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Potential Bell Labs developer talks about New Urbanist approach to site

December 18, 2008

Ralph Zucker, principal in Somerset Development,  the contract-purchaser for the Eero Saarinen-designed Bell Labs building and its scenic 472 acre site in the heart of Holmdel, NJ, said in a recent article in the Independent that his development firm focuses on “place making” using a new urbanism approach.

“We build places for people to live,” Zucker explained. “We see this building as a place to be, a town square in a sense, where people can go to jazz fests and view art displays. This place can be a great public realm.”

Meanwhile, the coalition of historic preservation, environmental and “recent past” advocacy groups that sponsored the spring 2008 charrette of 35+ design professionals that explored the reuse potential for Bell Labs has announced that the charrette final report, a 70 page online document,  will be available online in this space and the websites of AIA-NJ and DOCOMOMO in the next few days.  The report summarizes the history of the Bell Labs site, recounts former employees’ recollections of the building and landscape and the work that went on there, and depicts with many original sketches and graphics the charrette participants’ analysis of and visions for Bell Labs.

Check back here soon.

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