Local officials lined the shoreline of the Navesink River for the park opening. Below, the house that formerly stood on the site, as seen in 2009. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
More than a decade after it began, an effort to turn prime riverfront property in Fair Haven into a park ended with a ribbon-cutting Tuesday evening.
Dubbed “Williams, Albert and Robards Park” for the successive generations of the family that lived there, the site at the northern end of Denormandie Avenue will now serve as a place for “contemplation,” Mayor Ben Lucarelli told several dozen onlookers at a brief ceremony.
Councilman Mike Whelan outside borough hall earlier this month.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
It may not seem like much, stacked up against a $22.4 million budget. Still, it’s like finding money on the ground, says first-year Red Bank Councilman Mike Whelan.
A deal Whelan initiated that gives the Count Basie Theatre access to the borough hall parking lot across Monmouth Street has netted the borough nearly $14,000 since it went into effect earlier this year, he says.
As part of a plan to create more parking at Sickles Park in Little Silver, the borough-owned Benevedis house at the park’s entrance on Rumson Road was demolished this week.
Unlike the National Historic Landmark Parker Homestead next door, the 113-year old house was not considered historically significant, and became unusable after a radiator burst during a cold snap in February 2015, causing water damage throughout, official have said.
As reported by redbankgreen, a cache of rare old baseball cards was salvaged from the home among other items associated with the Parker farm, which dates to the early 1665. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
The Count Basie Theatre, seen at right above, will be allowed to charge patrons park in the Red Bank two areas of the borough hall lot, including the new section, above, with the town getting half the revenue.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
It’s a scenario all too familiar to civically minded citizens and, ahem, the occasional reporter: you arrive at Red Bank’s borough hall as much as an hour ahead of a government meeting, and already the parking lot is packed with cars belonging to patrons of the Count Basie Theatre across the street. And good luck finding a space nearby.
But now, borough officials say they’ve resolved the turf war that flares up whenever the Basie has an event at the same time as a municipal meeting.
Workers are putting the finishing touches on a parking lot expansion at Red Bank’s borough hall, which now has a dozen new parking spaces, above. The additional spots are on the site of a borough-owned house, right, that had been used for records storage and as a police gym. The house was demolished in 2o14. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
What should become of Anchorage Park, the 1.2-acre sliver of riverside land at the foot of the Route 520 bridge in Sea Bright?
Acquired by the borough after Hurricane Sandy left the Anchorage Apartments uninhabitable in 2012, the now-vacant site may be eligible for grant money. But first, borough officials are asking for public input: should it be developed, along the lines of the concept shown above? Planted with grass and left at that?
A public discussion of the matter has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. at borough hall. The regular council meeting will follow at 7 p.m. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
The former Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in Fair Haven, seen in an archive photo at right, was razed this week as part of a plan by Kolarsick Builders of Rumson to construct three homes on the site, at the corner of River Road and Church Street.
The steepled church, built by volunteers in 1967, had seen its congregation dwindle, and was closed in 2009.
The ashes of 45 deceased parishoners interred in the church’s memorial garden were relocated to a cemetery in the Navesink section of Middletown in April, 2014. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
Five months after a devastating fire, the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald was demolished Monday.
The 132-year-old home, on Buena Vista Avenue, was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea when it burned down in April. Investigators ruled the cause of the blaze accidental. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
The borough-owned Benevedis house, at the entrance to Sickles Park, was badly damaged when a radiator burst during February’s cold snap, officials say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Standing as it does next door to a farmhouse that traces its origins to the early 1700s, the so-called Benevedis house in Little Silver might strike passersby as a relic of American agricultural history, too.
Well, it is 112 years old, according to Monmouth County records. Otherwise, though, the borough-owned house at 221 Rumson Road appears to have no historic value, local officials say. It’s also now badly damaged as a result of a leak from a radiator that burst over the winter.
So in keeping with a plan contemplated when the town bought the property nine years ago, the house is coming down to make way for parking, with the reluctant endorsement of a preservationist.
Old but not considered of historic value, Fair Haven’s Charles Williams house (seen at right in 2010), was reduced to splinters and dust Monday morning.
The house, built by a free African-American in 1855, was acquired by the borough for $1.2 million last November, and the now-vacant lot at the foot of Denormandie Avenue is to become a park property overlooking the Navesink River. Here are some background articles. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
The authorization, with no objections from the audience of about 10 onlookers, clears Kolarsick Builders of Rumson to raze the 48-year-old River Road church and two other structures and replace them with three homes.
“We understand it’s a landmark property,” said company principal Noah Kolarsick, who grew up in a house with a view of the church and still lives in town. But the church is “severely deteriorated,” and because it has no on-site parking, is impractical for use as a house of worship, he told redbankgreen Thursday.
Sea Bright’s Anchorage Apartments, left uninhabitable by the converging waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Shrewsbury River in Hurricane Sandy, were demolished Saturday. Using Green Acres funding, the state plans to buy the complex, at the anchorage of the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge, and turn it into a 1.2-acre park. At right: during the October, 2012 hurricane, a utility pole became lodged in one of the first-floor units. (Photo above by Kenny Katzgrau. Click to enlarge)
Almost two weeks later than last expected, a borough-owned building next to Red Bank’s town hall on Monmouth Street was razed and cleared away Thursday. A former residence acquired as part of the town’s move from the former borough hall at 32 Monmouth in the mid-1990s, the structure was used in recent years as police gym. The borough is expected to expand the borough hall parking lot into its footprint. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
A borough-owned building next to Red Bank’s town hall on Monmouth Street is set to be razed this weekend. Administrator Stanley Sickels said the removal of the house, which has been used for records storage and as a police gym, should clear the way for about eight more parking spaces. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Red Bank officials said Wednesday that they’re soliciting bids to demolish a former home at 106 Monmouth Street, which sits at the edge of the municipal complex.
Owned by the borough since the late 1990s, the house has been used for record storage and as an unofficial gym for police officers, but is no longer needed by the town and has fallen into such disrepair that it’s not worth rehabilitating, said Mayor Pasquale Menna. The demolition will create extra parking spaces, he said.
Historian Randy Gabrielan has a 1953 photo of 90 Monmouth, then an auto dealership and office building, with the house visible in the distance, in one of his books available online. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
The Anchorage Apartments were left uninhabitable by Hurricane Sandy, which deposited a utility pole in the living room of one unit, below. (Click to enlarge)
The storm-wracked Anchorage Apartments complex in Sea Bright would become a beach parking lot under a plan being considered by state officials, the Star-Ledger reported Tuesday morning.
Located on Ocean Avenue at the foot of the Route 520 Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge and mere feet from the Shrewsbury River, the single-building complex is seen as a partial solution to a parking shortage that has vexed efforts to open up North Beach oceanfront to visitors.
Razing the property would come at a tradeoff for the town: the loss of a $45,000-a-year tax ratable. But Mayor Dina Long tells the Sledger that’s alright.
The property will be sold as two building lots, officials say. (Click to enlarge)
By EVAN SOLTAS
With its new municipal complex completed, Rumson plans to demolish its historic Center Street police station and sell the land as two residential lots, borough officials say.
The borough intends to raze the now-vacant station, which has long stood out among its residential neighbors, and sell the land as building lots that conform to residential zoning law, according to Mayor John Ekdahl.
In the process, the town hopes to pocket as much as $400,000 from each, and use the proceeds to pay down debt incurred from relocating police headquarters, officials said.