The New York Times Profiles the Richardson Lofts Building


The Times real estate section has a piece on the rehabilitation trend of old manufacturing buildings into condos in New Jersey urban centers: New Jersey Developers Recycle, and Sell, Some History

In addition to discussing how these projects have been fairly — though not wildly — successful in the face of the meltdown in the real estate market, a portion of the article is devoted to the promising Richardson Lofts building in downtown Newark.

The Newark building – which like the Hoboken and Jersey City structures lay vacant for years before being eyed for renewal – was originally a jewelry factory. Known as the Richardson Building, it has stood for a century at the corner of Columbia and Green Streets, and it gets a mention in Philip Roth’s novel “American Pastoral,” which is set in historic Newark.

The building has one jaw-dropping feature: a six-story-tall steel spiral staircase that stands in an open central atrium. The elements turned the staircase rusty, but that deterioration will be halted, as plans call for a skylight roof and a small courtyard around the central spiral.”

It will be a natural gathering place, a social center for residents,” said Brendan Murray, the chief executive of Tekton Development, which is creating Richardson Lofts.

Tekton is recycling materials, using “green” techniques, and installing energy-efficient features throughout the building, in a bid for a “silver” rating from the United States Green Building Council, which issues certifications based on LEED standards – for Leadership in Energy and Energy Design. This would be a first for Newark.

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Newarker, PCA Elder, Business Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

3 thoughts on “The New York Times Profiles the Richardson Lofts Building”

  1. What is being omitted from this narrative is the perennially invisible role of artists in complex,symbiotic urban environments.
    The Newark building profiled was in fact home and work space for many individuals during the same time period now described in the article as one of “vacancy.”

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  2. The building’s location sounds familiar. I once came to the area, in early to mid 1999, to look at a loft while apartment hunting. A 20-something couple owned a massive space, an entire floor it seemed, and was in the process of dividing it into several private two-room suites, and shared kitchens and bathrooms.
    At one point during the tour, she opened a back door and showed me what she called ‘Gotham’, a vast courtyard space that only needed imaginative renewal to make it a showstopper.
    Didn’t take the apartment, but it was just as well. Sharing a bathroom with guys …?

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  3. My father is an artist and I lived in this building on the fifth floor for 5 years. It was a building filled with artists lofts until the stadium started being built and they told us it was going to be torn down so we were evicted. Obviously not. I am all for progress, but what about those of us who lived in Newark when it was not so glamorous?

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