William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews Editor
APARTMENTS PROPOSED FOR METHODIST CHURCH BUILDING—Plans to renovate the former First Methodist Church at 220 Monmouth Street into a multi-housing apartment complex have been submitted to the Gloucester City Planning/Zoning Board by Totem Real Estate LLC, 2152 E Dauphin St, Philadelphia, PA 19125.
The plans for the former church (currently a vacant single family property) call for six high end, privately rented apartments with parking spaces for each unit. The application and corresponding documents are on file in the City Clerk's Office of Gloucester City at 512 Monmouth Street, and are available for public inspection between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m., at the Police Administration Building, 313 Monmouth Street.
The advertised legal notice appears here.
The First Methodist Church was founded in 1839, according to the book titled The History of Gloucester City, NJ published in 1964. The parishioners built their church at 220 Monmouth Street in 1850 at the corner of Monmouth and Willow Streets. The
building measured 45 x 70 feet. An addition, making the size 45 x85 feet was later built on the back of church. In 1849 The Gloucester Land Company found that the church was built on land that blocked the continuing of Somerset Street through to King Street. An agreement was made with the Trustees , giving them, in exchange for their land, a lot of ground 180 feet square, extending from Monmouth Street to Somerset Street, and from Willow Street to a line 80 feet from Burlington Street and $15,00 in money. The deed was dated October 31, 1849.
In December 1882 this church was completely destroyed by fire. There was no water department in Gloucester City at the time. Three lines of hose were run from the Argo Mills to the fire. The weather was so cold the water froze in the hose. The Philadelphia Fire Boat Stokely stood off the Monmouth Street Wharf, but because of low tide, could not get near enough to run a line of hose to the fire.
Plans were made to start the rebuilding of the church right after the fire. The new building, which is the one still standing today, was made of brick, and was two stories high and 50 x 80 foot in dimensions. Dorman and White did the carpenter work and John Kockersperger the brick work. The cost was $10,000.
March, 1883 the corner stone was laid overtop of the Monmouth Street entrance to the church. Inside it was placed a copy of the Weekly Tribune containing a history of the church and the minutes of the last quarterly conference meeting, embracing a list of the officers of the church and Sunday School. Also in the stone was placed copies of the Gloucester City Reporter, Temperance Gazette, Camden Daily Post, Courier and other papers, with a copy of the Bible, Methodist Hymnal and coins. On December 23, 1883, the church was dedicated to the worship of God by Bishop William L. Harris. Erected next to the church was the parsonage for the pastor and his family.
This reporter remembers that in the late 1980's early 1990's an application was submitted to the Gloucester City Planning Board to renovate the church into an arcade complete with pinball machines, video games and pool tables. Neighborhood residents were against the idea and the plan was rejected by the Planning Board. The last time the church was used as a house of GOD was in the 1970's.
RAILROAD CROSSING IMPROVEMENT IN GLOUCESTER CITY—The NJ Department of Transportation has received a Diagnostic Team Report from the Bureau of Structural & Railroad Engineering Services recommending revisions to the highway-rail at-grade crossings of CONRAIL's, Grenloch Industrial Track Branch Rail Line, Park Avenue and Springdale Drive in the City of Gloucester City.
Some of the improvement called for in the report are modernization of the railroad at-grade crossing surface, relocation, and redesign with a modernized concrete type crossing with smooth transition asphalt along with a better sight distance for the motoring public and to be in-line with both of the Springdale Drive / Park Avenue approaches. Installation of new railroad flashing-light signals in the southeast quadrant at the intersection of Klemm Ave. and Park Avenue with (4) pairs of supporting mast mounted railroad 12" light-emitting flashing-light signals for both approaches; active railroad flashing light signal mast in the northwest quadrant with (3) pairs of supporting mast mounted railroad 12" light-emitting flashing-light signals directed at Springdale Drive, PSE&G Substation Entrance/Exit Driveway, and Park Avenue approaches; new railroad crossing bells; new signals circuitry house; do not stop on track signage on both approaches; and other railroad related signage and pavement markings.
All related documents are available for inspection between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Bureau of Railroad Engineering Services, 1035 Parkway Avenue, Trenton, New Jersey 08625. Any interested party may submit questions, comments or objections in writing no later than March 1st 2019. All submissions regarding this matter should be directed to: Todd Hirt, Supervising Engineer -Bureau of Railroad Engineering Services Unit New Jersey Department of Transportation - 1035 Parkway Avenue - Trenton, New Jersey 08625 (98.56)
(see the Legal notice here)