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: 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: DOUBTS ON PRESERVATION LAW

Homes along Washington Street, in the borough’s designated historic district, would be affected by the ordinance, as would properties beyond the district’s borders. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Does Red Bank’s Historic Preservation Commission need more teeth?

The borough’s planning board began chewing on that question Monday night, and seemed not to like the taste of it.

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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.

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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.

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OLDEST HOME GETS ITS HISTORICAL DUE

white-house1Red Bank’s oldest house, on South Street, was finally put on the state’s list of historic places last week. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A tour of Mary Gilligan’s South Street home is, quite literally, a trip back in time, starting with the walk up the driveway, as you take a look at the white Dutch Colonial. The upstairs windows, shrunken versions of the ones downstairs, are the first sign that something is different about this house.

Is that a one-story or two-story? Actually, it’s a one-and-a-half story.

Then you walk through the front door, which can only be unlocked with a skeleton key, and walk on wide wooden floor boards that have been there since the 1790s. Through a couple short doorways — “For anybody above my height, the rule is, watch your head,” the vertically-challenged Gilligan said — to the kitchen, where Gilligan uses a wooden chopping block and slaughter table, which have been in the home for centuries, to store various kitchen items. Eighteenth century families did not have CuisinArt collections or varieties of Swiffer’s to amass, so storage space is at a premium in Gilligan’s home.

“The hope is to have more cabinets so I can actually put things away,” she said.

One project at a time. Her most recent feat came last week when the house, the oldest in Red Bank, was accept to the New Jersey Register of Historic Places, an endeavor six years in the making.

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TALK OF TOWNHOUSES IN HISTORIC DISTRICT

washington-stAn architect has drawn up plans for townouses for a vacant lot in Red Bank’s historic district, but nothing has been filed with the borough. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A vacant lot in Red Bank’s historic district could become the site of townhouse-style condos if informal plans now in the works gel.

Brendan McHugh, a Manasquan-based architect, has drawn up plans for a four-unit project at the corner of East Front and Washington streets, and recently made an informal pitch about his plans to the borough’s Historic Preservation Commission.

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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.

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