Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Save the Big Blue House

Planning & Zoning Board meeting tonight at 7:30pm at 201 Broad Street, Matawan Borough Community Center. This meeting is concerning the Big Blue House on Main St., Matawan.

The owner of this house wants to have the property zoned for commercial use turning it into office space. Residents/historians in the area are opposed to turning this home into office space. The building has historical significance and even though it was stripped of historical items such as beautiful stain glass doors, marble mantles, light fixtures, etc. by former owners, Historians feel it can be restored to its former glory.

The only way to let the Board know your position is to attend the meeting. Either way we hope all will consider the best interests of Matawan Borough.


Mezz said...

I am new to this issue, but it immediately comes to me that there should be a compromise on the big blue house.

The historians do not want the house to be rented out as commercial space. Why is this? I assume it is because they want to preserve Matawan's history and they want that building to serve as an ambassador of Matawan, as its' beauty and history is clearly evident.

Now, I believe this building can be rented as commercial space and be maintained as a historical gem. In fact, I believe more people would be able to appreciate the building's beauty and history if it were office space. Clients from not only Matawan but from around the county and state would be coming and going to see this beautiful building. I believe provisions should be put in place to maintain the upkeep of this house, at the very least with regards to the exterior.

As far as "restoring the building to its' former glory", who intends to pay for that? The owner of the house apparently does not want to restore the stained glass, etc. So the house would have to be taken over by the historical society and taxpayer money would have to be pumped into the house to upkeep it to historical standards (if this is even legal). So I think that "restoring" the house is a nice thought but is realistically out of the question.

I believe re-zoning the property but ensuring that it is properly maintained is the best solution. More people can see this beautiful symbol of Matawan, it will be well maintained, and will ease the tax burden on our borough. If I have overlooked or misstated something, please respond, I'd like to have an open conversation on this issue.

matawan advocate said...

Thank you for your comments. There are several issues that residents are concerned with regarding zoning it for commerical use. There are residents in the surrounding properties who are concerned for the change in their quality of life commercial use would bring. As the owner of the Big Blue House has not given the Planning & Zoning Board any information in writing as to keeping the historical significance of the structure or the interior, how can they make a decision? Instead the owner has chosen to take the least expensive way and not provide all the data. Which we can't find fault with as it saves him money. The building would have to be made handicapped accessible. There are no elevators so access to second floor would be nil. The house has already been torn apart by others. The beauitful Tiffany doors which are worth a fortune, the marble mantles, light fixtures. ceiling chandliers, have all disappeared, either sold or stolen. Residents mentioned at the hearing questionable acquisition of the property. Mind you we did not say illegal, but questionable.

The loss of this beautiful home would be a loss to Matawan.

Thanks for expressing your concerns. It is a difficult decision.

Anonymous said...

Concern people could have bought this house , they didn't so be it!! Move on , The neighbor complained she would not like people driving into the parking lot and looking at her in the pool!!! When was the last time she was in the pool 2 years ago??? Lets keep to facts on this site , not make up stories!@!!

Anonymous said...

Where was the "Historical society when they tore down all the houses on main street, and built the shopping center where Starbucks is??? Look at the Historical section map,, most of the "OLDER homes on broad street are "OUT OF IT" The beautiful Captains home on the corner of Park Ave and Broad is not in it!!! WHY NOT???

matawan advocate said...

It was said at meetings that concerned people were not given the opportunity to purchase the house.

As we recall the buildings were shops, none of which was in the same category as the blue house. That being said. we have to deal with the here and now. Can't change the past, but we can prevent further loss of our history.

Concerns over the Captain's house have been mentioned previously. Perhaps you should join the Historical Society to prevent anymore of Matawan's history being destroyed.

Thanks for your comments.