A structure that serves as an iconic welcome to one of Jersey City’s largest parks is the subject of a new lawsuit that claims millions were spent on a renovation that had poorly drawn-up plans.
Last month, lawyers for Hudson County filed a complaint stemming from restoration to the historic Lincoln Park fountain. Named as a defendant in the case is Jersey City-based firm Helena Ruman Architects, who were awarded a contract to draw up a renovation of the fountain back in 2012.
A scheme finalized by Ruman was utilized on the $7.2 million revitalization of the structure. Initially built in 1911 at a cost of $6,500, the 53-foot-high edifice is the work of sculptor Pierre J. Cheron and was once touted as the largest concrete fountain in the world.
Problems cropped up shortly after the project was completed, according to the lawsuit. The county’s case claims that Ruman was “careless and negligent in their preparation of the plans” and “designed and installed an inadequate filtration system.”
That poor design included a fountain basin which, because of the failure to anticipate expansion, allegedly “experienced extensive cracking.” Hudson County spokesman Jim Kennelly told the Jersey Journal that the fountain’s design “hasn’t worked from Day One.”
Kennelly additionally claims that following a 2016 rededication ceremony, the county had to hire another contractor to fix the filtration system. Exact damages being sought by Hudson County are not specified in the three-page lawsuit, which was filed by the Secaucus-based firm of Chasan, Lamparello, Mallon & Cappuzzo PC.
Ruman declined to comment on the lawsuit related to the renovation, which is just one of several investments made in Lincoln Park in recent years. Other major undertakings include the construction of Skyway Golf Course and the ongoing work related to the new Casino in the Park facility.