Last year I wrote about the sad fate of the former Bell Labs facility at Holmdel, and my personal experience with it. At that time, a developer had bought the property with the intention of converting it to a large residential, commercial, and retail complex.
I recently ran across this article in Preservation Magazine describing the battle that is currently being waged to save the site. The developer, Somerset Development, still wants to follow through on their original plan. However, the local civic leadership, fearful of the impact of such a mini-city on their quality of life, wants the entire structure to be razed.
The article includes a fascinating history of the building and the architect who designed it, Eero Saarinen.The article also recounts the memories of several former Bell Labs employees who once worked at the site, and still live in the area.
Ralph Zucker, the president of Somerset Development, says concerning the building,
We know this is too significant for Holmdel, for New Jersey—it’s a worldwide resource—it’s too important to get bogged down by political passions. When you come up here that’s when you know that you can’t let this thing be knocked down. It’s simply overpowering.