On May 10 the DMR Architects-designed Hackensack Performing Arts Center received the 2018 Bergen County Historic Preservation Award for the adaptive reuse of the former Masonic Temple at 102 State Street. Bergen County Executive James Tedesco III and the Board of Chosen Freeholders presented the award to the City of Hackensack during the program.
The purchase and rehabilitation of the Masonic Temple was one of the first projects that the City of Hackensack embarked on after adopting its Downtown Rehabilitation Plan in 2012.
“The repurpose of the Masonic Temple into the Hackensack Performing Arts Center was a watershed moment that resulted in attracting dozens of real estate developers to invest in Hackensack’s revival,” Mayor John Labrosse said. “Since then, DMR’s creativity and ingenuity can be seen all over Hackensack from the new traffic patterns to the new open spaces and residential communities coming online every day.”
“Hackensack continues to be the textbook case of what can be accomplished when the City, the County, and private entities work together,” Francis Reiner, PP, LLA, Senior Urban Designer, Redevelopment Consultant and Partner at DMR said. “We’re proud and appreciative that The Bergen County Historic Preservation Society has recognized our collaborative work to resurrect the Masonic Temple into the center of Hackensack’s artistic renaissance.”
The project maintained the look and feel of the 140-year-old building, while bringing it up to modern safety and accessibility standards, which included reinforcing its below-ground footings and foundation to accommodate the shift from its original use as a meeting hall on its first floor, to its new use as a 224-seat theater space and stage on its second floor. It also included a new gallery space on the first floor that shows work from local and regional artists as well as new bathrooms, heating and cooling systems, sprinkler systems, ramps, and an elevator.