Status: Lost Forever
2003: The City of Hoboken approved the developer’s plan for a new residential complex which called for the demolition of exisiting buildings. Demolition began in late 2003.
2010: Two 12-story luxury condominium complexes have been constructed on the property. According to an Oct. 5, 2010 NY Times article, the developer has no immediate plans to build the second phase of the project at this time.
When the six-building Maxwell House complex opened on the Hoboken waterfront in 1939, it was the world’s largest coffee plant. Considered the first application in this country of Bauhaus architecture to industrial design, these elegant buildings feature simple construction, open floor plans, glass-ribbon wall curtains, glazed corners, and yellow brick walls. Clearly visible from Manhattan, these striking buildings and their oversized Maxwell House sign have symbolized Hoboken for decades. The plant handled the entire process of industrial coffee production, from dockside bean delivery through cleaning, roasting, grinding, and canning.
The plant closed in 1992. It was acquired in 1999 by a local developer whose initial plan would have preserved many of the buildings. But under threat of a legal challenge from a local group that doesn’t want any buildings –even historic structures — on the waterfront, it has been scrapped in favor of a redevelopment plan that calls for the demolition of all existing buildings and their replacement with apartment buildings.
Randy Brummette, Historic Hudson Street Coalition
Susan G. Solomon, Ph.D, Cultural Resources & Research