Friday, April 30, 2010

North Avenue Work Continues

More than a month after the demolition of a North Avenue building, work continues at the site.

Above, workers are stabilizing a party wall that connected the 1886 building to one next door. The wall included fireplaces on both sides with a shared chimney. The exposed fireplaces and other voids had to be filled in with concrete.

From the rear of the site, vaults under the sidewalk can be seen. A similar situation existed with a building at North Avenue and Gavett Place that was demolished several years ago.

The buildings were in the North Avenue Commercial Historic District and formed part of a streetscape directly across from the main train station. No plans have been announced as yet for the gap created by the demolition. Preservationists had hoped that the facade could have been saved, but it was deemed too unstable to preserve.

Demolition costs of up to $200,000 were approved by the City Council last month and will be paid out of the FY 2011 budget. Although liens will be placed on the property, the owners could not be found and the building was considered abandoned.

--Bernice Paglia


Blogger Rob said...

Thank you Mayor Sharon and thank you Mayor Al.
Thank you all the members of the city council who either watched and ignored this slow death occurring or simply were too blind to notice anything.
Thank you the whole lot of you for allowing this to happen.
Stand up and take a bow. All of you are responsible for allowing this to get to this point.
Since we know that no one will EVER attempt to make a developer put a building in there that compliments the historic nature of the block( or should we say, no one in Plainfield has the thought or vision of requiring a builder to do much beyond basic fire codes ), why don't we see if we can a double wide trailer squeezed in there and we open up a new dog shack or something ???
-- The worst part is not one of the ones noted above from the two mayors to the people on the city council over the years even realizes they are responsible for allowing it to happen.
-- Again, that gap is Plainfield's future Storch and Burney. This is what you are going to have for your city's future. Skip the next "VISION STUDY" and save the time and money. This is what you get with the caring and effort all of you put in and require of the city government.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading Rob's daily dose of predictably boring venom has made me not want to read the comments again, ever.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Why thank you "anonymous"..boring and venom in the same sentence. ( YAWN )

9:02 AM  
Anonymous pat fox said...

My guess is Rob did not read my entry last week about the efforts under the McWilliams administration to get the North Ave. Historic Block redeveloped. About 10 years ago -- as the demand for transit villages was growing -- we had a very reputable award-winning developer specializing in downtown gut rehabs submit a proposal for the entire North Ave. block. It would have contained a mix of facade preservation (the historic elements) and new construction at the corner of Gavett Place (not in the historic district). I had faith in the Planning Board and HPC that they would have weighed in with appropriate sentiment on the design of the new construction. We lost this $25,000,000 deal (in 2000 dollars) because one council person launched an attack against the developer because he was not a minority. "No more redevelopment in Plainfield unless it is done by minorities". See Courier News archives for their critical editorial. Nor was the Council willing to devote funds to negotiate the agreement. This was a major loss to the City. Had this gone through the building would have been saved instead of experiencing 10 more years of abuse from the elements and neglect by its owners.

Pat Fox

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure this is a picture of work going on in Plainfield? I do not sees any guy standing around with their hands in their pockets.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Pat - No, I did read your post previously and did all the leg work after to look up the information you stated ( thank you by the way as it was most informative ). BUT --- A BUILDING IN PLAIN VIEW OF EVERYONE had a collapsed roof. Everyone knows this, admits this and doesn't deny it. My complaint is and has been....The city of Plainfield will mow your lawn and put a lien on your property if you abandon it because we don't want the city to look like more of a slum. The city should have moved in, fixed the roof...put the lien on the property and have been done with it. That new roof that would have saved that structure would not have cost $200,000.00 which is what we are shelling out to clean up the now gaping hole in a historic block of downtown Plainfield. City government is supposed to respond and take care of the city. Not be there to only pick up the pieces.
The city looks the way it does because it is allowed to look that way. Do people in Plainfield honestly believe that Westfield looks better simply because the business and commercial property owners there care more ??? No...they are required to take care of their property and when they don't... the city swoops in and makes them pay. In Plainfield the city swoops in and cleans you your mess after the problem has gone past the point of no return. This didn't just happen under Mayor Sharon ( dear God, count that as another one of the few times I am not laying blame solely at her feet )it was also under Mayor Al who was in office when I first started coming to Plainfield in early 2003. And one of the first comments I made about Plainfield while waiting on that train platform was --- "How in the hell is there a building in a centerpiece location missing a roof ? ".

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay Mayor - I'll help you out on this one.

Sell me the building for $1.00 and I'll develop the property for City Offices.

Oh, did I mention that in return, you will give me the okay to do some minor additional work like install plumbing, electical work, a/c, etc. Should only come out to about #250,000, not including the monthly maintenance fee.

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL at 7:58PM

2:03 AM  

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