The needler in the haystack.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Plainfield makeovers: Facelifts and Falsies


Some renovations got me to thinking of bullet bras.
Despite a sagging economy, Plainfield finds itself with quite a bit of renovation activity in the central business district.

Let's go with a fashion metaphor, OK? (It's the weekend, after all.)

First, the falsies.

I'm sorry, but that's all that comes to mind with the
façade renovations being made over the past year or so at 301 East Front Street (the former home of the Plainfield Senior Center).

The two new pointy peaks on the Front Street façade remind me of nothing more than bullet-bra falsies. Like falsies, they give an illusion of something that is not really there.
When viewed from the side, you can even see the bar propping them up, like some Hollywood set.



The facade renovations at 301 East Front.
Facelift?

Check out the YMCA, one of the historic structures in the Civic Historic District (which includes City Hall and the Annex). The YMCA is having its
façade staircase entry completed renovated.

Replacing 'like with like', the building will keep the look it has had since its construction in the early 20th century.



New steps and facade work for the YMCA's entrance.

Round windows, as in original, will replace YMCA roundels.

The railings will be removed, cleaned and replaced.

'About time,' one former YMCA employee said to me, 'those steps were really worn'.

Fact is, those steps were REALLY WORN, so worn they reminded me of photos of the Appian Way, the famous Roman stone highway.

The YMCA will be getting a refreshed façade and staircase with new treads; the round wooden discs saying 'YMCA' will be replaced with windows, as in the original; and the railings will be cleaned and reinstalled.

It will make a handsome improvement to the Civic District.

Back downtown, more renovations are under way.


As Paramount Properties continues renovating its properties,
Mr. Lee has moved from the corner to the East Front Street side.
Mr. Lee has moved his store from the corner of Front and Watchung, where he has been for decades, around the corner to newly refurbished space. Paramount Properties, the owner of that block, has renovated the stores along East Front, and will tackle the former Lee's site next.



Will a new tenant spell the demise of the classic Art Moderne sign?
Across the corner, in the Union News Building, the shop sporting the classic Beverly's Millinery sign is once again angling for a tenant.

For some, the worst of times can still be the best of times.



-- Dan Damon [follow]

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6 comments:

Blackdog said...

Well it is almost as good as the work of Jasper Maskelyne . . . but let's face it, What You See is NOT What You Are Getting!

Anonymous said...

I can go to a different restaurant every day for a month and never have the same thing two days in a row!American(Soul Food is covered here), Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Salvadorn,Guatamelan, Honduran, Costa Rican and the list goes on!!!!!!!!!

olddoc said...

The facades you posted on buildings owned by "Paramount"and the complex where the Senior Citizen center was along with Neighborhood House. That one wih the twin falsies peak reminds me of the boss i the comic strip 'Dilbert".

olddoc said...

Reminds me of the pointed head boss in "Dilbert"

Anonymous said...

And that second picture there on Front St. also comes with the requisite campaign contributions to Jerry Green that began when the current owner bought the building and got a longterm lease from Union County at a jacked up rate. He then attacks Councilman Cory Storch, whose real job is Director of the Bridgeway non-profit which also leases space in the same building. What a crazy place this Plainfield is!

Anonymous said...

What a WONDERFUL statement, "The Steps to the YMCA were really worn" I wish Plainfield [and all towns as a matter of fact] had more problems like that !!!!