Tuesday, April 20, 2010

North Avenue Cleanup Continues

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.

The party wall with the building to the east still has to be sealed off and stabilized.
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.


Blogger Rob said...

Sad...the city will mow your lawn if you abandon the responsibilities of your property and charge you back through liens or on your taxes, but wouldn't save a building, simply watching it slowly fall down for 8+ years...McWilliams AND ROBINSON-BRIGGS watched this occur on their watches.
In the "real" world...cities take these buildings from their neglectful owners and sell them to someone who will develop and care for it BEFORE it collapses. To this day, it escapes me...how anyone in the city government -- PAST AND PRESENT didn't see what 1000's of commuters saw daily, a building with a collapse roof, exposed to the elements slowly decaying day by day, week by week, year by year.
Two people in Plainfield were certainly "fiddling while Plainfield burned."
Thank you Al & Sharon.

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Symbolic of Plainfield Government - slowly decaying day by day.

$200K for this demolition and $250K for the Sr. Center.

About the only place to cut anymore is Public Safety so I'm sure Hellwig will come up with a staff reduction proposal.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a sad story because about 10 years ago during the Al McWilliams administration we had a very reputable, award winning developer specializing in urban downtown transit village redevelopment projects proposing to do a gut rehab of all of the North Ave block while keeping the historic facades. As well this proposal would have included new mixed use construction at the corner of Gavett as that site was not part of the historic district. Unfortunately, one council person led an attack against the proposal because the developer was not a minority. See Courier News archives. The Council also was not interested in spending funds on negotiating the agreement hence the whole thing fell apart. This is spite of the fact that they were briefed about the increase in new taxes and jobs created. A super-market anchored shopping center on W. Front Street was also rejected at the same time for the same reason. Both blocks are still in marginal operation, probably still delinquent in much of the tax payments owed to the city as they were back then, we still don't have the jobs created and a beautiful hostoric building had to be destroyed.
Pat Fox

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This did not happen overnight. It took several administrations to destroy Plainfield. They each hand a part in it. SRB did nothing either so she continues that tradition.

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry about the disposal costs because the PMUA will dispose of it and then bill residents directly as part of their "shared services" It will only amount to about $5 per month per household for the next two years. This is on top of the $16 per month everyone is already paying.

10:32 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home