Posts Tagged ‘Paterson’

Th abandoned townhouses above the Great Falls

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.

Pictures here

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Hinchcliffe Stadium

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

Great Falls close to achieving National park status

A bill designating Paterson’s Great Falls as a national park was passed by the U.S. House on Wednesday. It now goes to President Obama.

The bill overrules a 2006 decision by the National Parks Service, which did not recommend that status. It was introduced by Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. and Sen. Frank Lautenberg, both Paterson natives and Democrats. The state has sought national status for the 77-foot falls in Paterson, 15 miles west of Manhattan, for many years with the hope that doing so would help attract more visitors to the site. A national park designation would make the area eligible for millions of dollars in federal funds.

JFK’s face at the Great Falls

The Great Falls, located in Paterson, NJ, are the second largest waterfall by volume east of the Mississippi. Alexander Hamilton came up with the idea to create a dam to generate electricity for industry. The area was home to a large number of textile mills over the past 200 years and is currently under threat of development. It is a beautiful area, and if the plans go thru there will be a fully developed park & historic information center here.

This is the article from Weird NJ and you can see there is a resemblance, but it’s not easy to see from the falls themselves. To see them, go onto the bridge and find in the graffiti where it says Las Vegas. Look directly over the words at the falls and it’s on the left side near the top of the falls.

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The Lou Costello statue

Louis Francis Costello was born on March 6, 1906 in Paterson, N.J. In 1936 he met William Alexander Abbott on the burlesque circuit where he often worked as the straight man. Although they were popular locally, it wasn’t until they appeared on the Kate Smith Radio Hour, performing what would soon become known as their classic signature skit, “Who’s On First,” that they would find true stardom. Located in Federici park, this statue commemorates the famous “Who’s on First Routine” and the local comedian who performed it so well. Abbott & Costello are the only people in the Baseball Hall of Fame who never played, coached or had any direction connection the baseball.

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