Thursday, November 06, 2008

Out with the Old

As a 25-year customer of the bank formerly known as United National, I have spent many minutes in line studying the cherubs and gryphons on the ceiling at 202 Park Avenue and even the birds and flowers on the bronze trim around the teller windows. Where did all the marble come from, I wondered. And are those massive columns solid marble?

This week I walked in only to find a big vacant space to the left where the marble walls and teller windows had been reduced to rubble. The remaining portion was scrawled with lines and arrows and the word "OUT."

Out of fashion and now out of time, the elegant appointments of the bank are headed for the dump. What is next? The bank is in the path of downtown development and talk of relocation has gone on for years. Wherever it goes, I just hope it will be within walking distance of Park & Seventh, for the sake of both downtown merchants and us "transit-village" pedestrians.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Bernice,

Thanks for your continual eye on Plainfield...The good and the bad. I read your posting about the United National Bank building and I was SHOCKED and SADDENED! I am a fifth generation citizen of Plainfield and a person who salutes progress, but not at the expense of respect for our ancestors' contributions. Nor do I support the destruction of our architectural treasures. Have the powers that be no respect for our treasures in Plainfield? The powers that be are destroying historic Plainfield piece by piece. Isn't the building part of the National Historic Registry?

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just another reminder that Plainfield has not turned the corner and that blame falls entirely on the see-no-evil political leadership that has run Plainfield for decades. The current crop of elected officials, i.e, Green/Briggs and council members Rashid Burney & Cory Storch give only lip service to architectural respect. They need to be given a a good kick in the back side. If that doesn't work -----------------.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Bernice said...

The owners can do whatever they want with the interior of evan a historic building. Preservation standards only come into play for the exterior. No council members or administrators, for that matter, would have any say on interior changes.

1:02 PM  

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