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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RED BANK: 10-DAY DETOUR TO BEGIN

rb detour 060214 2rb detour 060214 1Motorists who pass through the intersection of Bridge Avenue and Doctors James Parker Boulevard in Red Bank are in for about 10 days  of detours, beginning as early as Tuesday morning, as Monmouth County upgrades the intersection. Doctors Parker, also known as West Bergen Place, will be closed around the clock between Bridge and Shrewsbury Avenue for the duration, according to a notice from the borough government. (Click to enlarge)

WOMAN BURNED IN RED BANK FIRE DIES

rudrow-10209Phyllis Rudrow at the October, 2009 dedication of a bust of her cousin, Count Basie, flanked by benefactors Ray Brennan, left, and Dr. Gene Cheslock, right. Her home after the fire, below. (Click to enlarge)

rudrow-houseA woman rescued from a fire at her Red Bank home on Sunday has died of her injuries, Mayor Pasquale Menna tells redbankgreen.

Phyllis Rudrow, 64, died Wednesday afternoon at the Burn Center at St. Barnabas in Livingston, he said.

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