Status: Progress Made
2010: National Newark building has been rehabbed and will be honored by a local preservation group. Discussions are underway for rehab of two other 1930s skyscrapers.
In the first third of this century, downtown Newark was a growing commercial center. The years between 1912 and the early 1930s witnessed the construction of many high-rise office buildings, most of which are still standing. Homes to insurance companies, banks, and other businesses, these skyscrapers ranged from 12 to 35 stories in height. Though modest by today’s standards, they are elegant reminders of the early years of our white-collar economy. The principal threat to these buildings arises from competition from Newark’s newer office space. The average vacancy rate in these older office buildings is almost eight times the rate in the newer buildings. While local officials hope that the market for office real estate will improve when the $250 million New Jersey Performing Arts Center opens, the future of these stately human-scale buildings is currently in doubt.
Michael La Place, Township of Plainsboro,
641 Plainsboro Road,
Plainsboro, NJ 08536