The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Historic Preservation Commission: Several key properties up tonight

340 Franklin Place among properties on tonight's HPC agenda.

Plainfield's Historic Preservation Commission will take up three key properties at tonight's meeting that may be of interest to readers --

200 Park Avenue

Once the headquarters of United National Bank, this magnificent building is an anchor of the North Avenue Commercial Historic District. Developer Frank Cretella is proposing to add a fifth floor on the roof of the building (not visible from the street level) to house a nightclub. Ah, dining and dancing under the stars in Plainfield. Why not?

209 West Second Street

The Titsworth-Sutphen House is another element in the
North Avenue Commercial Historic District. It served for quite a number of years as United National Bank's Community Resource Center (one of the best outcomes of the Community Reinvestment Act locally I can think of). In preparation for his proposed West Second Street Commons, Cretella and PNC Bank are proposing relocation of this early 19th-century structure. Any takers?

340 Franklin Place

This magnificent Victorian, which has suffered two decades of indignities -- including the removal of its wrap-around porch and the gutting of its original interior details -- has new owners who are looking to convert it to a four-family. Assuming the HPC will guard the building's exterior, allowing the conversion is certainly a better solution for the neighborhood than tearing the building down.

Historic Preservation Commission

Tonight | 7:30 PM

City Hall Library
515 Watchung Avenue
Parking and entry at the rear of the building

Public welcome

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Bob said...

Why has it taken so long to notice the magnificent house that is falling apart on Franklin. The wonderful wrap around porch of that house fell off at least five years ago. It has been abandoned for at least ten years. Why did it take so long. If I had the money I would have bought it years ago, even though its in a bad neighborhood.

Dan said...

Bob -- Sadly, the troubles began in the late 1980s, when it was sold in a scammy way for more than it was really worth.

From there all was downhill. Including several folks who tried to speculate on it in the 90s and 00s.

The latest gutted the interiors and had something like 20 dumpsters in the yard and drive, of which I wrote a couple of years ago.

Thank God there are new owners.

Maria Pellum, Plainfield Resident said...


How can Cretella propose changes to a building he still doesn't own?

And about 340 Franklin Place, 4 families is better than the 6 that were proposed. Neighbors are happy something is finally getting done. We all have our hopes up this time around.

And to Bob: What in your eyes makes this neighborhood bad? Just curious.

Dan said...

Maria -- The agenda shows the proposals being but forth by both Cretella (as developer) and PNC (as owner). I refer to Cretella since he is really the one making the proposals and is going to be responsible for the execution.