This summer I was given the opportunity to work for my dad, who is a prominent Professional Planner in New Jersey. In order to save some time for himself, he would have me go around and take photos of all the job sites that he has. He would use these photos to show to the board what the sites currently look like and also what was around the site. This job allowed me to see many places in New Jersey that I would have never been able to see. Because I was able to see so much, I was able to find out some places that I truly thought were beautiful and others that I knew I really didn’t like.
One of the first sites I had to visit for my dad was in Tewksbury NJ and to this day it is my favorite site I’ve been to. The site, which was actually an estate owned by one of the children of Robert Wood Johnson was applying to have solar panels installed on the back of the property. The location of the panels was out of site of the road, which was one of the main concerns that the town had. The town wanted to preserve the natural beauty of the land, which was unchanged for at least a century. Driving to the site I went through beautiful historic farm districts with large houses that must have been built in the early 1900’s. When I actually pulled up to the site, there was a long driveway lined with hundred-year-old trees that wrapped over your head as you drove along.
Another of my favorite sites to see in New Jersey was the BASF headquarters in Woodbridge. Instead of the natural beauty of the previous site, this site has man made architectural beauty. The building is located in the MetroPark complex right off the parkway. There is also an attached train station, making it a prime location for commuters. I was visiting this site because BASF needed an approval to put more signage on their building. The building itself is tall, but really isn’t anything fancy. I think what I loved most is the modern aspect of the building and the different color blue windowpanes. The building itself gave off an atmosphere of power and success.
A lot of the sites that I visited for my dad were sites that I did not like. Fortunately most of the sites were in the process of being cleaned up, with new, more appealing buildings being proposed to the town. Most of the sites that I just did not like were inner city sites. I didn’t like the dirtiness that surrounded them. Personally, I like buildings and landscapes that appeal to the eye.
There was a site in West New York, NJ that really stood out to me. West New York is such a beautiful place, with a road that follows the Hudson with a great view of the New York City skyline. But once you move inward in the city, although the people are nice, the architecture is old and run down. This particular site had a demolished building on it and an abandoned warehouse next to it. It just really was ugly to the eye. The sloppily placed fences and bordered up windows were not appealing to the eye either.
Another site that I really liked taking pictures of was an old abandoned factory in Newark. The site is right off of Route 280 and I really like it because I can say I did work on a building that thousands of people see everyday. The proposed use of the site is a U-Haul with self-storage, but the current building was really run down. It is located on the outskirts of Newark. The ugly brick color of the building and the dirtiness of the city really turned me off of this site.
A lot of the sites that I visited for my dad were sites that I did not like, but mostly because they were run down. Fortunately most of the sites were in the process of being cleaned up, with new, more appealing buildings being proposed to the town. Most of the sites that I just did not like were inner city sites. I didn’t like the dirtiness that surrounded them. Personally, I like buildings and landscapes that appeal to the eye. Sites with a good natural landscape and and good architecture make me much more attracted to them. Each place in New Jersey has its own personality and planning is important in order to keep that personality over the years.