Mid-day on June 22, a reopening ceremony of the 1889 CRR of NJ Jersey City Terminal was held at Liberty State Park. It marked the completion of a nearly $20 million restoration of the historic terminal which was devastated by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. It was the largest Atlantic event on record which struck New Jersey / New York Harbor with a storm surge of 13.88 feet, the highest ever recorded. The wind driven waves blew in doors and windows on the north, east and south sides of the first floor of the Terminal building and blew them out on the west side. Contents were inundated by four feet of water inside the building and the surge and wave action destroyed furniture, exhibits and contents. Highlights of the ceremony were the moving National Anthem and Performance by Liberty: The Monumental New Musical performers. The mail / baggage wagon which was restored by Bill McKelvey before Sandy has been returned to the Terminal waiting room but minus the historic canvass mail bags which we donated in 2012. A gift bag was given to all invitees that included a pair of tumblers with an etched view of the iconic terminal building.
Ralph Shelhamer and Bill McKelvey attended the ceremony and were most impressed with the installation of the full set of track / train announcement curtains / signs on all 20 tracks of the concourse. They represented the 1938 to 1941 period of the peak of name train operation at the terminal as researched with much help from CRR of NJ Veterans members, especially the late Bob Hoeft. Burt Sempier, reporter for WMBC-TV interviewed Bill McKelvey.
Liberty State Park is again host for NJ’s Tall Ship A. J. MEERWALD on its annual 11 day June / July visit with public sails. For schedule and tickets visit: www.bayshorecenter.org The Jersey City car pound on the west side of the park, along Phillip Drive, has been vacated, most likely in preparation for development.