Stefanie Hoffman, a leasing agent with The Beacon, talks about the Margaret Hague, the last of six buildings to open at The Beacon, a residential community that once housed Jersey City Medical Center. The building was once a maternity hospital, named for the mother of Jersey City Mayor and political boss Frank Hague.
Named for the mother of longtime Jersey City mayor and political boss Frank “I am the law” Hague, the Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital opened in October 1931, and was the birthplace of more than 300,000 babies, including Martha Stewart, former Gov. Jim McGreevey, and Frank Sinatra’s kids.
But the hospital, part of the old Jersey City Medical Center complex, closed its doors for good in 1979, an abandoned white elephant on high ground overlooking downtown, it’s windows broken and copper plumbing hauled off by scavengers. The grand, beau arts hospital was so run-down, such an eerie and sad curiosity, that it was used by novelist Richard Price in his 1992 best seller “Clockers” to symbolize urban decay.
But now, at the ripe old age of 85, the former maternity hospital is being reborn as a luxury apartment building, the last of eight medical center structures to be restored and repurposed as a residential community known as The Beacon.
To mark the occasion, The Beacon’s developer, Stamford, Conn.-based Building and Land Technology, or BLT, will host a “Beacon Birthday” celebration on Saturday, where local officials, nurses who worked at the hospital, and possibly former babies who were born there will be in attendance.