NEWARK, NJ - A car jumped the curb in the early morning hours Thursday and crashed into poles holding up the iconic Newark Symphony Hall marquee, authorities said.
A man driving a Honda Accord drove into two poles around 4 a.m. today, leaving the marquee structure “unsafe,” a Newark Public Safety Department spokesman said. The driver and his four-month-old daughter were taken to University Hospital, with the girl suffering a laceration to the head, according to police.
A police report of the incident did not indicate that any summonses were issued at the scene, the police spokesman said. Police declined to release the name of the driver.
Newark Symphony Hall CEO and President Taneshia Nash Laird said it the marquee needed to be dismantled and removed. Although the building is on the National Register of Historic places, the marquee isn't orginal, Laird said.
"It should be noted that while we are a historic building, built in 1925, the marquee is not historic and is at least the fourth marquee in use since the first was erected in 1927," Laird said. "In that sense, while we did lose a sentimental piece of the building as a result of this car wreck, it wasn't an element constituting part of the building’s historic status."
The bold, blue letters which contained the words Newark Symphony Hall were still visible on the marquee around 9:30 a.m. Around 4 p.m., crews could be seen working on the sign. The wording was no longer there.
"I took some footage because that landmark will never be up there like it was," said Gary Campbell, who works in the city's television studio inside Newark Symphony Hall.
"It feels like you're losing something," he added.
The collision occurs at a time when the city is looking to revamp Newark Symphony Hall, which sits along Broad Street in the Lincoln Park area. Laird has previously said the current structure needs updates that include lighting, heating and more.
"In the days to come, Newark Symphony Hall will convene a community visioning meeting to discuss plans for our revitalization to anchor our block of the Lincoln Park neighborhood," Laird said today. "Our plans include a desire to immediately address streetscape improvements and building façade restoration."
The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Judy Garland have performed at the venue.