A year after the big apartment fire

It was a year ago today that a fire destroyed a three-story, 50-unit apartment complex on St. Georges Avenue. Brookside at Rahway was under construction and nearly completed with leasing was expected to begin later in the year.


Police determined the fire was arson within a few days, but it wasn’t reported as such until one of our follow-up inquiries in March. Police Chief John Rodger said last week that it remains an open investigation.

Demolition of the three-story structure began about three months after the fire and work began anew in late September. In August 2009, trees were cleared at the 5-acre site to make way for construction, which began the first time around in August 2010.

Brookside at Rahway has since been nearly rebuilt, with leasing expected to begin in the spring.

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The idea of public art is always intriguing, so I thought this piece from The Atlantic was pretty cool  about an effort in Budapest, Hungary (“An Artistic X-Ray for Buildings in Budapest”). A local art collective commemorated buildings that had been razed for new construction by painting a mural of what appears to be a black-and-white X-ray of what once stood there.

It reminded me of some of the old artifacts and other signage found when some Main Street properties in Rahway were razed several years (namely a Marks Harris (.pdf) on the side of the building facing Lot B that’s been painted over white). Click the link above to see the images, it’ll really give you a sense of what I’m talking about.

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