Home Events + News Demolition Proposal Approved for Historic Hoboken Home; Final Estate Sale Today

Demolition Proposal Approved for Historic Hoboken Home; Final Estate Sale Today

by Stephanie Spear
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On January 8th, the Hoboken Historic Preservation Commission kicked off 2024 with its first meeting of the year, which included a vote concerning the future of a well-known Hoboken home. At the meeting, the Commission heard a petition to demolish the home located at 206 3rd Street, which was built in 1840. Perhaps more notable than the home’s age is its former resident: Jim Hans, the founder of the Hoboken Historical Museum. After a delayed vote, the Commission ultimately approved the proposal to demolish the historic home. For a final goodbye, there is a second estate sale at the home today, March 18th, featuring Jim’s collection of art and other Hoboken-related ephemera. Read on to learn about Jim’s legacy, the estate sale, and what’s next for the property.

About Jim Hans

Jim Hans passed away on January 1st, 2023 at age 87 after a long life, marked by his contributions to the Hoboken community. Jim was an artist, a collector, a historian, and a storyteller. He arrived in Hoboken in 1966, following a cross-country journey that brought him eastward in 1959 to NYC for art school after being a cook in the Air Force.

Jim and Beverly Hans in 2007

^ Jim + Beverly Hans at the May 2007 Music + Arts Festival in Hoboken. Photo credit: Hoboken Historical Museum.

Jim was a trained artist who specialized in painting and collages, and it was art that led him to Hoboken. While living in NYC, Jim and his soon-to-be-wife Beverly were invited to an art gallery opening in Hoboken. They visited and fell in love with the town, picking out an apartment the day after visiting for the first time.

In 1966, Beverly and Jim got married and opened an antique store in town, located on Newark Avenue. While running the store, Jim got to know many locals, and hearing their stories gave him a deeper understanding of what made Hoboken so special.

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Jim’s art was always in the background. His love for Hoboken and his appreciation for visual arts led him to founding the Hoboken Museum in 1986. It was a natural next step for his collection of Hoboken-related ephemera, which included pictures, slides, articles, artwork, advertisements, etc. He was the museum’s president until 1991.

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cover of the book '100 Hoboken Firsts' by Jim Hans

^ The cover of 100 Hoboken Firsts by Jim Hans. Photo credit: Hoboken Historical Museum.

In 2005, he wrote a book called 100 Hoboken Firsts, a collection of Jim’s 100 favorite Hoboken ‘firsts’. According to Jim, Hoboken has more ‘firsts’ than any other square-mile town. The art and photos featured in the book are from Jim’s collection. Following his death, in 2023 the Hoboken Historical Museum installed a plaque in Jim’s honor.

Back in February, there was an estate sale at the historic home featuring Jim’s collection of art and other artifacts. A subsequent estate took place this weekend, with the final day being today, March 18th. , February 5th. The sale will be held from 1PM – 7PM at 206 3rd Street. 

 

About the Home

The home at 206 3rd Street was built in 1840, according to a Zillow listing. The two-story, farmhouse-style home has a blue siding exterior and a screened-in porch the width of the house on the first floor. Many residents will recall seeing the porch decorated for various holidays.

The application merely reports ‘demolition’ as the desired plan. The Hoboken Girl has reached out to attorneys affiliated with the application to learn more about the future of the site, but has yet to receive a response.

206 3rd Street in Hoboken

^ The exterior of 206 3rd Street in Hoboken. Photo Credit: Nastasi Architect’s Historic Presentation.

As part of the materials for the January 8th vote, an engineer’s report surveying the site was submitted. A survey was conducted in September 2023, and the report is stark in its findings. “After reviewing the level of structural deficiencies found at the site, it is this office’s opinion that the building is in an advanced state of disrepair and would be too costly to repair or bring up to current standards. It is recommended that the building be vacated and then demolished.” The report went on to mention the building’s cracked foundation, sloped floorboards, wooden beams in bad shape, and other serious structural issues.

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Back in January, the Commission decided to delay the vote, requesting “an exact dollar figure for the renovations the house would require to meet regulation standards,” per TapInto. Accordingly, the Commission carried the decision to the next meeting, on February 5th, “when the applicant’s team would provide them with a dollar figure for the cost of renovation.” 

At the February 5th meeting, the Historic Preservation Commission approved the application to demolish the home, despite protests from local residents. City spokeswoman Marilyn Baer told TapInto “the proposal was approved in a 5-to-2 vote after after evidence presented by the applicant showed the extreme deterioration of the structure was substantial.” According to TapInto, The prospective buyer of the house is Steven McFarland, who submitted the application to demolish it. What’s next for the home is yet to be determined. 

To stay in the know on all things Hoboken + Jersey City, be sure to follow @thehobokengirl on Instagram and TikTok.
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