Daily Archives: April 16, 2016

Ex-Hague hospital officially reopens as Art Deco luxury apartments


With a knife and a giant pair of scissors, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop made official the opening of the Hague during Saturday’s “Beacon Birthday” celebration.

The leasing of the new luxury apartment building marks the total fulfillment of a long, ambitious, sometimes-troubled dream to turn a shuttered Art Deco-style hospital fully into “The Beacon,” an eight-unit complex of condos and market rate apartments. The last of those buildings to be opened was the Hague.

First, Fulop cut the red ribbon to the entryway of the building. Then he cut the cake, a fondant-wrapped replica of the Hague building crafted by Carlo’s Bakery.

The ceremony took place at about 3 p.m., following a rapid-paced tour of the Hague from Mitch Bodner, managing director for Beacon development firm Building and Land Technology.

Fulop told a crowd that the completion of The Beacon, one of the biggest historic renovation projects in America, has strong significance for the city. “Jersey City has one of the best renaissance stories in the entire country,” he said, with Bodner and Mauro Castano, of “Cake Boss” fame, by his side.

At last, Margaret Hague hospital, birthplace of thousands, is reborn


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.