Many years ago the New City development owned by the Newark Watershed Commission was demolished after numerous arson fires set to the abandoned buildings there. The buildings had become an eyesore and a source of great trouble as curiosity seekers often (illegally) explored the buildings because of rampant rumors of murder, witchcraft and bizarre events that were alleged to have occured there. I explored these ruins once but didn’t do more then wander around the 8 abandoned buildings. The buildings themselves were in such a state of disrepair that safe discovery was not possible. I took a few pictures thru the windows but never entered them.
Several years ago I was sent pictures taken from inside the buildings. You can see all the pictures here. The ruin is… impressive.
I first wrote about Hoffman Grove back in 2006 when I explored the area after one of the homes there was listed in the paper for sale. $200K for a house in Wayne? Yeah, what’s the catch? Oh yeah… constant flooding. Read the original post for the full story, but I found much had changed since I last visited in 2008. here’s some pics. At that time the community was still vibrant and most had refused to be bought out. There was an attitude of “this is what we have to put up with” and the desire to stay was string. After several floods in 2008, the state took action and in 2009, 36 homes were slated to be bought out.. There were several bad floods in early 2011, but Hurricane irene in August of 2011 was the final blow. FEMA stepped in and most of the remaining homes were bought out.
I took a visit to Hoffman grove this morning and what I saw was depressing. There were still many homes left, but most had plywood over the 1st level windows. Some had them over the doors and garage entrances as well. Yet I could clearly see curtains and items inside the 2nd floor windows. And some had cars in front of them. After driving around several times it became clear: cars meant there was a current resident. No cars meant no one was there and never would be again. Many left behind gas grills, toys, lawn furniture and other personal possessions. Saddest of all was the sight of this flag, upside down, the official sign for distress.
here are some pictures I took, the rest are on Flickr
Over the summer A friend and I explored the Great Falls and Colt Factory, then he took me to something unexpected. What appeared to be full constructed, ready to move in townhouses, that were completely abandoned. You can read the entire story here (which is how my friend found out about it) but the short story is this. Located just above the Falls, on a cliff overlooking downtown Paterson, a developer built the first of what to be several townhouse buildings. In 2008 the 10 units went up for sale and several people moved in. By 2010, however, the developer ran into financial problems, the remaining buildings, pool and everything else was not going to be built and the town foreclosed on the property. The few owners who had bought moved out, and the entire building was boarded up.
When I investigated the property, everything except for one door was boarded up. One entrance had previously been broken into, so we went in and looked around. Everything was in move in conditions, which really stunned me. You would think that by now copper thieves would have stripped the place, the boiler, fridge, and other appliances would’ve been stolen and homeless would’ve moved right in. It’s almost like no one know this place is here. The future is unclear, but if Paterson is smart they’ll try to make it a scenic view tied to the newly created Great Falls National park.
Located just behind the Great Falls in Paterson, Hinchcliffe Stadium was used for football and baseball as well other athletics activities for 5 decades before falling into disrepair and disuse. It now sits abandoned right behind one of Paterson’s many public schools. Hinchcliffe stadium opened on July 8, 1932, and was named for the mayor of Paterson, John Hinchcliffe. It immediately hosted Negro league baseball games and was the site of the Colored Championship of the Nation, the Negro League equivalent of the World Series. The stadium was the home of the NY Black Yankees until 1945., when they moved to Rochchester, NY. The stadium was home to boxing matches, auto racing, as well as professional football.
The stadium was owned by the city until 1963 when it was turned over to the public school system. many repairs and upgrades were made. Over the next 20 years, the stadium would host antique car shows, concerts and the Great Falls Festival on labor Day. Further upgrades were made in 1983 with the addition of handicap access among other things. In 1988 the stadium became home to the NJ Eagles of the American Soccer League. Eventually though, funding problems prevented necesary repairs from being made and by 1997 the stadium was closed for safety reasons. By 2002 a non profit group called Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium announced plans to try to revive the stadium. In 2004 the stadium was placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Little has been done in the past 6-8 years, however. In 2005 a local ballot endorsed the idea of restoring the stadium. A similar ballot initiative passed in 2009 and provided for over 10M to restore the site. The creation of a National Park out of the Great Falls may further spark the restoration process. The National park will incoporate the land on which sits the former ATP ruins. It would seem natural to include Hinchliffe in such renovations as part of a historical look at Paterson’s past.
All of my pictures of Hinchcliffe can be found here
The state recommended that residents of Upper Ringwood, especially children, get tested for lead poisoning because of the contaminaton left there decades ago by the Ford Motor company. Several remediation efforts have removed thousands of tons of chemical waste but their presence has left high levels of chemical residue in the ground. High rates of cancer and other illnesses among local residents lead to concerns of lead poisoning, and the recomendation for testing. Unfortunately, few showed up for the testing last week.
I knew when i got up this morning that NY Scout had visited the jet in the woods because my site notifies me whenever someone else links to me. He was quite gracious enough to comment about my site a few times in his post (which I appreciate, as opposed to him just saying this is cool!). When I came home form work i went to IO9 and saw they had linked to Scout’s page and it seems we’re both getting a lot of traffic as a result. Today marks the best day I’ve ever had in terms of hits. I average about 10-15,000 page hits a month, or about the same as the Cheetos website. I think that’s pretty cool since I this is an obscure hobby which I do not promote outside of the community, I do not advertise for, nor do I advertise on. Today I got almost 3,000 hits and the day isn’t over. To make it easier, here’s a link to the most relevant pages about the jet in the woods since that’s what most people want to see today.
This is the main original post, notable for the heated debate over what kind of plane it was. A fan and fellow geocacher named Ian helped ID the plane after finding markings under the wing. This settled the debate.. I am friends with local Bergen Record reporter Bill Ervolino and he wanted a weird neat local story, so I took him to the jet which he wrote an article about. I later discovered that someone had cut a piece of the jet out presumably for scrap metal.
My favorite post is this one Ian Rothesberger, a conestant on Survivor was interested in creating a tv show about urban exploration and need some subject material for the pilot episode. He had heard about the jet but did not know its location, so I showed him. He eventually interviewed Ian and myself (the other Ian, the one who ID’d the plane) for the pilot episode. They are still shopping it around to the networks as far as I know. It was a fun, muddy day. If anyone has questions, feel free to ask, but don’t ask me for directions. I’m loathe to give them and in this case I flat out will refuse. After seeing how someone carving a piece out of the jet I refuse to take any more chances, so no directions. Any such requests will not even merit a response from me.