The ongoing stabilization of the historic H & M Powerhouse by the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency has entered a critical stage this spring with the removal of the smokestacks. “Unfortunately, the removal of the smokestacks is something that is unavoidable at this time. The years of deterioration have undermined the stability of the stacks and after exhaustive engineering studies, including invasive testing last spring, have led to the conclusion that the smokestacks could not be saved,” said Bob Antonicello, Executive Director of the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency.
Work has begun this week with the erection of the scaffolding. The removal will take approximately six weeks and should be completed by the end of the spring. “Although we are saddened to see the smokestacks removed, we are encouraged by the fact that the building has been stabilized. We are now moving forward with the designated Redeveloper, the Cordish Companies out of Baltimore, Maryland, with the future plans which include the reconstruction of the smokestacks,” noted Bob Antonicello, Executive Director of the JCRA.
Mayor Jerramiah Healy stated “I was disappointed when advised that the smokestacks would have to come down, but encouraged by the hard work the Agency has done in preserving this historic treasure of our City’s industrial past. I know, like the Power Plant in Baltimore, this property will see a rebirth that will be a lynchpin for the Powerhouse Arts District and a landmark for the City.”
Antonicello anticipates a third phase of the stabilization project which will be installation of a temporary roof which is to start later this year.