Newark – Senate President Steve Sweeney toured the state-of-the art Audible Innovation Cathedral today with Senate President Pro Tempore Senator M. Teresa Ruiz and Audible Founder and CEO, Donald Katz and. Audible began its renovation of the cathedral in 2015.
“This is truly a symbol of this city’s turnaround,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “The high-tech renovation to this historic cathedral reflects the greater revival the city has experienced and I am deeply impressed with Audible’s leadership in helping the wider Newark community. From encouraging employees to live and buy in Newark, to prioritizing the hiring of local talent and interns, this is exactly what good, civic-minded companies should do in our state.”
After four years of renovation, Audible’s Innovation Cathedral was opened in May 2019 and the location is now home to 400 technologists.
“Newark has made incredible strides in recent years,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “Our geographical location, transportation infrastructure and skilled workforce are clear advantages in attracting big business and startups. Audible is a great example of what community corporate partnership looks like for the benefit of the local economy and the community it serves. I am proud to have a partner in Audible and I look forward to continuing our efforts in making Newark one of the country’s top cities for tech and innovation.”
“The Innovation Cathedral and our direct investments in Newark’s comeback are what happens when businesses with a heart and deep sense of purpose work with state and local governments to redress inequities in our cities,” said Don Katz, Founder and CEO of Audible. “We have defined our strategic purpose as a company around the comeback of this great American city, and I’m proud to introduce Senator Sweeney to our employees and this reimagined Newark landmark.”
For decades, the Cathedral was home to the Second Presbyterian Church, a congregation founded in 1811 that would grow to more than 10,000 members by the middle of the 20th century. Audible rehabilitated the 80,000 square-foot church, built in 1933, while preserving many of its historic elements—including its distinctive stained-glass windows, organ pipes and bowling alley.
In addition to offices, the reimagined space includes game areas, an auditorium, a refurbished bowling alley, an exhibit space, work cafes and lounges.