RED BANK: FORTUNE TO HONOR PARKERS

Fortune Center Executive Director Gilda Rogers in the newly designated Parker Family Legacy Room. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A new, permanent exhibit opening this month at the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center in Red Bank pays tribute to three African-American men of medicine who played vital roles in the community.

The unveiling also marks another milestone for the three-year-old center, housed in the onetime home of an influential journalist and civil rights advocate.

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RED BANK: ‘HISTORIC?’ NO ONE KNOWS WHY

The office building at 268 Broad Street was erected in 1979.

By JOHN T. WARD

Why was a modern office building that’s not in a historic district required to get Red Bank Historic Preservation Commission approval for planned remodeling work Wednesday night?

The building’s owner didn’t know, and he’s the lawyer for the borough planning board, for which the HPC is an advisory panel.

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RED BANK: HOME’S HISTORIC VALUE DISPUTED

Downtown Investors plans to demolish the house at 26 Wallace Street to create a parking lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njHistoric-value claims about a century house targeted for demolition in downtown Red Bank are “in error,” a developer’s land-use expert told the planning board Monday night.

Members of the Historic Preservation Commission were itching to differ.

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RED BANK: BUILDING WOULD FOLLOW NEW LOT

A rendering of the office building Downtown Investors wants to erect at 21 Linden Place. (Image by Stephen J. Gassert Design. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA Red Bank developer hopes to expand its holdings by erecting a new office building downtown.

But first, Downtown Investors says it needs planning board approval to demolish a house estimated to be 132 years old in order to create parking.

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RED BANK: FORTUNE TO HOST VIEWING PARTY

Press release by the the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center

On January 24, 2022, HBO Max will start streaming a new series,“The Gilded
Age.” The show will feature the character of T. Thomas Fortune, played by actor Sullivan Jones.

It takes place in New York in 1882 during the American Gilded Age, a time of economic change and conflict between the old world and the new world.

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RED BANK: NO DECISION ON HOUSE RAZING

The house at 26 Wallace Street, believed to have been built in 1889, would be razed to expand a parking lot under a developer’s proposal. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA decision on a developer’s plan to raze a 132-year-old house in downtown Red Bank for parking was postponed Thursday night.

The plan may offer the first significant test of powers granted to the Historic Preservation Commission three years ago.

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RED BANK: PRESERVATIONISTS FLEX MUSCLE

The house at 26 Wallace Street, believed to have been built in 1889, would be razed to expand a parking lot under a developer’s proposal. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAnticipating possible challenges to its authority on two fronts, Red Bank’s Historic Preservation Commission was in a muscle-flexing posture Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: KIDS HONOR VETERANS

After a one-year pandemic interruption, groups of school children returned to the annual Veterans Day commemoration in Red Bank Thursday.

With poems, songs and handmade ‘thank you’ cards for veterans, students from St. James School, the Red Bank Charter School and Red Bank Middle School participated in the event, held at the Veterans Monument on Monmouth Street – alongside the onetime borough hall.

Check out redbankgreen’s event photos below.

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RED BANK: DEMOLITION SLATED FOR PARKING

Downtown Investors plans to raze the house at 26 Wallace Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank developer plans to demolish a downtown house to expand a parking lot, with an eye toward future building.

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RED BANK: KEEPING FORTUNE’S VOICE ALIVE

Suubi Mondesir with Fortune Foundation co-chair Gilda Rogers last month. Below, Mondesir, second from right, on a 2016 tour of the Fortune house led by builder Roger Mumford. (Photos by Chris Ern, above, and John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By CHRIS ERN

In the summer of 2016, Suubi Mondesir was a rising junior at Red Bank Regional High School when she participated in a tour of a crumbling Red Bank house.

At the time, preservationists envisioned the building on Drs. James Parker Boulevard as a cultural center in honor of its onetime owner, the civil rights journalist T. Thomas Fortune, and Mondesir was present as a participant in the Hugh N. Boyd Journalism Diversity Workshop at Rutgers University.

Flash forward to 2021: The house has been fully restored as the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center, and Suubi (pronounced SOO-vee) manages its media outreach efforts as an intern. But it’s not just a job. Her work at the center aligns with a personal passion for social justice, inspired by Fortune’s work in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, she told redbankgreen in an interview last month.

“What he did is what I am hoping to do as well: to inspire people with my writing, and to speak truth to power,” Mondesir said.

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RED BANK: MURAL LINKS HOMESTEAD TO PAST

Doug Booton, center, and Anthony Jude Setaro with artist Maria Chamra and her mural of Sassano, Italy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Before they began resettling in Red Bank in 1895, Anthony Jude Setaro and Doug Booton’s ancestors lived for at least 400 years in Sassano, a village in Italy’s Campania region.

Now, a bay window at the family’s Oakland Street homestead frames an idyllic vision of a faraway place that to the new owners still qualifies as home.

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FAIR HAVEN: LIMITS ON SPEED & 5G ENDORSED

A view east along River Road from 2016. Below, a 5G repeater atop a pole alongside Route 35 in Shrewsbury in 2018. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven’s council took two steps to slow things down on River Road Monday night.

One measure would reduce the vehicular speed limit on the road for the full width of town. Another would tap the brakes on an anticipated proliferation of wireless telecom infrastructure on utility poles along that road and and elsewhere in the borough.

The council also took action on upgrades to the historic Bicentennial Hall.

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RED BANK: FORTUNE TO HOST PARKER ROOM

Press release by the the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center

On the heels of Juneteenth, the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center announces its partnership with Monmouth Medical Center, a part of RWJ Barnabas Health, as the exclusive sponsor of the Parker Family Legacy Room – a permanent exhibit of the history of the family of prominent Red Bank black doctors, who served their community for over 80 years.

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RED BANK: MARCH INAUGURATES JUNETEENTH

Juneteenth marchers on Shrewsbury Avenue, above, and Drs. James Parker Boulevard, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bankers commemorated the new federal and New Jersey state holiday of Juneteenth with a march Saturday.

The hike on a humid last day of spring was bookended by gatherings at Pilgrim Baptist Church on Shrewsbury Avenue and the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center on Drs. James Parker Boulevard.

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RED BANK: COLORS AT ISSUE IN MAKEOVER

The bank plans to remove the pylon that’s topped the building since it opened as a supermarket 70 years ago. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A ’50s-style rooftop pylon can go, but the paint colors proposed for a makeover of a downtown bank proved an issue for the Red Bank Historic Preservation Commission Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: TRINITY LAUNCHES FUNDRAISER


Using drone video, Trinity Church, Red Bank’s oldest house of worship, took it  heavenward to promote restoration work on its 170-year old chapel and bell tower.

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RED BANK: NEW TOOTH SIGN OK’D

The tooth-shaped sign is used as a reference by locals when giving out driving directions. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

In less than half the time recommended for a good brushing, Red Bank’s Historic Preservation Commission OK’d the replacement of a dentist’s tooth-shaped sign Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: BIG DOORS, BIG TOOTH ON AGENDA

26  West on the Navesink, above, and the nameless restaurant planned for 3-5 Broad Street, below, hope to install garage-style openings. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two downtown Red Bank restaurants will seek permission to install garage-style front doors when the Historic Preservation Commission meets Wednesday night.

Also on the unusually busy agenda for the advisory body: a dentist needs a tooth pulled.

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RED BANK: DREAMING BIG ABOUT RIVERVIEW

A video created by a Philadelphia architectural firm shows a vastly expanded Riverview Medical Center campus. (Video by BKT Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njOver more than a dozen years of amassing Red Bank real estate, officials at Riverview Medical Center have been silent on an obvious question: what do they plan to do with their growing land bank?

They’re still not saying. But someone went to the expense of hiring an architecture and urban planning firm to come up with blue-sky concept plans for Riverview, redbankgreen has learned. And he just made a killing selling the hospital some real estate.

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RED BANK: RIVERVIEW DEAL YIELDS WINDFALL

The prices of vacant lots quadrupled in less than four years when they were sold to Riverview in late December. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe latest addition to Riverview Medical Center’s Red Bank real estate holdings yielded a windfall gain for the seller, redbankgreen has learned.

Why the hospital paid a whopping price for the site remains unanswered.

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