I’ve been able to find out relatively little about this building on 55 University Avenue, other than it is now a meat packing warehouse. Indeed, I can establish more about the building from what is still on the front, namely it was the home of Ladder 2 of the Newark fire brigade and it was constructed in 1881.
There’s something of a story here which is wrapped up about what Newark has become. It’s a city which has had some traumatic recent times, although it felt as though it was in much better shape than when I visited a few years ago. But, back in 1881 there would have been optimism for the future and this would have been a functional and well designed building. Despite being relatively central in the city, the structure tells its own story of decline, a lack of care with the preservation of Newark’s past and it’s a tangible sign of that optimism having been lost at some point.
No attempt is being made to tell the story of this building, there’s no information panel and no cleaning of the frontage. Indeed, it’s perhaps fortunate that the structure even stands. So, this is the photograph that I think represents Newark, a once bright future which has slipped back, but there’s still hope of sorts for the next few decades. Determined as I am to finish writing about this US trip, this is my image from the city.