As we all know part of the beauty of Paterson are the historic buildings scattered throughout our city. What the public probably doesn't know, and the historic preservationists should get busy looking into, is that yet another one is close to being destroyed.
5 Colt Street, directly across from the side entrance of City Hall is in the process of being sold to the church in Wayne whose minister took it upon himself to "live" with the homeless under Rt. 80 to have a greater understanding of their culture, and to garner their trust. It's public knowledge that churches do not pay taxes.
Perhaps equally demoralizing as the lack of another ratable going down the tubes is the proposed use of this building. This group's intention is to put in a homeless shelter and food pantry into it. I know this to be true because I work for an organization that is housed in this building, and we've been a tenant there for seven years. Point of fact is that we weren't allowed to paint our walls a different color, because we were told this would take away from the integrity of the historic nature of this building. With original marble floors and archetecture not seen in new buildings, this would all but be destroyed, if this project is allowed to go through.
Clearly, the homeless need shelter, medical services, and food availability. However, there are already many services like those being provided in Paterson, by existing groups. I can't imagine that our city fathers will allow this project to go through. There's still time to stop it as the closing on this building hasn't occurred yet because the potential new owner is awaiting approvals by the city.
Here is the chance for Paterson preservationists to muster all of their strength to not allow this project to happen. It's been said, "forwarned, is forearmed," so let's make sure this beautiful, old structure is not destroyed too by greed, and a lack of understanding or care about our city's beauty.