Restoration Begins on Newark’s Bonnell Building

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196-198 market street newark nj
Bonnell Building | via Google

Another historic but neglected building in one of New Jersey’s oldest stretches of downtown is getting a facelift, bringing more residential units plus some revitalized retail back to the heart of Newark.


The latest sign of downtown’s rebirth will see the restoration of the Bonnell Building at 196-198 Market Street, which was built in in 1895. The seven-story building was designed by local architect Thomas Cressey, who had a tremendous influence on Newark’s early development and was a charter member of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

bonnell building market street newark real estate

Born and trained in England, Cressey settled in Newark after immigrating to America and maintained a professional office in the city until his death in 1909. Many of Cressey’s architectural designs influenced buildings that still stand today along Market and Broad Streets.

Despite the condition of the Bonnell Building, the structure is a great example of late nineteenth-century architecture; a classically decorated cornice graces the top of the structure, which also features an attic with round-arched windows. While modern times have seen the building boarded up, it was home to Harriman & Company, an investment bank, when it first opened up around the turn of the 20th century.

The building will be finding new life soon. Last November, Brick City Reconstruction won approval from Newark’s Central Planning Board to revamp the property into eighteen apartments and to construct a new addition on the rear of the building. Scaffolding went up at the property back in October and restoration work has begun at the site.

The revamp of the building, which was drawn up by architect Paul Giammona, will leave the two storefronts on the ground floor intact, which total about 18,000 square feet. The exterior of the building will remain preserved and undergo facade cleaning and brick repointing, while the apartments at the property will be getting new windows and doors.

The Bonnell Building falls under the Four Corners Historical District, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places back in 2000. Several buildings in the district, especially those on Market Street near the Prudential Center, have undergone facelifts in recent years. Many of the revamps have changed the downtown landscape by bringing residential units to an area long considered a 9-to-5 business district and include the Columbia Building, now home to apartments and a Dinosaur BBQ outpost.

columbia building dinosaur bbq newark
Columbia Building

Brick City Reconstruction has experience working on several other restorations in the Four Corners District, including the conversion of the National State Bank building at 810 Broad Street into the Hotel Indigo. Their latest effort bringing the Bonnell Building back to life should finish up sometime late next year.

[gmap height=”250px”]198 Market Street, Newark, NJ 07102[/gmap]

198 Market Street, Newark, NJ 07102

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