Diagram showing an alternative Lackawanna Station design
The Township hired numerous consultants to explore the project and make recommendations. All Expert Testimony, with the exception of the developer’s own consultant came to the same conclusion: The historic structure was eminently suitable for adaptive re-use. Incredibly, the Township did not listen to any of their experts, or the recommendations of its own Historic Preservation Commission. Furthermore, even though the site is listed on the State and National Registers, and designated locally as a contributing building in the Town Center Historic District, the developer made no effort to design a project that worked with the historic structure, or to present that option to their tenant Lidl, a European company with a record of re-using historic buildings. The resulting scheme shows a marked lack of creativity and will.
Alternate plans include studies by local architect John Reimnitz and Preservationist David Greenbaum. They came up with a scheme that maintains the sheds, provides parking on both sides of the building, and gives life to a moribund Glenridge Avenue.

A special project by Montclair High School this past summer had students developing alternate plans for the site using business, architecture, affordable housing and technology models, all imagining a successful solution of adaptive re-use. Some even created a park-like setting exposing and celebrating the long-buried Tony’s creek which flows through the site.

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