Arena Nears Completion
On Sunday after the Fairmount Cemetery tour, I parked on Market Street near Mulberry and walked around the Prudential Center taking progress pix. Between the Cemetery and Arena, I took 154 fotos Sunday, and then had to review and fix them all in my graphics program. Even using my faster computer, an HP notebook (my Dell desktop is abysmally slow in manipulating graphics), this took 6 hours, in addition to all my other tasks. So I'm running a day or more late on everything. Below, however, are some pix of the Arena in its current condition.
Gaetano had sent me link to an online foto of the Arena as seen from the closed area of Mulberry Street, so I went to that same area to see if I could get a similar shot. Couldn't. That would require a wide-angle lens. My camera doesn't have one and can't be fitted with one. Even before I got to that spot, however, I saw a big change from the last time I was there: a low building across Edison Place had been demolished! Below you can see that building, which housed a farmer's market, as it appeared June 9th. I was simply documenting the area at the time, and did not actively anticipate that what I was fotograffing would be demolished soon thereafter.
I wonder what they are putting in its place. As I said here June 22, 2006, I'd like to see a block-wide sculpture fountain under a geodesic dome there, but don't know if the demolition is even for a project related to the Arena.
As you see above, there are special (if ugly) new streetlites around this project, whatever its name. I suspect I will always prefer "Newark Arena" to "Prudential Center". Check with me in five years, after another 2,000 or more fotos of Newark sights, to see if that is still my preference. (If you think the 2,000 figure exaggerated, I have already (and not even counting today's pix) posted over 1,600 graphics, mostly fotos, to this blog, all but about 35 of them mine.) This next foto shows the northeastern glassed-in stairwell adjacent to the views above.
This cylindrical tower has a stairway in it, visible below.
The pair to it on the southeast corner seems not to have stairs. If it is going to, workers have only days to put it in. This next picture shows fresh concrete steps and a ramp to that tower. Where visitors go from there, I do not know.
The foto below shows a wide view from opposite that corner looking north. The mirrored building past the Arena on the same side of Mulberry Street is the PSE&G Building. The other buildings, to the right of Mulberry, are Gateway Center and One Newark Center / Seton Hall Law School.
Here's a view of the south side of the building to the left of the view above.
There is a low parking structure to the west of the Arena, across what would appear to be a new road/driveway that does not appear on the map of the Downtown Business District I got from GoNewark.com. This access road presents a vista to Newark's present two tallest buildings, the National Newark Building (744 Broad Street) and 1180 Raymond Boulevard.
In this zoomed view from a slitely different angle, you can see the shadow of 744 on the beautifully restored and cleaned facade of 1180. But why isn't there a flag on the flagpole? If the owner wants to distinguish 1180 from 744 and the Prudential HQ, both of which fly the U.S. flag, he could fly the New Jersey flag, whose yellow beige would be a very good match for the building's brick.
The last foto today shows a view of 744 and 1180 as seen thru the glass of the northeast stair tower, except that superimposed are reflections of Gateway Center towers.
It is a very impressive complex, certainly not classically beautiful, but big, imposing. And it should make a big impression on visitors from everywhere and thus this city's future, starting with a ribbon-cutting ceremony next Monday, October 22nd. I've said it before, but this is a very exciting time to live in Newark.