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.”

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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.”

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LONE CANDIDATE FACES THE VOTERS

naacp-041310Ben Forest, below, met with residents Tuesday night in a forum sponsored by the Red Bank NAACP. (Photos by Anthony Trufolo; click to enlarge.)

ben-forest

It was board of ed candidate’s night last night at Red Bank’s Calvary Baptist Church.

That’s right: ‘candidate,’ singular. The Red Bank school board, though it has three open seats in next week’s election, has only one declared candidate: incumbent finance committee chairman Ben Forest.

He fielded questions at a sit-down hosted by the local chapter of the NAACP.

“There was a lot of concern about budget cuts, particularly cuts to the athletic program,” Forest tells redbankgreen.

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