Re: Hyatt House at Exchange Place

Posted by HCResident on 2017/12/1 0:11:44
So I walked into the new Hyatt House, at 1 Exchange Place, today hoping that my suspicions wouldn't be proven true. Unfortunately, they were.

Let me explain.

I moved to Jersey City in the summer of 2000. At that time, I was living on Essex St, in Paulus Hook. In 2011, we bought a place in Harsimous Cove. But this was our second home buying experience, after having purchased our first place at a second location in Paulus Hook.

I was very active in the Paulus Hook neighborhood. I actually served the HPHA Board of Directors for a couple of years. I was most active in the areas of development and construction. I chose thes areas because I have always had a love of architecture, especially historical architecture.

During the time I lived in Paulus Hook, there was always a bank on the ground floor of 1 Exchange Place. I actually don't recall what bank it was, because it wasn't our bank. None the less, I would make it a point to go into that bank, on occasion, simply because of the beauty of the lobby.

What impressed me the most about it was both the height of the space, and the beautifully ornate plaster ceiling. Having had worked in hotels for many years, I always thought that the space would make a wonderful banquet hall (much like Ciprianni on 42nd St. in Manhattan), or an elaborate hotel lobby which was the likes of something like The Palmer House in Chicago. (Look it up, its stunning.)

So when it was announced that a hotel was coming to the location, I was psyched. I thought, "I can't wait to see how they utilize this beautiful, and historic, space. I imagined it becoming a go to destination for weddings, as who who wouldn't want to get married in such a grand location?

Then, as they were announcing the start of construction, I noticed in pictures, in places like The Jersey Journal, that they seemed to have really gutted the place. But you couldn't really tell where in the building the pictures were taken. So I held out hope that they certainly wouldn't have simply ripped all that history and craftsmanship out...would they?

From what I could see today, although I couldn't venture all that far in, they had removed it. It made me sad.

I'm not one of these people that think I have the right to dictate what people do with their property (within the bounds of the law). I know they were perfectly within their right to alter the interior as they saw fit. I just personally find it sad to see a piece of Jersey City's history gone forever.

They don't make these things anymore. They're expensive. They require maintenance. But they don't make them anymore. And now something that was rare, and irreplaceable, is gone.

I still think it would have been an asset to the hotel. But what do I know? I wasn't making the decisions...obviously.

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