Government South Orange

South Orange Ready to Get Moving on Beautifying South Orange Train Station

South Orange Train Station. Photo courtesy of SOVCA Design Review Board.

If you’ve been frustrated by the state of South Orange Train Station, there is reason to hope: South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA) Chair Bob Zuckerman and Katherine Crenshaw, chair of the SOVCA Design Review Board, have some ideas about improving South Orange Train Station and they plan to put those ideas into action.

Crenshaw presented a beautification proposal from the SOVCA Design Review Board (posted below) to the South Orange Village Board of Trustees at the February 26 Trustees meeting.

“We were asked to look at beautification at the station,” said Crenshaw in light of the station’s recent centennial and fundraising around that celebration. Suggested improvements include improved lighting, consistent repainting over graffiti, new murals — both on the north trestle wall and on the SOPAC wall facing the station, as well as wayfinding signage, improved sound, vendors, programming and more. Improvements are envisioned for both the inside and outside of the station.

Crenshaw said that many had mentioned Boxcar Bar & Grill at the Short Hills Train Station. She said that the same could be considered for South Orange.

“You guys have done an absolutely incredible job,” Village President Sheena Collum told Zuckerman and Crenshaw. She gave a “shout out” to Trustee Walter Clarke who is the liaison from the Trustees to the Design Review Board. Calling the current space “ugly,” Collum also noted that South Orange was on its own with regard to budget: “NJ Transit said they had zero money, none, nada.” Collum mentioned the $30,000 raised during and after the centennial celebration and said she appreciated the Design Review Board keeping the improvements low budget.

Collum noted the frustration of not being able to :just slap a coat of paint on” due to the historic designation of the station:  “A series of approval are necessary.”

Collum did say however that NJ Transit had expressed a willingness to work with South Orange — but wanted a list. “The more specific the better,” advised Collum, who volunteered to help create a schedule and serve as a liaison to NJ Transit.

“If we’re paying for stuff it really shouldn’t be a problem,” said Clarke.

“What I don’t want to happen is we prolong a process…. we had that party a while ago,” said Zuckerman.

“Paralysis by analysis,” Collum called it.

Residents who want to give feedback to Zuckerman can contact him at [email protected].

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