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Radio tower to be dismantled this weekend

June 1, 2006
Contact: Dan Stessel 973-491-7078

NEWARK, NJ ó As part of its vision to restore the Hoboken Terminal complex to its original splendor, NJ TRANSIT today announced its demolition plan for the old radio tower that sits atop the historic structure, making way for a dramatic replica of the original clock tower that welcomed rail and ferry travelers for nearly half a century.

Weather permitting, the radio tower, which today stands on the footprint of the original clock tower, will be demolished Friday, June 2 through Monday, June 5. The steel framework for the new clock tower, modeled after the 1907 design by artist Kenneth Murchinson, will be erected in the fall, with project completion expected next summer.

"The plan to reconstruct the historic clock tower is great news for the City of Hoboken," said Hoboken Mayor David Roberts. "I have long been an advocate of historic preservation and restoration, and I applaud every effort to celebrate Hobokenís past, as well as one of our communityís most historic landmarks."

"Replacing Hoboken Terminalís clock tower is a milestone in our effort to transform the facility to better serve residents, visitors and customers," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. "As we improve intermodal functionality, reactivate the historic ferry terminal and promote economic development within the complex, Hoboken Terminal will become a crown jewel on the Hudson Waterfront."

"We extend our gratitude to NJ TRANSIT for the diligent stewardship of a true historic landmark," said Theresa Castellano, chair of the Hoboken Historical Preservation Commission. "On behalf of the Hoboken Historic Preservation Committee, we deem it a privilege to be included in the restoration of the Hoboken Ferry Terminal, which is listed on the national register of historic places."

Hoboken Terminal was constructed in 1907 by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad with the clock tower as part of the original Beaux-Arts design. Standing 203 feet tall, the tower featured four-foot backlit letters spelling the word "LACKAWANNA" on all four sides, as well as four pediment clock faces and a large hipped roof topped by a flagpole.

After it was weakened in a storm, the clock tower was removed around 1950. The radio tower was installed in its place.

Hoboken Terminal rehabilitation moves forward

In October 2005, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approved a $53.9 million contract for the second phase of a rehabilitation project that will return a portion of Hoboken Terminal to its original design, ultimately restoring permanent ferry service to the historic building and creating a new ferry waiting area for customers.

The construction contract allows for marine construction of five of the original six ferry slips, as well as restoration of the exterior copper facade and lighting on the river side of the terminal, structural repairs, roof repairs, and demolition of the finger piers and wooden fenders.

Early design work for the final phase of construction is expected later this year.

Also last fall, NJ TRANSIT hired LCOR to create a master plan that will serve as a blueprint for transit-oriented development at the 65-acre Hoboken Terminal and Yard complex. The restored facility will serve as an integrated multimodal transit center and a gateway benefiting the Hudson waterfront for more than 50,000 commuters, as well as residents in the area.