Pier got two-year makeover
Renovation of the pier park began in December 2006, and was carried out in two phases: First, the reconstruction of the deteriorating seawall (or bulkhead) on the part of the pier that is parallel to the river. Second was the demolition and replacement of 45,000 square feet of treated wood decking on the pier that had worn down over the years.
The park on the pier will also have a new covered stage that will accommodate live performances.
Built in 1985, J. Owen Grundy Park (named after a legendary local historian and preservationist) offers stunning views of the New York City skyline.
Mayor Jerramiah Healy appreciates the view and the re-opening. “This is truly a magnificent public space and a great asset to our city,” Healy said last week. “Anytime I had visitors from out-of-town or from another state or country come to my home in Jersey City … I would always take them to J. Owen Grundy Park to view the spectacular vista that includes the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, the New York City skyline, and the Hudson River.”
Like ‘opening on Broadway’
The city’s Division of Architecture (which operates the Department of Public Works) designed the project and oversaw its construction.
Glen Wrigley, the director of the Division of Architecture, spoke recently about the project.
He said not only did they build the new covered stage, reconstruct the seawall, and replace the wood deck, but they also replaced a quarter-mile of railings as well as seating, lighting, plants, and other amenities that had fallen into disrepair.
The work was not always easy.
“Certainly the most difficult part of the project was the reconstruction of the seawall, as well as coordination with the Port Authority, NJ Transit, and all of the adjacent property owners,” Wrigley said. “There’s never anything easy about major construction, but as long as everyone at the jobsite is doing their job, and progress is being made at a steady pace, management becomes easier.”
What also made the work easier in Wrigley’s opinion was support from city officials and from the public who frequented J. Owen Grundy Park before it closed for renovations.
“Comments from the public and from the surrounding property owners have been wonderful,” Wrigley said. “For us and the city, the ribbon cutting is going to be a little like opening on Broadway.”
Resident runs blog about park
To say Anthony Buccino likes J. Owen Grundy Park is putting it lightly.
Buccino, who works at Dow Jones Newswires in Harborside Plaza 2 in Jersey City, has for the past two years run an internet blog (http://vangrundy.blogspot.com)chronicling the renovation of J. Owen Grundy Park.
In the blog, he posts photos he takes whenever he walks past the area during his lunch breaks.
Buccino has been an admirer of the park since 1999 when he started working for Dow Jones.
“I will go out for a break and take about 70 photos because it’s really nice to walk around the park,” Buccino said. “This is really wide open and a benefit to the area. It’s almost like being on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City.”
Buccino said he looks forward to seeing his favorite haunt resurrected for future lunch breaks.
“By the time they started rebuilding it after it closed, it looked like an earthquake,” Buccino said. “But I took a walk over there a few days ago and I said wow!”