Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Oveter's Construction was still excavating the basement of 187 North Avenue last week. The 1886 building was demolished after bricks started falling from a parapet. The city allocated up to $200,000 for the emergency demolition, but the amount of debris makes one wonder what the disposal cost will be.
This is the second building to be lost from the North Avenue streetscape between Watchung Avenue and Gavett Place. The site is directly across from the main train station and has been the subject of several redevelopment schemes, none of which materialized.
But North Avenue is no stranger to failed plans. The doorway to the Chotola building is flanked by two beautiful terra cotta figures that were vandalized back in the 1980s. A New York developer had converted the building to condos, but basically walked away after a long dispute with the city. The building became infested with squatters and fell into ruin until another developer fixed it up. But the figures were never restored.
If you get a chance, take a close look at these figures before they are further destroyed. The details are exquisite.