In this world of ours there will always be naysayers and rabble-rousers. Typically, those type of people lack a true knowledge of the facts. Case in point: one Bob Nunnink of Pompton Plains. In a letter to the Herald News, he claims that restoring Hinchliffe Stadium is a "total waste of money" and that it was a "constant headache" and a "magnet for graffiti and vandalism." Those are some of of the many reasons to restore the stadium, so that a blighted building can have a rebirth and contribute to the visitors corridor that surrounds the Great Falls National Park.
Nunnink flippantly continues that it is a waste of money to begin restoration. Yet, he fails to mention that the funding for first phase restoration will be comprised of grant money specifically for historic structures such as Hinchliffe Stadium. Grant money that is from the New Jersey Historic Trust and the 1772 Foundation. He cites nostalgia as being the only reason that there is an interest in restoring Hinchliffe Stadium. Yet another inaccurate statement. The reason to restore Hinchliffe Stadium is in part, to honor the African-American history all while adaptively reusing the stadium for scholastic athletics and serving as a destination that will compliment the National Park.
Parking was mentioned as a substitute for the stadium. There is ample room for a parking facility next to Hinchliffe that could serve the National Park and the stadium.
I can't help but wonder what the reaction would be if Patersonians called for the demolition of the Pompton Plains Railroad Station, a building that shares a place with Hinchliffe Stadium on the National Register of Historic Places?
I hope that Mr. Nunnink's remarks will serve as inspiration to Paterson's civic leaders to move forward with Hinchliffe's restoration. Perhaps the field can be named in Nunnink's honor? Once the stadium is restored, there will be a ticket for Opening Day waiting at the ticket booth for Bob Nunnink of Pompton Plains.
Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium