After Bayonne preservation meeting, fate of historic building remains undecided


The proposed plan for 101-111 Trask Ave., also known as 124 5th St., the address of a subdivision four homes – a three-family home, as well as a separate fifth home – on the corner of John F. Kennedy Boulevard in Bayonne could be redesigned with an older, Victorian feel. But for now, that fate remains undecided. 


Mitchell Burakovsky presented his plans to the Bayonne Historic Preservation Commission and insisted on finding a compromise for the design of the corner home with the committee.

“I would be more than happy if the commissioners would partake in this, I would be more than happy to have a representative to come and meet with the architect.”

Baer Hanusz-Rajkowsky, who is responsible for collecting 700 signatures to stop the demolition of 101-111 Trask Ave., sat as an alternate commissioner during the meeting.

He first read quotes from the petitioners who wants to save the home that once belonged to Emmett Smith, a former Bayonne purveyor in the late 1800’s.

As Hanusz-Rajkowsky began citing policies and procedures of historic preservation committees of neighboring municipalities, Burakovsky interrupted.

“Should we not follow the policies and procedures of Bayonne?”

“With all due respect sir, I just caught you an hour and half ago, digging looking for things without my permission. You had a pick in your hand. You should not be even talking. You should recuse yourself.”

Burakovsky explained that he filed a police report on Hanusz-Rajkowsky for being on his property without permission.

Gerry Nowicki, chairman of Bayonne Historic Preservation Commission, explained that preservation ordinances were updated about 10 years go.

“We have an ordinance that is quite old, it hasn’t been updated since the time that it went in. Other things have happened in other communities. Maybe we need to redo that.”

Nowicki also said that the commission will not be voting on his development, but would rather hear the pros and cons of his proposal and was on Hanusz-Rajkowsky’s side on saving the home.

The property allegedly has tombstones that were once seen in a newspaper clipping, which led Nowicki to cite NJ State Law C.2C:22-1 “disturbing, desecrating human remains” offenses to Burakovsky.

“If you are asking a for a permit to demolish, and the city has all these things that say there’s probably bodies, that you may have to do that test (sonar testing) to identify that there is or there is not.”

Burakovsky has already submitted a demolition permit waiting for the building department to sign off on it.

Despite the state law, the demolition permit has nothing to do with commission. The committee can comment but has no weight on approval.

To find a compromise, Nowicki did cite a few details from the former home, such as the Gambrel roof, a porch, stained glass windows and the Corinthian columns that should be saved or replicated on the corner home.

A subcommittee of the Bayonne Historic Preservation Commission will be visiting the site for additional input with the development of the corner home.


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  1. Irresponsible reporting! Facts should be checked before taking an article to print. Both sides need to be represented before such bold and erroneous statements are printed. Still, poor quality press for the preservation movement in Bayonne is better than no press at all!

  2. How about the home that once belonged to Brian Campbell? It was Brain who saved it and poured his life savings into that Bayonne Landmark. They don’t care if 50 souls were laid to rest on that property.