A better downtown

A couple of guys with a tape measure investigating the façade of the old Motor Vehicles Commission building on South Montgomery Street this morning drew my interest, because I thought maybe they were actually doing something with that ugly, empty structure.

To my dismay, however, they told me all they were doing was performing repairs on the structure after someone inadvertently crashed their vehicle into a section of brick and glass on the old edifice, which looks like a 1960s high school.

So the vacant existence of another one of Trenton’s derelict structures will continue.

Unlike its nearby neighbors the Commonwealth Building and the Bell Telephone Building, this ugly piece of state-sponsored architecture will surely remain empty for quite a while.

Bell Building, appearing courtesy of Dan Dodson's TrentonLofts.com

Bell Building, appearing courtesy of Dan Dodson's TrentonLofts.com

It has little or no aesthetic value.

That, however, actually sets it apart from most of Trenton’s architecture, which is loaded with great examples of workmanship that serve as a testament to older construction methods and Trenton’s dormant greatness.

The Broad Street Bank Building is a true beauty, but what’s crazy is the Commonwealth Building and the Bell Telephone Building, both on East State Street, could perhaps be even greater if some caring and innovative minds went to work on the structures.

Both appear to have much higher ceilings than the renovated bank building, making potential loft living that much more exciting.

Renovations and eventual occupancy would also add that much more life to downtown Trenton, which reliably turns into a ghost town after 5 p.m. during the week and most of the time on the weekends.

Hey, maybe with the renovation and conversion of these other structures, a potential buyer/tenant could be found for the Motor Vehicle Commission building being repaired right now.

Perhaps Trentonians would think twice about crashing vehicles into it, in that event.



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3 responses to “A better downtown

  1. Nicholas Stewart

    Shhh… are you crazy? That’s a good idea.

  2. Andrew

    Pretty sure the dmv building is the old sears store.

    which makes it a bit more intersting the your ‘ugly state-sponsored architecture. Perhaps no more aesthetically pleasing. but a little piece of trenton’s past.

    Can anyone corroborate this.

  3. Rob Conte

    Yes, the DMV Regional Service Center at 120 S. Stockton Street, was in fact a Sears store. In 1977 Sears left Trenton for a new location in the Quaker Bridge Mall.

    If anyone cares, the former Sears Unit (Store) Number of the closed Trenton location was 1174. This unit number was recycled in the late 1980’s when the Upper Darby, PA store on 69th. Street opened. This new store was also a relocation of the store that was once located at 63rd. and Market in Philadelphia

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