending before the planning and zoning boards  win approval.

One would replace a building that holds a place in rock ‘n roll history as the home of Big Man’s West, a club owned by late saxophonist Clarence Clemons.

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RED BANK: CARRYING THE FLAG TO REMEMBER

red bank mark otto 091119Red Bank resident Mark Otto nears the end of an 11-mile hike from Mount Mitchill in Atlantic Highlands Wednesday morning while carrying an American flag bearing the names of all those who died in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

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RED BANK: REMEMBERING VICTIMS OF ‘MALICE’

red bank september 11 2019 darren mcconnellEighteen years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America, Red Bank Police Chief Darren McConnell led a pledge of allegiance for about two dozen participants in a memorial service held in Riverside Gardens Park Wednesday morning.

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ON THE GREEN: IN MEMORY

September 11 2001 memorial gif

Dozens of residents of the Greater Red Bank Green died in the horrific attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

Let’s not forget those who died, and their families.

FAIR HAVEN: CLUB LANDS HISTORIC LISTINGS

fair haven shrewsbury sailing yacht 080519The Shrewsbury River Yacht Club began in a one-story houseboat acquired by a group of vacationing actors in 1910. Below, an undated photo from the early days of the Players Boat Club. (Photo above by John T. Ward; below, courtesy of SRYC. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Shrewsbury River Yacht Club undated The bawdy entertainment culture that spawned it is long gone. So is the Red Bank houseboat that served as its first home. Even the name of the river on which it sits has changed.

But the Shrewsbury River Yacht Club, founded by a bunch of vaudevillians vacationing in Fair Haven more than a century ago, lives on. And now, the successor to the club’s original Navesink River gathering spot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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RED BANK: HPC AIMS TO SAVE DOOMED HOUSE

red bank 95 east front st.The Victorian structure, now said to have been built before 1868, is slated for demolition. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFive months after Red Bank’s planning board approved the demolition of a Victorian house owned by Riverview Medical Center, the borough Historic Preservation  Commission is hoping to save it.

Relying on newly assembled information showing the house at 95 East Front Street was older than previously believed — and may have belonged to descendants of a prominent industrialist — the HPC plans to ask the hospital to turn it into a “medical bed & breakfast.”

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RED BANK: A BRIEF BOUT OF ANGLOMANIA

red bank royal visit 1939 2A detail from the front page of the Red Bank Register’s June 15, 1939 edition. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njIt was a day unlike any ever seen before or since in Red Bank, turning hordes of area residents and visitors into Anglophiles, at least for a late-spring morning.

Imagine: an estimated 200,000 people jamming downtown Red Bank and the roadways through Little Silver, Fair Haven, Rumson and Sea Bright to catch a glimpse of king and queen of England.

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RED BANK: PARADE MARCHES BACK TO LIFE

Red Bank’s Memorial Day Parade, a onetime tradition that halted an indeterminate number of years ago, was back in full force Monday.

Under fabulously sunny skies, the Parks & Rec-organized event saw a stableful of therapy horses leading the way up Broad Street from Irving Place to the Veteran’s Monument on Monmouth Street. There, a short ceremony in commemoration of military victims of foreign wars was held.

Enjoy the 50-photo slideshow from both events below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: FORTUNE CULTURAL CENTER OPENS

red bank fortune house Dozens of supporters gathered on the front lawn for the opening of the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center. Below, a view of the ceremony from inside the restored house. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank fortune houseMore than a century after the departure of its most famous resident, the T. Thomas Fortune House in Red Bank reopened Thursday as a cultural center dedicated to his mission of advancing civil and human rights.

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RED BANK: OFFICES WITH CAR LIFTS OK’D

red bank 94 98 East FrontA schematic of the proposed structure with the underground vehicle storage racks visible. (Drawing by Bob Van Remoortel. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposed office building that would transform a prominent corner of Red Bank’s Washington Street Historic District won planning board approval Monday night.

The project comes with a first for the town: a valet-operated parking system that can store up to 92 cars in underground racks.

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RED BANK: FORTUNE ‘MIRACLE’ COMPLETED

red bank nj t. thomas fortune cultural centerThe restored T. Thomas Fortune House on Drs. James Parker Boulevard plans to formally open as a cultural center in May. Below, restoration supervisor Spencer Foxworth and foundation member Robin Blair examine a chandelier to be installed. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank nj t. thomas fortune cultural center

An against-the-odds, decade-long effort to save a Red Bank house that was once the home of a pioneering civil rights journalist has reached its improbable conclusion, people involved in the effort say.

This weekend, local history lovers will get their first-ever chance to tour the T. Thomas Fortune House, a National Historic Register structure that not long ago was about to be razed.

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RED BANK: VICTORIAN IN CROSSHAIRS

red bank 95 east front st.A prominent Victorian structure on East Front Street is on the agenda for the next Red Bank planning board meeting. 

What’s Going On Here? Click ‘read more’ for the answer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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MIDDLETOWN: FUNDRAISER FOR BOWDENS

Family and friends have raised more than $12,000 to help two former Red Bank volunteers injured by a fire in their Middletown home earlier this month.

George Bowden, 91, and his wife, Gladys Bowden, 88, were both injured when their condo in the Shadow Lake Village complex in the River Plaza section of the township was heavily damaged by an electrical fire on December 15.

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RED BANK: BUILDING DESIGN TO BE REVISED

rb river properties brian taylorArchitect Brian Tracy shows the Historic Preservation Commission a revised proposal for a medical office building Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA modernist office building topped by what looked like an overturned laundry basket won’t be built in Red Bank’s Washington Street Historic District as proposed, an architect said Wednesday night.

But neither, it appears, will his replacement design, which Historic Preservation Commission members still found unacceptable.

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RED BANK: HISTORIC YACHT LIGHTS UP RIVER

red bank NJ admiral's barge joe ruffini 121518 4red bank admiral bargeRed Bank resident Joe Ruffini’s history-rich yacht, the Naval War College, brought some Christmas sparkle to the Navesink River Saturday night, one night before it was scheduled to participate in a parade of boats on the Shrewsbury River.

The boat parade is slated to run again on Sunday, December 23. Meantime, for the fascinating backstory about Ruffini’s vessel, which has hosted two American presidents, check out this redbankgreen article from 2016. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: HOSPITALS CLAIM BASIE MARQUEE

red bank nj count basie hackensack meridian marqueeThe new name, Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, applies to the historic performance space, officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It may always be best known to locals as ‘the Basie,’ but Red Bank’s oldest and most prominent entertainment venue is nothing if not prolific with monikers.

On Friday, yet another new one went up on the Monmouth Street marquee that bears the name of the town’s most famous son.

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RED BANK: FINAL FADEOUT FOR GUITAR PLANT

Now being developed for townhomes, the lot between Catherine and River streets was once home to the Danelectro guitar factory. Below, a Danelectro with the distinctive “coke bottle” headstock. (Photo above by John T. Ward, below courtesy of Lorie Mouklas. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Without fanfare, a half-dozen factory buildings on Red Bank’s West Side were leveled last month, making way for new homes.

Among the structures razed was one that deserves a final flick of the lighter from rock music fans. In the early days of rock ‘n roll, the building at 10 River Street churned out low-priced but distinctive-sounding electric guitars, some of which helped launch the careers of rock superstars such as Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page.

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