Battery Building Gets Energized
August 31, 2017
The former Thomas Edison factory complex in West Orange, New Jersey, is on its way to becoming a mixed-use center, serving as the anchor to a large redevelopment on this historic property. Restoring the Edison Storage Battery factory is the the first step of the redevelopment.
The Battery factory was built in 1913 by Thomas Edison, whose employees produced nickel-iron storage batteries used in light delivery vehicles, automobiles, railroad signals, industrial applications and mining equipment. In its prime, the area around the factory, at Main Street and Lakeside Avenue, was a center of industry. At its peak, 10,000 workers toiled in dozens of buildings with approximately 850 of them working in the four battery factory buildings.
After Edison’s death in 1931, his business empire slowly crumbled and many of the buildings in the complex went vacant. By the 1960s many of the great American inventor’s businesses had been spun off. These businesses slowly failed and in the early 1970s, the factories were razed, except for the battery complex, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. As one story goes, a wrecking ball smashed into the building three times, and three times it bounced off the durable Edison Cement, so they decided the building could stay. Various businesses rented small portions of the massive building over the years and by 2003 the old Edison Battery Factory stood vacant and neglected, slowly deteriorating.
The planned building renovations include restoring the facade and replacing the windows that wrap around the buildings, which offer views of the neighboring Edison laboratory and the New York City skyline. Some of the Battery Factory’s unique features are the 14-to-16-foot ceilings and 10-foot-high windows. Graham is providing nearly 2,500 custom S6800 Series windows to accommodate the historic requirements and the large sizes. TAP into West Orange reported West Orange Historic Preservation Commission (WOHPC) member Marty Feitlowitz “complimented Prism officials for working closely with the WOHPC on making sure the Edison factory’s windows comported as closely as possible to the original ones.”
Developer Prism Capital Partners’ $230 million plan for “Edison Village” will convert the 400,000-square-foot building into 330 apartments, plus 18,500 square feet of retail space, along with public areas featuring historic artifacts and exhibits about Thomas Edison. Future development will focus on the surrounding 21 acres that once made up the larger Edison complex. Dune Realty Partners is the current developer in charge of the project with ownership transferred to Dune from Prism. Prism will remain as the general contractor on the project. The site is opposite Edison’s laboratory, which is now part of the Thomas Edison National Historic Park, where visitors can tour his home in nearby Llewellyn Park and learn about his inventions.
Once again Graham is proud to be part of this ambitious adaptive re-use project and to help save a bit of American history. To find out more about the Graham products used on this project, contact Bruce Croak, Graham’s marketing manager.
Architecture Billing Index Continues Steady Ascent
August 28, 2017
The Architecture Billing Index (ABI) increased for the sixth consecutive month in July as growth in demand for design services continued.
The ABI is seen as an indicator of future construction spending over the next 9 to 12 months. Any score over 50 suggests growth.
July’s Index score of 51.9 indicates some moderation in growth, …
Graham Helps With Dramatic Transformation of Building 128, Brooklyn Navy Yard
August 18, 2017
Maurice Benor, Graham’s New York sales rep, remembers seeing Building 128 for the first time.
This entirely glass-clad building, which Marvel Architects says was “once a stunning cathedral to ship manufacture,” had fallen into steep decline.
“The building was totally dilapidated,” Maurice recalls. “It was almost gone. It was literally rotting away – it was …
Hurricane Season May Be Extremely Active
August 14, 2017
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this week updated its forecast for the 2017 hurricane season. The outlook is not particularly sunny.
NOAA is now saying the season “has the potential to be extremely active and could be the most active since 2010.” That year, NOAA forecast an 85 percent chance of an above-normal …
Volatility Continues With Dodge Momentum Index
August 8, 2017
The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI) dipped in July, just another hiccup after a series of advances.
Despite falling 3.3 percent in the month, the Index is 6.9 percent higher than it was a year ago.
The Dodge Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, …
Graham Windows Installed in Another UT Residence Hall
August 4, 2017
The 2017 spring semester brought the opening of Stokely Hall, the third new University of Tennessee (UT) residence hall to open within the last academic year. Located at the corner of Lake Loudoun and Volunteer boulevards in Knoxville, it houses 684 students. The building is on the site of the former Gibbs Hall and the …