In 2015, the Hoboken Zoning Board (ZBA) approved the adaptive reuse and selective restoration of the First Baptist Church, (listed 2005 on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places and 2006 on the National Register of Historic Places), into 6 residential condominium units, 4 of which are duplexes. Many local residents and concerned citizens opposed the ZBA application.
We have learned that the ZBA applicant may be willing to work with the City to allow the converion of 901 Bloomfield into some sort of community space: a meeting place, art or cultural exhibitions, after school activities, many possibilities. We ask the Mayor and City Council to consider these alternatives to save and reuse 901 Bloomfield for the benefit the community.
February 21, 2017
The Honorable Mayor Dawn Zimmer
and Hoboken City Council Members
94 Washington St.
Hoboken, NJ 07030
RE: 901 Bloomfield Street, Hoboken, NJ
Dear Mayor Zimmer, Council President Giattino, and Hoboken City Council Members:
For your consideration I have enclosed a petition from a number of Hoboken friends and residents seeking the City’s assistance in our effort to save the beautiful and historically relevant 901 Bloomfield Street First Baptist Church from the looming fate of condominium conversion. Listed on both the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places, the church is architecturally unique, possesses stunning, rich acoustics, is beloved in our neighborhood and presents a great opportunity for thoughtful reuse.
We have a dearth of meeting places in our wonderful town and with its size and location the church could provide numerous opportunities for our citizens to get together whether for community gatherings, kiddie activities, pop-up libraries, after school programs, concerts or art showings, and could even be available for rental thereby offsetting some of the costs associated with operation and maintenance. Perhaps the City would consider a partnership, such as exists in Jersey City with the Loew’s theatre, whereby a 501(c) tax exempt organization could provide volunteer and financial support and assist with managing the property.
The church has suffered over the years from neglect and is in desperate need of significant renovation and TLC. I appreciate the overwhelming task and expense of such an undertaking and yet as we see our community’s historic properties either disappear or change so dramatically and so quickly I can’t help but plead for the City’s help to save this very special structure and foster its reuse, not as more condos, but as a vibrant community space; an indoor park of sorts! Thank you for your consideration.
Mary A. Kelly