Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

DW Gibson

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pp. vii-x

Gentrification is a difficult phenomenon to define. Since the word entered the vernacular in 1964, it has acquired a lot of baggage as each person comes to understand it according to individual experiences. It is always an idiosyncratic idea, reframed city by city, neighborhood by neighborhood, home by home. For those being pushed out of a neighborhood, gentrification is displacement; ...

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Introduction: Why Does 111 1st Street Matter?

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pp. 1-8

In the late spring of 2015, a Jersey City blogger, Charles Kessler, posted a confession detailing his strained relationship with the city’s artistic community and his own self-imposed exile from it and, more sadly, from his own art. Looking back on his life, Kessler dated the birth of his alienation and his sense of failure as January 2005 and its source as the loss of 111 1st Street, ...

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1. The Lorillard Legacy

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pp. 9-22

Long before artists braved the exotic lands of the state of New Jersey, 111 1st Street stood as a place of work and production and represented a city (and even a nation) caught up in rapid and often scarring industrialization, yet increasingly confident of its place on the world stage and certain of its own progress in the later decades of the nineteenth century. ...

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2. Crossing the Hudson

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pp. 23-41

New York City stands as one of the centers—if not the epicenter—of talented, ambitious, dreamy, and sometimes delusional artists in the United States. More than a century’s worth of literature, film, music, photography, television, and painting have fashioned a seductive yet frustrating mythology of life in Manhattan (and now Brooklyn) streets. Artists continue to flock to New York. Some fail. Some succeed. ...

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3. The Spaces in Between

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pp. 42-49

In the late 1990s, the artists of 111 1st Street nurtured great hopes for their community and for the arts in Jersey City. Maybe, just maybe, Jersey City would become the next regional destination for artists, transforming the city into a bastion of creative individuals and cool lifestyles and eclipsing the arts scene then percolating along the Brooklyn waterfront in Williamsburg.1 ...

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4. Who Owns a Space?

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pp. 50-63

The threatened curfew and its feared outcomes alarmed the artists and residents, increasing their worries and anxieties over the building’s owner, their livelihoods and callings, and their very status and future in 111 1st Street and Jersey City itself. Sometime in 2000 or 2001, the artists formed a tenants’ association to increase their bargaining power with New Gold Equities ...

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5. When a Dream Dies

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pp. 64-84

By the beginning of 2004, the tenants’ association and the artists of 111 1st Street had realized that Lloyd Goldman and his company intended to develop the property and that their community would become collateral damage. Goldman nursed a long-range strategy for the property. According to a municipal official, Goldman even reminded the artists that “time [was] still on his side and he could wait out all politicians.”1 ...

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6. One Last Fight: Historic Preservation and 111 1st Street

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pp. 85-109

On March 1, 2005, an officer of the defeated tenants’ association, William Rodwell, made a final round through the winding halls and cavernous rooms of 111 1st Street, much like any typical renter bidding farewell to a home, simultaneously recalling joyous moments and methodically noting any outstanding repairs lest the landlord dip into the security deposit. ...

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7. What Might Be Learned?

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pp. 110-120

The destruction of 111 1st Street was a terrible loss for local artists, preservationists, and neighborhood activists, and it impoverished the urban fabric and the architectural landscape of Jersey City. The P. Lorillard Tobacco Company warehouse at 111 1st Street represented both individual and collective dreams of what the city could have been—a hive of creativity, ...

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Conclusion: Some Years Later

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pp. 121-128

More than a decade has passed since the artists of 111 1st Street lost their studios, their homes, and their close-knit community. Jersey City recovered from the recession better than much of New Jersey and much of the United States, mainly because it rests next door to Manhattan. Construction has restarted along the Jersey City waterfront ...

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Epilogue. The 111 1st Street Exodus: Where Are They Now?

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pp. 129-130

Hundreds of artists and craftspeople worked at 111 1st Street during its life as a creative community. Many local activists and organizers fought to save this community and later the building and the Powerhouse Arts District. Tracking down each of these individuals and documenting their lives following their collective exodus from 111 1st Street would prove to be a massive, if not impossible task. ...

Appendix: The Artists of 111 1st Street, Jersey City, New Jersey

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pp. 131-134

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 135-138

A first book is the product of not just a few years but of a lifetime. This work began well before I knew anything about the histories of 111 1st Street and Jersey City. An author does not write his or her own book. I would like to thank those who helped me in known and unknown ways. ...

Notes

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pp. 139-160

Bibliography

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pp. 161-170

Index

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pp. 171-180

Further Series Titles

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Color photographs

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