Project Transformed Parking Lot into Much-Needed Green Space for Journal Square Area; College Foundation is Holding Brick Fundraising Drive to Pave a Portion of the Park
Hudson County Community College President Dr. Glen Gabert announced today that the College has planned a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its new Culinary Arts Park Plaza on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. The park is situated directly in front of the HCCC Culinary Arts Institute/Conference Center at 161 Newkirk Street in Jersey City, just two blocks from the Journal Square PATH Station.
Dr. Gabert said that Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise will lead the ribbon-cutting, and local officials — including members of the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders and area leaders — are also expected to participate in the festivities.
“Our neighbors here in the Journal Square area have wanted — and deserve — more green spaces, and we are very happy to be able to provide this park for them. With this park, we did the opposite of the popular song …we made paradise out of a parking lot,” Dr. Gabert said referring to the fact that the wedge-shaped park had long been a very small, blacktopped parking lot. He noted that the College’s investment of nearly $3 million to the project reflects its commitment to the people who live and work in the Journal Square area. Acquisition of the space was made possible — in part — by a grant from the Hudson County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.
At 18,750 square feet, the park is smaller than one-half acre in size, but it is certain to be a handsome addition among the sidewalks and buildings of the area. As designed by the Jersey City firm Dresdner Robin, the park includes plantings of shade trees and evergreens along the perimeter, along with flowering and evergreen shrubs, perennial ground covers and ornamental grasses. There are also two granite water walls, several seating benches, tables-and-chairs, and lighting that is in keeping with the exterior fixtures on the Culinary Arts Institute/Conference Center building.
In September, the Hudson County Community College initiated a “Culinary Arts Park Plaza Brick Campaign,” which allows community members to purchase and personalize engraved bricks that will be used to pave a portion of the park.
“Through the ‘Culinary Arts Plaza Brick Campaign,’ individuals, companies and organizations will be able to purchase bricks that they may personalize to honor or remember family, friends and colleagues, to celebrate a relationship or association, and to leave behind a message for those who will visit the park now and for generations to come,” said the College’s Vice President for Development, Joseph Sansone.
The bricks are available in four sizes on a first-come, first-served basis: a red 4×8” stone is available for $125; a rose-colored 12×12” stone for $250; a rose-colored 12×24” stone for $500; and a deep blue 24×24” stone for $750. Details and imprint information is available online at www.hccc.edu/downloads/foundation/FOUNDATION_BUY_BRICK.pdf, or by phoning the Foundation’s offices at (201) 360-4006.