Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sandy Hook: A scenic hazardous area?

I was on Sandy Hook Saturday, and the view of the bay and the ocean was incredible, as always. The natural setting is great there and, at the Ft. Hancock Historic District, the buildings are still falling apart.

Along Officers' Row, and even throughout the entire fort, there are these historic and once-stately buildings (homes, administration offices, etc.) that were once obviously great places to live and work. Now these structures are almost all marked off as "Hazardous Areas." Stairs are falling in, windows are broken, railings are falling off, floors are broken name it. The place is a wreck. This is not a great destination, given the fact that the place is one big hazardous area -- and why? Building maintenance.

I always see people over at Sandy Hook checking out the buildings, after all they are both historic and have a certain architectural style that is interesting. But they are also rundown shambles. When summer rolls around, this should be the last place for kids to be left unattended given the state of most of the structures in the area.

It's a shame. So much could be done with Ft. Hancock. All across the country, areas find ways to reverently treat their local history, while stimulating the local economy through tourism: Not in Monmouth County, though. In Monmouth, we'll let a place fall to pieces and slap a sign on it calling it a "historic district." Way to go!

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