HOBOKEN - Preservation New Jersey recently named the New Jersey Transit Records Building in Hoboken as one of the "10 Most Endangered Historic Places" in the state for 2020. It appears they knew what they were talking about, as an order has been issued for the building's demolition to begin June 30—which is today.
Built in 1904, the New Jersey Transit Records Building has been in the crosshairs due to ongoing development plans for the Hoboken Rail Yard. The English Victorian Gothic Revival structure has fallen into a state of disrepair, recently deemed an unsafe structure by the NJ Department of Community Affairs. Locally, the Responsible Development Task Force has been spearheading efforts for an adaptive reuse of the building. New Jersey Transit is conducting an analysis of alternatives to demolition of the building—as required by State Historic Preservation Office.
Currently, the task force is asking Governor Murphy to veto the demolition plans, or at least clarify the extent to which the Records Building will be altered. While purported structural issues are driving the initiative to demolish the building, adaptive reuse of the existing structure had still been on the table.
"In the well-attended virtual meeting of April 16th, all opposed losing the building," reads a letter to the Governor signed by members of the Responsible Development Task Force. "The vast majority spoke in favor of the adaptive reuse on its current site. This parallels the strong win for Alternative 4 in an online survey conducted by the City of Hoboken."
Hoboken Rail Yard Redevelopment has been moving at a glacial pace over the past few years, but things have been warming up considerably over the past few months as plans have been put forth and amended to reflect public comment.
Regarding the Records Building, "We suggest that you ask the Board to more deeply review the community inputs and alternatives analysis and that they more deeply consider the long-term benefits of Alternative 4," says the Responsible Development Task Force.
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