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Hudson Bergen Light Rail (HBLR)

Tonnelle Avenue to West Side Avenue

North= Trains to Tonnelle Avenue

 South= Trains to West Side Avenue

 

  

TONNELLE AVENUE 

 

Tonnelle Avenue has two tracks  and an island platform. It is located in a cut and features a loop at the north end which diverges from the main tracks just north of the station. For now the main tracks end at a bump block. If the lien is extended the bump block would need to be addressed. Latest talk is for a diesel Multiple unit like the River Line.

 

  

BERGENLINE AVENUE 

 

Bergenline Avenue is in a tunnel and has two tracks and an island platform which somewhat resemblance to Exchange Place on the PATH in that there is a center curtain wall with what appears to be fire doors which can be closed. There are fossils on the ceiling including neon accents. The curtain wall has benches and windows to see through to the other track. The high speed elevators are at the north end and lead to the street level plaza still under construction.  the East wall has a dinosaur and the ceiling has a Mercury Space Capsule. This is the deepest station in the HBLR system and the only station underground. Your webmaster had the honor of getting an e-mail from the artist explaining her artwork. The text is included below:
 

My project is entitled "BETWEEN MANHATTAN AND MEADOWLANDS." It consists of 4 murals in porcelain enamel on steel.
1. BENEATH THE PALISADE (on the clock tower) (2, 3, & 4 on vent stacks)
2. TO THE POINT
3. NIGHT BUS
4. ACROSS THE STREET
At this writing only the mural on the clock tower may be seen. The three others are installed, but covered in Masonite for protection as construction continues.
I made numerous visits to the site for over five years to characterize the spirit of this community. I made dozens of painted studies to develop the image concepts that would become subject of the paintings that are today four porcelain enamel murals.
I hope viewers will recognize their world in the art, and benefit from a collective community pride.

MARIA MIJARES"

Your webmaster has received an e-mail from Maria describing the artwork:

BERGENLINE AVENUE STATION PLAZA

"BETWEEN MANHATTAN AND MEADOWLANDS"

 

"WE ARE TRANSPORTED"
©MARIA MIJARES


Peel back the sky to the bright brief dusk, then get on the train to connect all your points and stars. Inside the tunnel, there is light too.


From the unique position," BETWEEN MANHATTAN AND MEADOWLANDS," two spectacular panoramas appear and disappear, as blocked vistas peak out in slivers down side streets.

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Transit System’s state of the art, Bergenline Avenue Station, is something of an architectural wonder. Created by dynamiting through the palisade on a city block in the most populated square mile in the country, this light rail station platform is located 160 feet—an incredible seventeen stories—below ground! Three express elevators access the platform.

At street-level, orientation was my primary objective. I made numerous visits to the site for over five years hoping to characterize the spirit of this community. The people of the region are accustomed to a full concentrate of stimulating input. Vibrant Bergenline Avenue—established, well-orchestrated—is the picture of the true New America. At the site I met Cubans, Mexicans, Argentineans, Puerto Ricans, Arabs and Turks. A clear concern was the preservation of individual identity, while participating in, and benefiting from, a collective community pride. With this complex tapestry of culture in mind, I took my part to highlight the existing poetry and preserve realities.

I made dozens of painted studies to develop the concepts that would become subject of the paintings—to be transferred to four large-scale porcelain enamel murals. Starting with actual local imagery, I polished the rough edges of reality to fit inside a context. Refined multiple realities open the way to narrative paths so accessible and familiar that anyone can recognize their world in the artwork, and travel as protagonist in their own drama.

Four porcelain enamel on steel murals were created : "Beneath the Palisade," comprised of eight panels, is attached to the clock tower facing Bergenline Avenue. "To the Point," "Night Bus," and "Across the Street" are 10’6" x 11’ each comprised of six panels, attached to three vent stacks, approximately 50’ apart. All four murals are top and bottom lit.

NJ TRANSIT spokesman Dan Stessel stated to the Courier News (February 14, 2006, front page), "We’re taking what would normally be a vent stack for the flow of air in the tunnel and making it a canvas." Adding that, my work is considered by the transit agency to be "a great addition to the Union City and West New York communities."


 

FOUR MURALS

CLOCK TOWER MARQUEE MURAL:
Porcelain enamel on steel
8’ x 13’6"

BENEATH THE PALISADE
©2005


Swirling pattern of the historic rock facing the river at the tunnel opening, has since been cemented over.
The light rail is ‘under ground.’ Distant, closer, and speeding by. (Captured jumping off trains in the tunnels of the Newark Subway with the garage foreman wearing hard hats and orange vests.)

STREET-LEVEL MURALS:

1
TO THE POINT
Porcelain enamel on steel
11’ x 10’6"
©2005

The idea was to include something nearly actual size—the big bus to walk right up to, and a vaster vista to draw the viewer into the panorama. I wanted this mural to reference the Manhattan skyline segment for orientation, but avoid skyline cliché. The yellow street-line as a true-in-life design element, "arrows" the eye upward. Most of the detailed painting work is at eye-level to be seen at close range. With distance, the depicted scene comfortably lives beside the real---the landscape around the corner.

2
NIGHT BUS
Porcelain enamel on steel
11’ x 10’6"
©2005

A splashy, color-popping night scene on Bergenline Avenue is seen
through the donut shop window. Enjambment to the first mural,
the bus passes.

3
ACROSS THE STREET
Porcelain enamel on steel
11’ x 10’6"
©2005

Bergenline Avenue is represented with street lanterns, the ‘Welcome to Union City’ banner, an unlit star. The street scene shown in the center mural by night is here detailed by day. The building across from the station anchors the right side. Cultural contrast is quietly referenced with two figures— the bicycle rider, large in the foreground wearing a  do-rag, and a Marine crossing from the recruit center. Reality is 'peeled back' in a trompe l’oeil device to reveal a view of the Meadowlands for orientation, framed by indigenous quaking aspens.

Maria Mijares

 

  

PORT IMPERIAL 

 

Port Imperial has two tracks and a wide island platform. The highlight here is a million dollar view of the new York City Skyline as seen across Port Imperial Blvd. the main street. The ferry terminal is still under construction. When opened on 10/29/2005, it was served on weekends only till the Bergenline Avenue and Tonnelle Avenue Stations opened on 2/25/2006.

 

  

LINCOLN HARBOR 

 

Lincoln Harbor has  two tracks and a brick island platform. No art was found.

 

  

9th STREET 

 

9th Street/ Congress Street also has two tracks and two wall platforms. This station is the most majestic on the system due to the station having access to both the lower and upper side of the Palisades and the necessity of elevators to the top- some100 feet high! The North exit leads to the bottom of the Palisades- 9th Street and Monroe Street. The South exit leads to the top of the Palisades at Congress Street and Paterson Plank Road. The station also has locked emergency stairs to the top exit. North of this station is a three tracks section called "Three Roads" and will allow express service once service extends further north. The platform has gray paver blocks.

Art work consist of "glass bubbles": on the floor of the upper mezzanine. The area is industrial on the lower level and residential on the upper level.

 

  

2nd STREET 

 

2nd Street has two tracks and two wall platforms with two toned gray and rose colored pavers. There is artwork on the windscreen and station grounds. The art is a space theme: "You are My Solar System." It features the sun and planets with children standing on the planets. The artist is Marina Tempkjn and was dated 2001. It features etched glass sheets in addition to the "planets" with children standing on them.

 

  

PAVONIA NEWPORT

 

Pavonia Newport has two tracks and an island platform featuring etched glass artwork of fallen heralds (logos of railroads which are now history) as well as current heralds (railroad Logos). The namesake mall is to the East. The artwork was done by the students and teachers of Jersey City Visual Arts High School.

 

  

HHARSIMUS COVE

 

Harsimus Cove has two tracks and two wall platforms. Art work is a jungle theme. Leaving here is a sharp 8 mph curve.

 

  

HARBORSIDE

 

Harborside has two tracks and an island platform. No artwork was found.

 

  

EXCHANGE PLACE 

 

Exchange Place has two tracks and an island platform plus a wall platform on the East side. Artwork consists of a map of Jersey City on the platform floor (including the rail). Other art includes tortoise and hare weather vanes by June Wilson (1999)

 

  

ESSEX STREET 

 

Essex Street has two tracks and two wall platforms and features a plaque in memory of Susan Kirk (1952-1996) "For her many contributions to public transit and her are and concern for the customer. Any further information on Susan is appreciated. Artwork consists of Copper and brass weather vanes by Giorgio Atzori is entitled "Age of Transit" (1999).

 

  

MARIN BOULEVARD 

 

Marin Boulevard (Originally called Henderson Street) has two wall platforms. Art consists of painted steel weather vanes by Tom Nussbaum entitled Wheel Wrights (2000).

 

  

JERSEY AVENUE 

 

Jersey Avenue has two tracks and two wall platforms. Art work features a mosaic map of Jersey City including HBLR on the platform and abolitionist theme etched glass and end walls. Colored ceramic tiles with Chemical Element symbols (such as He, Ar, etc) were found on the platform

 

  

LIBERTY STATE PARK 

 

Liberty state Park has two tracks and two wall platforms. Bus service is to the West and the Jersey Turnpike and the Park are to the East. Leaving here Bayonne trains bear East and West Side train bear west. Access to the yard is in the center. There is an employee stop for both lines. Artwork is in the ramps to the street level and features locomotive wheels. Rail theme art is also in the etched glass entitled "Riding the Rails" by Arlene Slovin (1999). It features rail logos past and present as well as "tracks" and rail cars and locomotives on the platform floor. This is the last station served by both Southern Branches.

 

  

GARFIELD AVENUE 

 

Garfield Avenue has two tracks and two wall platforms. Artwork consists of sports figures on the sides of the platforms

 

  

MARTIN LUTHER KING DRIVE 

 

Martin Luther King Drive has two tracks and two wall platforms. Artwork consist of a bust of Dr. King and children at play

 

  

WEST SIDE AVENUE 

 

West Side Avenue has two tracks and an island platform. Artwork consists of concrete letters at the south end and oak leaves in the concrete of the crossover to the elevator. The parking lot features playground art and neon on the elevator shaft.

There is periodic discussion of an extension to serve a park and ride lot at Route 440 but no details are available.

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 Last revised 11/22/2011

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