Search Results for: historic preservation commission

RED BANK: COUNCIL TAKES UP BUSINESS BIZ

rb doc shoppe 081915Doc Shoppe, and only Doc Shoppe, is permitted to have a table on the sidewalk out front under a trial run approved by the council. Meanwhile, a sign ordinance was sent back for more revisions. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb signs 061214 3Efforts by Red Bank businesses to draw in more customers were the subject of two measures discussed by the borough council last week.

One concerned retail and restaurant signage, which was the subject of an enforcement crackdown that generated considerable blowback a year ago.

The other is a trial run, using one store, to gauge the impact of allowing merchants to display wares in front of their stores.

Read More »

RED BANK: GOODBYES AND HELLOS

art murphy 061414Councilman Art Murphy, who resigned last week, seen here in 2014. Below, George and Gladys Bowden, who were honored for decades of volunteer work. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

bowden 081215It was a night for farewells and greetings at a packed Red Bank council meeting Wednesday night.

Elected officials and residents bid goodbye to a longtime councilman and a retired couple who put in many years of preservation and beautification work.

And they welcomed a new member of the police department while cheering on on a seven-year veteran of the force on her promotion to sergeant.

Read More »

RED BANK: ANOTHER RESTAURANT APPROVED

18 broad 061315At 18 Broad Street, now concealed by scaffolding, the Art Deco foyer seen below will be replaced by one more reminiscent of the building’s 19th-century origins, the architect said. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

18 broad 040615Accelerating downtown Red Bank’s flight from retail to food, the zoning board approved the conversion of a longtime shoe store to a restaurant Thursday night.

Dominating the two-hour hearing were two issues: whether the new owner of 18 Broad Street should be permitted to have three apartments upstairs, rather than the two allowed under the zoning ordinance, and whether the Art Deco foyer should be saved or replaced.

Barely mentioned: the impact of the 76-seat restaurant on parking.

Read More »

RED BANK: FOCUS ON FOYER WINDOWS

18 broad 040615The foyer of the former If the Shoe Fits store is the last remaining example of Art Deco design downtown, say preservationists. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[UPDATE: The zoning board meeting on the 18 Broad Street proposal was cancelled. The application was rescheduled for June 18.]

18 broad 010715A proposal to turn a former downtown Red Bank shoe store into a restaurant and replace its distinctive curved-glass entryway is slated for review at Thursday night’s zoning board meeting.

Preservationists have raised concerns about the plan for 18 Broad Street, which is located in the historic district, because, they say, it would eliminate the last remaining example of Art Deco design in the commercial district.

Read More »

RED BANK: PHARMACY BUILDING PANNED

224-245 shrews 031615The proposed three-story structure, shown above in an architect’s rendering, would be built on a vacant lot between a two-story apartment building and a restaurant on Shrewsbury Avenue, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

224-226 shrewsbury 031015A plan for a small, independently owned pharmacy that doesn’t sell junk food got a warm welcome from the Red Bank Planning Board Monday night.

But the building it would come packaged in, and its impact on area parking, got a chillier reception.

Read More »

RED BANK: BURNHAM WINS ZONING CASE

cindy burnham 121814Cindy Burnham with her attorney, Ron Gasiorowski, at Thursday night’s zoning board hearing. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The fix wasn’t in – not this time at least.

Cindy Burnham, the lone Republican on the Red Bank council who often lambastes the Democratic majority for what she contends are back-room  development deals, went before the zoning board Thursday night seeking an OK for a new garage and back porch for her home at 71 Wallace Street.

She came loaded for bear.

Read More »

RED BANK: DEMOLITION HITS FIRST POTHOLE

rb fortune house 2 061213The house, at 94 Drs. Parker Boulevard, was once the home of African American journalist T. Thomas Fortune. Below, a detail of the soffit. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb fortune house 1 061213The owners of Red Bank’s T. Thomas Fortune house ran into the first obstacle Thursday in their controversial quest to raze the historic structure.

Borough planning director Donna Smith-Barr found the Vaccarelli family’s application for a demolition permit incomplete, and kicked it back for more information, she tells redbankgreen.

In itself, the decision itself may barely slow the Vaccarelli’s plan for a decrepit structure that once was the home of the pioneering civil rights journalist Timothy Thomas Fortune. But the request could also face the hurdle of a zoning board review, Mayor Pasquale Menna tells redbankgreen. And the leader of a year-old group formed to save the structure said he is prepared to sue to stop the demolition, if necessary.

“The attorneys I have can have it stayed for 18 months,” said Peter Primavera, director of the T. Thomas Fortune Project. “We’re doing the paperwork right now.”

Read More »

RED BANK: FORTUNE HOUSE MAY BE RAZED

The house, at 94 Drs. Parker Boulevard, was once the home of African American journalist T. Thomas Fortune. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A day that Red Bank historic preservationists have dreaded for years appears nearer as the owners of the so-called T. Thomas Fortune house have filed a formal request to demolish the historic structure.

Eighty-six-year-old James Vaccarrelli of Shrewsbury, who owned the house with his brother Anthony, filed for a demolition permit from the borough last Friday afternoon, borough planning director Donna Smith-Barr tells redbankgreen.

Anthony Vaccarelli, 93, died at his Red Bank home last month, according to an obituary published by the Asbury Park Press. James tells redbankgreen that the move was anticipated prior to his brother’s death, as efforts to sell the property in recent years have failed because of the deteriorated condition of the house.

“There’s nothing to save,” said Vaccarelli, who was born and raised in the house, at 94 Drs. James Parker Boulevard. “It’s a shame, but vandals got into it many, many times, even though it was boarded up, and they just wrecked it.”

Read More »

RED BANK: PLANNERS SPAR OVER FACADES

joe romanowski 111513 2A plan by Joe Romanowski to remove the vestibule of his new Goldtinker store on Broad Street won approval. So did Tommy’s Coal-Fired Pizza’s request to permanently enclose seasonal seating area at the Galleria, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

tommy's 042114The  Red Bank planning board approved a restaurant expansion, a downtown facade change and the renovation of what Mayor Pasquale Menna called a “cancerous eyesore” Monday night.

Along the way were some unusual flashes of passion among board members.

Read More »

SAVING A FORTUNE, IN RB REAL ESTATE

fortune-house2011Red Bank’s T. Thomas Fortune House, pictured in a 2011 file photo, is the subject of an ongoing effort to rescue and preserve the property as a community cultural center. (photo by Dustin Racioppi)

From press materials furnished by T. Thomas Fortune Preservation Project

It’s one of only 57 National Historic Landmarks in the state of New Jersey — one of just two related to African American history. Yet for years, the Red Bank property known as the T. Thomas Fortune House has sat boarded up; deemed uninhabitable — even unfit for showing to prospective purchasers — in its current condition.

Here in 2013, an organization known as the T. Thomas Fortune Preservation Project seeks to acquire, stabilize and restore the home at 94 Drs. James Parker Boulevard (formerly Bergen Place), with the aim of developing the Second Empire-style structure into a cultural center that will celebrate the legacy of such borough-based leaders in the arts and community service as William “Count” Basie and the Parker family.

Working in partnership with the Red Bank Men’s Club Foundation and the leadership of the National Landmarks Alliance and Garden State Legacy, the Preservation Project describes its membership as “a group of educators, architects, writers, attorneys, performance artists, and more who have come together to share the legacy of an outstanding figure in American history, for the benefit of all.”

Read More »

ROUND TWO FOR FORTUNE HOUSE

fortune-house1A ‘for sale’ was planted out front of the T. Thomas Fortune House on Drs. James Parker Boulevard last week. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Four years after a historic Red Bank house was spared a possible meeting with the steel maw of a bulldozer, the T. Thomas Fortune house is back on the market at a sharply reduced price.

Though the house and acre of land it sits on have been available to buyers on and off for years, vandalism prompted the owners to plant a ‘for sale’ sign on the lawn last week, reigniting worries of preservationists. They fear the the three-story, Second Empire-style home to post-Civil War black newspaperman and activist T. Thomas Fortune might be razed.

Read More »

OLD RUMSON CARRIAGE HOUSE TO BE RAZED

img_0126The last vestige of the Auldwood Estate in Rumson is set to be demolished. (Photo courtesy of Roberta Van Anda; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

For years, the Auldwood Estate — once the sprawling home to 19th-century baking powder giant Joseph Hoagland — has been chipped away at, pieces of Rumson’s history lost at each step.

One of the last vestiges of the landmark, the estate’s carriage house, is soon to be knocked down.

The house, on Edgewood Road, had it’s sewer connections removed Monday, and a demolition permit is “in the works,” said Lynda Doyle, Rumson’s building department assistant.

Watching a piece of history reduced to rubble isn’t sitting well with some locals.

Read More »

COAL & FEED BUILDING DEMOLISHED

26_shrewsburyThe former Hance Coal & Feed building on Shrewsbury Avenue, seen above in 2008, was razed earlier this week, below. (Click to enlarge)

galleria-coal

A landmark barnlike structure on Red Bank’s West Side is no more.

The former Hance Coal & Feed building on Shrewsbury Avenue was taken down earlier this week by Sourlis International, owner of the Galleria at Red Bank, which plans to expand a surrounding parking lot on the site.

Read More »

RESTROOM? FOUR-YEAR WAIT, IF EVER

rb-station-1-051410A NJ Transit rendering shows the station in what officials say were its original colors. (Click to enlarge)

Where’s the restroom?

Lou and Chris Mustillo, owners of the Red Bank’s Walt Street Pub, say they get that question upwards of two dozen times a day from commuters hurrying into their establishment across Monmouth Street from the Red Bank train station, which doesn’t have a public washroom.

So last Friday night, when New Jersey Transit unveiled a station restoration plan that may take four years and consume up to $2 million in taxpayer money, the Mustillos pressed officials with the same question they and their bartenders hear all too often: where’s the bathroom?

Read More »

UNVEILING OF TRAIN STATION FIXES SLATED

train-stationNew Jersey Transit will make a presentation tonight on planned renovations to Red Bank’s train station. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s been six months since New Jersey Transit pledged to overhaul Red Bank’s creaking and crumbling train station, and now the agency is ready to fill the public in on its plans.

Gearing up for a complete makeover of the salmon-colored Victorian two-story, NJT officials will give a presentation Friday evening at the Woman’s Club of Red Bank to anyone interested in getting an idea of what lies ahead.

Read More »

NJT PLANS REPAIRS, NEW LOOK FOR STATION

trainstation_09

NJTransit’s plan includes removal of gingerbread trimming, which historians say is inauthentic. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It looks as though the Red Bank train station will finally get those long-awaited repairs Historic Preservation Commission members have been clamoring for, and then some.

Commission members, along with Mayor Pasquale Menna, met with New Jersey Transit officials Thursday to go over a multiphased plan that will overhaul the deteriorating Victorian-style station and restore it to its former glory.

Read More »

HISTORIANS BLAST NJT FOR STATION NEGLECT

rb-hist-commHistoric Preservation Commission member Mary Gilligan addresses the council Monday night, joined by members George Bowden, left, and Ed Poplawski.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

For 15 years, Mary Gilligan says, she’s “watched pieces fall off” Red Bank’s train station on the North Jersey Coast Line rails. And for most of that time, except for some slapdash and historically inapt repairs, station owner New Jersey Transit has ignored the pleas of town officials to halt the decay.

Now, Gilligan and other members of the Historic Preservation Commission are hoping to “hold NJ Transit’s feet to the fire” and force it to halt the deterioration before the salmon-colored, gingerbread-trimmed structure crumbles to the asphalt.

“The building is derelict,” Gilligan told the borough council in a bluntly worded appeal for action Monday night. “There’s not another train station in this state that looks this bad.”

Read More »

TO DO: A DAY FOR RED BANKERS

RB Day 2008The event was born of last year’s centennial event and picnic at Count Basie Fields.

What: Second annual Red Bank Day, four hours of food, music and neighborliness, followed Sunday by tours of historic homes in the borough.

Read More »

A DAY OF FOOD, MUSIC & COMMUNITY II

RB day trip copy

HotdogScenes from last year’s post-parade picnic on Centennial Day, the precursor to Saturday’s Red Bank Day. (Click to enlarge)

At the picnic that followed the parade for Red Bank’s Centennial last year, Mayor Pasquale Menna was telling everyone he wanted to make the gathering at Count Basie Field an annual event.

And so it shall be, weather permitting. This Saturday, borough residents are invited to return to the sports complex for a couple of hours of food, music and neighborly camaraderie known as Red Bank Day.

A tour of historic homes in the borough is scheduled for Sunday.

Read More »

GALLERIA PROJECT MAY BE CURBED

GalleriaparkAn architectural rendering of the proposed garage and office building, as seen from the northwest corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and West Front Street.

A proposal to effectively double the size of the Galleria Red Bank shopping, dining and office complex ran into little initial resistance at the opening of planning board hearings Monday night.

But questions about the nearness of the proposed structure to Shrewsbury Avenue and West Front Street are expected to be raised when the review continues early next month.

Board vice chairman Dan Mancuso appeared to suggest that the
structure be moved back from the sidewalks on two sides to meet existing setback requirements.

“I just think we’re closing in on that intersection, which is wide open now,” he said.

Read More »

COOL SCHOOL VID ON RED BANK HISTORY

Lest we forget, Red Bank is still in its centennial year, and reminders of that milestone continue to pop up now and again.

The latest is the above video, shot and produced by four students, aged 14 to 17, who enrolled in the Count Basie Theatre’s Cool School this summer.

The kids, who did all the shooting, are Dylan Smart, Jenn Lewis, Mike Hagberg Jr. and Jack Calabro, says Yvonne Scudiery, the Basie’s director of education.

Read More »

A CHAT WITH THE CANDIDATE: ZIPPRICH

Zipprich_edEd Zipprich at home on River Road.

On Nov. 4, Red Bank voters will have four ballot choices for two seats on the borough council, now composed of four Democrats and two Republicans.

Politics2

Both open seats, by happenstance, are held by Republicans: Grace Cangemi, who is running for re-election, and James Giannell, who is not running; he’s serving out the tail end of the term from which freeholder candidate John Curley resigned in July.

Today through Thursday, redbankgreen will post an interview a day with each of the candidates. Instead of transcripts, we’ve got the complete audio. The interviews are between 22 and 33 minutes in length. [See the editor’s note at bottom of story.]

The interviews are not meant to be literal head-to-head comparisons. Rather, they cover some common issues — including taxes, a community center and healthcare coverage for the mayor and council — while exploring each candidate’s own experiences a bit in order to shed some light on who they are and how they think.

We’ll go in reverse alphabetical order, starting with Democrat Ed Zipprich today, Republican John Tyler Jr. tomorrow, Democrat Juanita Lewis on Wednesday and ending with Cangemi on Thursday.

After losing his first bid for elective office last November to Grace Cangemi by just 59 votes out of nearly 2,200 cast, Ed Zipprich made it clear to supporters that, undaunted, he wasn’t going anywhere.

And in fact, he continued his work on the borough’s Historic Preservation Commission, helping shepherd through the council a plan to designate the Washington Street area as an historic district; serving on the planning board as an alternate and on the master plan review committee; and getting involved in the newly revived Red Bank Borough Education Foundation, which seeks to upgrade and preserve the 17-acre Primary School property as an environmental teaching center.

Read More »

HOSPITAL PLANS TO RAZE BUILDING

60e_frontRiverview Medical Center bought the former Worden-Hoidal Funeral Home facility in July for $2.3 million.

Coming soon to East Front Street: another empty lot.

Riverview Medical Center
has asked Red Bank for a permit to demolish a longtime funeral home it bought this summer for $2.3 million and replace it with… nothing.

Tony Cava, the hospital’s vice president of strategic planning, tells redbankgreen that Riverview bought the property for its strategic location — one door east of the hospital’s dialysis center and directly opposite East Front Street from the medical center itself.

There were, and still are, no plans to use the existing structure or build something new there, he says.

So why tear down?

“We really have no use for it,” Cava says.

Read More »

NO-BIG-MISFORTUNE HOUSE

Fortune_house_808The former home of African-American journalist T. Thomas Fortune is safe — for now, that is.

There’s demolition work underway at the historic Fortune house property on Drs. James Parker Boulevard, but no reason to be alarmed, says unofficial Red Bank historian George Bowden, who’s been fighting to preserve the place.

Read More »