Status: Progress Made
Pine Street is a small historic district composed of vernacular single-family homes and masonry apartment buildings anchored by a church, a school, and a community center. The district, historically and currently a multi-ethnic neighborhood of recent immigrants and ethnic minorities, is in a fight for its life because the need to improve the mass transit network here was run into the equally compelling need to preserve the viability of affordable neighborhoods.
At the time of this list, New Jersey Transit had proposed to link two suburban rail lines with a connector that will bisect the district, destroying 20 of its buildings. Following a suit brought by Montclair, New Jersey Transit investigated alternatives that would lessen the destruction of historic resources.
- District is going to be bisected by the Montclair connection project (to connect two commuter railroads).
- NJT will provide $2 million for rehabilitation; construction of new firehouse, community center
- district significant for ethnic history, vernacular architecture
- Challenge will be rehabilitating the buildings, lots of vacancy and deterioration. Italian-American neighborhood, a virtual catalog of every type of masonry façade from early 20th century.
- 14 buildings are schedule to be demolished for NJ Transit commuter connection project (original number was 20). NJT will provide some money for new construction and rehab.
07/2010 Update: As the rail line has been completed and the threat has been resolved, the district has enjoyed some investment initiatives and improvements. It has taken a long time, however. It took discussions and litigation over 15 years to be settled. Ultimately, NJ Transit was required to pay several million dollars for mitigation as a result of the preservation battle and the litigation and was responsible for listing an expanded Pine Street Historic District on the State and National Registers.
Bob Craig, NJ HPO
4002 Nottingham Way,
Hamilton Square, NJ 08079
Mary Krugman, Mary Delaney Krugman Associates, Inc.