A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Sunday when one the oldest buildings in Weehawken celebrated its final renovations just in time for Memorial Day.
Mayor Richard Turner was in attendance along with veterans and members of Weehawken’s historical society. Located at 309 Park Ave., the building, just down the hill from the present Town Hall near the border with Hoboken, had been home to the town’s Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter for the past 83 years before it closed for renovations. It was built in 1890, originally as the township’s municipal building.
The building has been getting a makeover since 2009, and the project finally was completed this past Sunday May 19. With the new renovations, it now holds a space for the VFW on the first floor, a meeting hall on the second, and for the new home of Weehawken’s historical society on the third. The building will be used for several of the town’s functions.
“It’s great to see such a historical building in Weehawken finally restored.” – Mayor Turner
For the veterans involved in the VFW, both Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day are about much more than simple ceremonies or celebrations, and especially more than just barbeques.
VFW Commander Chuck Barone has said that the most important and touching thing about these holidays are when people show their appreciation and recognize the sacrifice that U.S. veterans have made for their country.
Barone, who flies his American flag every day, said he hopes that at the very least on these holidays other citizens will fly their flags as well.
The most important call to veterans on these days is to pass the message along about what is being celebrated, according to VFW Quartermaster Joe Fredericks.
Named after two Weehawken soldiers killed in World War I, the Oulton-Kraft post was established in 1930.
The 309 Park Ave. building was once home to the township’s Police Department, complete with a jail in the rear.
“It’s great to see such a historical building in Weehawken finally restored,” said Mayor Turner.
The newly renovated building hopes to attract newcomers and increase much needed revenue. With the new halls, the VFW can continue to rent out space for parties and events that contribute money for the group to continue its activities that include annual flea markets and holiday events.
Christian Diaz may be reached at ChristianD@hudsonreporter.com.