Birthplace of cell phone to be torn down?

I just saw this on Engadget (the former Bell Labs’ research space is going to be torn down). I agree with them that it’d be a shame to lose a historic site like this to the wrecking ball.

But, progress moves on. Things get torn down all the time that are historic.

I remember the day when they tore down the R. Cali Brothers’ grainery and feed store to make room for Apple Computer. That was sad (I bought feed there for my chicken, it was about a mile from my house and was a part from my childhood).

What’s even worse is I can’t find photos of that grainery in Google.

16 thoughts on “Birthplace of cell phone to be torn down?

  1. The reason buildings dont get reused is because the landlords always want ridiculous cash for their neglected buildings. its much cheaper to build new usually. and why do it cheap you may ask, you are stupid if you ask, because those loss in profits translate into lower wages and staff that the company can afford to pay if they have ridicuolous mortgage or rents. I hate how developers are squeezed to be so appologetic, you poor citizens need to shut up and allow the redevelopment to take place so that more of you can get hired with the new jobs created. its your fault you are poor stop making excuses and blaming everyone else. just shut up and go make more money so you dont have to be so envious of those making money.

  2. The reason buildings dont get reused is because the landlords always want ridiculous cash for their neglected buildings. its much cheaper to build new usually. and why do it cheap you may ask, you are stupid if you ask, because those loss in profits translate into lower wages and staff that the company can afford to pay if they have ridicuolous mortgage or rents. I hate how developers are squeezed to be so appologetic, you poor citizens need to shut up and allow the redevelopment to take place so that more of you can get hired with the new jobs created. its your fault you are poor stop making excuses and blaming everyone else. just shut up and go make more money so you dont have to be so envious of those making money.

  3. While a summer student intern in 1973 with Bell Labs I ws sent Holmdel for a big intern confab. I remember being awed by the cavernous interior and laughing at the hokey tripod water tower shaped like a transistor.

    Saarinen may not be ‘the’ architect of the century (he is more famous for the St. Louis Arch) however his Holmdel building seems to deserve more than a brief prayer before bulldozing. I hope PREI’s intentions are as good as their prose.

  4. While a summer student intern in 1973 with Bell Labs I ws sent Holmdel for a big intern confab. I remember being awed by the cavernous interior and laughing at the hokey tripod water tower shaped like a transistor.

    Saarinen may not be ‘the’ architect of the century (he is more famous for the St. Louis Arch) however his Holmdel building seems to deserve more than a brief prayer before bulldozing. I hope PREI’s intentions are as good as their prose.

  5. Dear Paul,

    Thank you for your comments and your interest in the future of the Lucent
    facility in Holmdel, New Jersey. Preferred Real Estate Investments is
    committed to listening to community voices and collaborating with local
    residents and municipalities. Like you, we have great respect for the vast
    technological innovations developed at the Holmdel site and the historic
    significance of the property.

    We are extremely sensitive to preserving this vast heritage. It was, in
    fact, the rich history, pastoral beauty and legacy of invention that first
    attracted us, and is most important to us moving forward. In this spirit, we
    must also serve the needs of the township to ensure the success of our
    redevelopment efforts. A museum or similar use of the existing structure
    will not achieve this goal.

    Bell Labs was about looking forward. We wish to continue this
    forward-thinking tradition, embodied by the countless inventors and Nobel
    laureates who passed through Holmdel, the architect Eero Saarinen, and the
    residents of this beautiful town. We pledge to do more than merely erect a
    plaque to past achievements; we will save as much of the building as
    possible, and incorporate a gallery space that pays tribute to both the
    building architecture and the technological innovations created within.

    We believe the best way to honor the past is to bring commerce back to the
    site ‹ to repurpose the existing infrastructure for the modern age, while
    preserving the site layout and landscape design. Preferred is not in the
    business of erecting shopping malls or strip centers; we are commercial
    redevelopers, we take our business very seriously, and we take the needs of
    the communities in which we develop with equal sincerity.

    ……………….
    Jon A. Bjornson
    Director of Communications
    Preferred Real Estate Investments, Inc.

  6. Dear Paul,

    Thank you for your comments and your interest in the future of the Lucent
    facility in Holmdel, New Jersey. Preferred Real Estate Investments is
    committed to listening to community voices and collaborating with local
    residents and municipalities. Like you, we have great respect for the vast
    technological innovations developed at the Holmdel site and the historic
    significance of the property.

    We are extremely sensitive to preserving this vast heritage. It was, in
    fact, the rich history, pastoral beauty and legacy of invention that first
    attracted us, and is most important to us moving forward. In this spirit, we
    must also serve the needs of the township to ensure the success of our
    redevelopment efforts. A museum or similar use of the existing structure
    will not achieve this goal.

    Bell Labs was about looking forward. We wish to continue this
    forward-thinking tradition, embodied by the countless inventors and Nobel
    laureates who passed through Holmdel, the architect Eero Saarinen, and the
    residents of this beautiful town. We pledge to do more than merely erect a
    plaque to past achievements; we will save as much of the building as
    possible, and incorporate a gallery space that pays tribute to both the
    building architecture and the technological innovations created within.

    We believe the best way to honor the past is to bring commerce back to the
    site ‹ to repurpose the existing infrastructure for the modern age, while
    preserving the site layout and landscape design. Preferred is not in the
    business of erecting shopping malls or strip centers; we are commercial
    redevelopers, we take our business very seriously, and we take the needs of
    the communities in which we develop with equal sincerity.

    ……………….
    Jon A. Bjornson
    Director of Communications
    Preferred Real Estate Investments, Inc.

  7. Certainly it is regrettable to lose a feed store and a reminder of childhood memories. That’s what happens when no one cares. Apathy has that effect.

    Perhaps if the owner had won some Nobel prizes or discovered how chickens communicated with each other, his store would have garned more attention from the public. Alas.

    BTW, did you know that in one of the mummy’s tombs they found an old stone newspaper that said tear down those stupid pyramids to make way for pharoah condos. Fortunately, it was written by a chicken farmer & no one gave a hoot.

  8. Certainly it is regrettable to lose a feed store and a reminder of childhood memories. That’s what happens when no one cares. Apathy has that effect.

    Perhaps if the owner had won some Nobel prizes or discovered how chickens communicated with each other, his store would have garned more attention from the public. Alas.

    BTW, did you know that in one of the mummy’s tombs they found an old stone newspaper that said tear down those stupid pyramids to make way for pharoah condos. Fortunately, it was written by a chicken farmer & no one gave a hoot.

  9. That’s pretty sad.
    Maybe it will get some more historical markers.

    Here is a page of stuff about the Holmdel lab,

    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/NJHOLtransistor.html

    and a sample from the page:

    2) About 2 miles north of the water tower, on Holmdel-Keyport Road, is ANOTHER Bell Labs building. A historical marker notes that the background radiation from the Big Bang was first detected by a horn antenna in 1965 here on Crawford Hill.
    (bty: at least one of the roadside america writers is a former holmdelian)

    A historical marker for the beginning of the universe. In New Jersey. Think about it. It explains more than you think it explains.

  10. That’s pretty sad.
    Maybe it will get some more historical markers.

    Here is a page of stuff about the Holmdel lab,

    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/NJHOLtransistor.html

    and a sample from the page:

    2) About 2 miles north of the water tower, on Holmdel-Keyport Road, is ANOTHER Bell Labs building. A historical marker notes that the background radiation from the Big Bang was first detected by a horn antenna in 1965 here on Crawford Hill.
    (bty: at least one of the roadside america writers is a former holmdelian)

    A historical marker for the beginning of the universe. In New Jersey. Think about it. It explains more than you think it explains.

  11. I worked in that Holmdel building.

    The operating expense for that building has to be high, but the idea that that building could not be redeveloped into differently configured space is ludicrous.

    This region has seen its share of abandoned structures (a major office building from the Army’s Fort Monmouth sits abandoned along the Garden State Parkway). This particular site is attractive because of the large tract of undeveloped land suitable for McMansions.

    Ironically, Vonage is headquartered in the town of Holmdel a couple of miles from this facility. They moved into a large, underutilized building that used to house Prudential Insurance. That building is also on a large (but not this large , I think) swath of green campus.

    When AT&T and Lucent split up, this building went to Lucent. The cadre of AT&T engineers housed here got moved to a nearby, newly expanded campus. That is now an AT&T (name kept post SBC merger) lab site and I believe it is probably partially vacant.

    A lot of bleeding in the telecoms.

  12. I worked in that Holmdel building.

    The operating expense for that building has to be high, but the idea that that building could not be redeveloped into differently configured space is ludicrous.

    This region has seen its share of abandoned structures (a major office building from the Army’s Fort Monmouth sits abandoned along the Garden State Parkway). This particular site is attractive because of the large tract of undeveloped land suitable for McMansions.

    Ironically, Vonage is headquartered in the town of Holmdel a couple of miles from this facility. They moved into a large, underutilized building that used to house Prudential Insurance. That building is also on a large (but not this large , I think) swath of green campus.

    When AT&T and Lucent split up, this building went to Lucent. The cadre of AT&T engineers housed here got moved to a nearby, newly expanded campus. That is now an AT&T (name kept post SBC merger) lab site and I believe it is probably partially vacant.

    A lot of bleeding in the telecoms.

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