Page 1

The Hague at The Beacon

Formally the Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital at Jersey City Medical Center



Team Members Owner: Building and Land Technology 1 Elmcroft Road Ste 500 Stamford, CT 06902 Architect: Michael J. Gadaleta, AIA, R.A., Allison Gadaleta MG New York Architects, PLLC 11 Broadway Ste 860 New York, NY 10004 Contractor: Dinallo Construction Corporation 88 Clifton Place Jersey City, NJ 07304 Restoration Consultant: Ulana Zakalak Zakalak Restoration Arts 4 Beacon Way Ste 302 Jersey City, NJ 07304 MEP Engineer: Bruce Tourigny, P.E. Collective Design Associates, LLC 46 Riverside Avenue Westport, CT 06880

Table of Contents The Hague Existing Conditions History Existing Exterior Conditions Existing Interior Conditions Restoration and Conversion Restoring the Facade Proposed Interior Units Duplex Apartments Lobby Final Project Final Project Details Final Project Photos


History Jersey City Medical Center History The Jersey City Medical Center Complex first opened as the “Charity Hospital” until Jersey City’s Board of Alderman acquired a larger site in 1882. In 1885, the hospital was renamed Jersey City Hospital and had expanded to two-hundred beds. In 1909, the original building was renovated, adding a new wing for women. In 1917, Jersey City’s famous mayor Frank Hague had big dreams for the hospital and started to expand the complex, building by building. Along with renovating the original building, Mayor Hague and money from the Works Progress Administration constructed the following buildings from 1928 through 1941: Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital, Fairbank Hall (The Tower), O’Hanlon Hall (no longer part of the complex), Holloway Hall (The Orpheum), The Mercury, The Rialto, The Capitol, Dental College (The Roxy), Murdoch Hall (The Paramount), Pollak Hospital (The Criterion), and a two-story parking garage. In 1936, Mayor Frank Hague and Franklin D. Roosevelt formally dedicated the hospital the Jersey City Medical Center Complex. By the completion in 1941, the complex had ten major buildings and two-million square feet in total. JCMC was not only one of the first medical centers in the United States and the first in New Jersey, but also an architectural landmark. When JCMC completely re-located to their new location, the buildings were either left vacant or partially occupied. In 1980s, the buildings were accepted on the list of New Jersey Register of Historic Places and National Register of Historic Places. 2005 marked the beginning of the restoration, the largest residential restoration project in the country and the largest in the history of New Jersey, still on-going today with co-developers Building and Land Technology and Metrovest.

Courtyard facade

The Hague is the latest completely restored and converted building in the complex. Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital

via 1938 LIFE Magazine


The Hague, originally the “Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital”, was constructed between 1928 and 1931. Named in honor of Frank Hague’s mother and designed by architect Christian H. Ziegler, The Hague was a response to a pressing problem of the shortage and inconvenience of maternity care facilities. Mayor Hague sought to build the world’s largest maternity hospital. Originally a U-shaped building distinguished by the Spanish tile roof, an addition of a rear wing composed of two towers and a low connecting section in 1939 changed the plan to a rectangle with an open interior court. The addition fronts on Cornelison Street approximately 5 stories below, and is dominated by the two towers on the North and South property lines, making the building now 18-stories total. In 1939, The Hague handled over 5,000 births, the most than any other hospital in the United States by several hundreds. The Maternity Hospital had accommodations for four hundred mothers and babies, featured a stainless steel chandelier in the delivery room, brass handles, and terrazzo floors. The public rooms on the first floor were finished in aluminum and bronze. The building also featured a movie theater, several penthouses on the top floors, two solariums, viewing galleries, and classrooms. Noted for its low maternal death rate, The Hague, during 1931 and its closing in 1979, was ultimately responsible for the birth of more than 350,000 babies. After the hospital closed in 1979, the building was rented as office space until 1995. After, The Hague remained vacant and abandoned for over a decade.


Existing Exterior Conditions

North elevation

Solarium at 10th floor

Spanish tile roof at 8th floor


Exterior Conditions The facade of the Hague had sustained extensive damage from exposure to the elements. Water had infiltrated the masonry facade, causing cracking, spalling of the brick, lintel damage, parapet, and roof damage. The water and dirt caused discoloration of the brick and deterioration of the beautiful exterior terra cotta ornamentation. The terraces and outdoor spaces were overgrown with weeds and vines which even started to crawl up the building and inside, as most of the windows were shattered. The courtyard was littered with debris and destroyed. Many of the windows, particularly on the first and second floors, were sealed with masonry block. Even the main entrance was sealed and the steps leading to the building were in ruins. The several unique features, the Spanish tile roof and the solarium, were in great need of repair.

South elevation


Existing Interior Conditions Interior Conditions One of the major problems with The Hague was that it fell victim to vandals. The interior was in an extremely deteriorated condition. Interior finishes were non-existent. All ornamentation had been removed or destroyed. Without windows, the effects of the water also damaged the interior. The floor slabs and stairways became unsafe to use. Many of the beautiful features of the original 1928 building were destroyed and precious finishes stolen. As you can see from the pictures, the rooms were deteriorating. The finishes at columns, walls, and ceilings were in a state beyond repair. The patient solariums at the 10th floor, specifically oriented to face East, faced years of neglect and fell to disrepair. The street level at Cornelison Ave, constructed in the 1939 addition, contained the heating plant, electrical room, all building deliveries, and even the morgue and autopsy room. Most spaces were difficult to recognize from the damage sustained throughout its vacancy. Similar to the exterior of the building, the interior not only was damaged from water but also was extremely dirty and rusted. The interior finishes were so damaged by exposure to the elements, the plaster finishes laid in large piles of debris. Most of the original finishes were not salvageable, with the exception of the main lobby, the octagonal space in the photo on the next page.

Corridor at first floor

Windows at typical floor

Window at 7th floor facing East

Operating room mezzanine



Restoration and Conversion Exterior Restoration The Hague underwent extensive masonry restoration and cleaning. As previously mentioned, the existing masonry had been subject to water-infiltration, resulting in vertical cracking at building corners and requiring full height replacement at those locations. Many lintels required replacement as well. The terra cotta ornamentation at the upper floors were in relatively good shape, but still needed cleaning and small repair. The entire structure was re-painted, sealed, and thoroughly cleaned. The repair of the exterior took approximately five months to complete. MGNY had to carefully recreate the window openings that were no longer existing based on historic photos and plans, blocked up over the years as the spaces changed use and function over the building’s life span. Great expanses of glass at the upper floors were established, including the large windows at the seventh floor that were previously in the double-height operating room and mezzanine. The Spanish tile roof was completely removed and stored. Upon completion of proper waterproofing measures, more than 75% of the original tile was re-installed, attesting to the material’s longevity.

Restoration of East facade

Reclaiming existing entrance

Proposed west elevation


Interior Restoration and Conversion Conversion to Residential Units

Demolition of typical floor

Construction at typical floor

Great care and sensitivity was paramount in the design of the residential units. Every aspect of the unit components were designed to respect the existing architecture and preserve the grand stature The Hague represents. HVAC equipment, installation, ductwork, and necessary life-safety components were all introduced into the structure with the singular focus of concealment and respect for The Hague’s exterior aesthetics. Interior spaces are free from visually distracting drop ceilings, equipment louvers and grills, and obstructed fenestration. The new residential apartment layouts resembled the original patient rooms, as corridors, elevators, and stairwells remain in the same locations. The extremely narrowness of the “U” shape plan created unique apartments with expansive views of New York City on the East side and the suburbs on the West. Half of the units also reside on the tranquil landscaped courtyard. The abundance of oversized windows make each unit bright and airy. The units vary between studio, one bedroom, two bedrooms, three bedrooms, and duplexes. The typical floor, as shown in plan, is located on the 2nd through 6th floors, while the lower levels are slightly different, due to the floor plan being about half the size of the typical plan which led to several unique large apartments. The Hague also features a large 3-bedroom triplex penthouse unit on the 8th through 10th floor with the original restored solarium and two large private terraces. The units feature oak plank flooring throughout. The kitchens have granite countertops, GE Energy Star stainless steel appliances, and a garbage disposal. All bathrooms have a cultured marble vanity top, tile floors, and glass shower doors. Each unit also offers central heating and air conditioning, and individual washer/dryers.


Interior Restoration and Conversion (Cont’d) Duplex Apartments

Demolition at former operating room

Restoration of windows at former operating room

The duplex units start at the 7th floor, formerly the double-height operating room in the South Tower and the double-height delivery room in the North Tower. We took advantage of this space, re-established the two-story windows, and used the viewing gallery mezzanine as the upper duplex, creating unique units with panoramic views of New York City. Former equipment rooms at the penthouse level, a windowless space, were renovated by placing windows in the existing grid and converted into one and two-bedroom duplex units. All new masonry openings for windows were sensitive to compliment the existing facade. The original design at the 8th floor was partially connected at the North tower only with a stair connection. It was obvious to the design team that it would be beneficial to duplicate the stair at the South Tower for tenant convenience and life safety, allowing for greater design freedom for the space. The equipment rooms were re-established as habitable space with internal connections to the floor below. These spaces feature a variety of two-bedroom duplex and two three-bedroom triplex units. The master suite at the triplex unit includes the restored solarium that opens to the stunning views of New York harbor, Lady Liberty, and all of Manhattan.

Kitchen in duplex unit

New stair connecting the 8th floor to the 8th floor mezzanine at the South Tower



Lobby Lobby The main entrance was highlighted by an octagonal shaped lobby with sitting rooms for visitors. Patients were greeted with highly polished terrazzo floors and imported marble walls and overdoors, all emphasized by an octagonal gridded ornamental ceiling. One of the first steps taken upon possession was to secure the lobby area and provide protection against any further damage. The area was closed and sealed off from the rest of the construction. Detailed drawings, seen below, assisted in the restoration and re-fabrication of missing and damaged elements.

The main lobby still services as the tenants’ main entrance, with access to the north and south elevator banks. The original sitting rooms remain as tenant spaces and are accentuated by the feature windows facing the street. The original plaster finishes at the ceiling have been painstakingly restored and missing moldings have been replicated. Great care was taken to conceal modern mechanical equipment serving the lobby so tenants can enjoy the beauty of the space, not found in modern residential buildings. The users get a taste of the grandeur of the former busy hospital.

Existing lobby ceiling

Protection of lobby during construction

Restoration of lobby doorway


Final Building

West Elevation

Final Building Totals Total Project Cost: Confidential Total Length of Design and Construction: May 2013 - April 2016 Official Open Date: April 16th, 2016

MGNY Architects has a 30 year resume of conversion and re-adaptation of prominent historical structures, notably 55 Wall Street, Bowery Savings Bank, The Tower at the Beacon, and several large-scale conversions of historic mills in and around the newly created ‘Great Falls Historic Park’ in Paterson, NJ. We welcome the opportunity and the challenge offered with the magnificent re-birth of this significant structure.

Final Building Features The Hague is the sixth building to open in the complex, featuring 241 units, totaling 188,070 sq ft: - 47 studio apartments - 133 one-bedroom apartments - 39 two-bedroom apartments - 2 three-bedroom apartments - 18 one and two bedroom duplex apartments - 2 triplex apartments

As one of the 350,000 people born at Margaret Hague, it was an honor to be a part of the restoration of one of the most revered landmarks in Jersey City. The following images offer a glimpse into the revitalization of this incredible piece of our history and testimony to the hard work and vision of so many.

Public Amenities: - Refinished Lobby with two sitting rooms - Landscaped and furnished courtyard



North Elevation

Interior elevation

East elevation

South tower


Elevation detail


Residential Units

New residential unit with terrace at 2nd floor

Tenth floor master suite and solarium

Living space at 8th floor setback

Typical Unit



Lobby looking at entrance doors

Restored lobby ceiling

Restored lobby sitting area

Lobby looking toward corridor




Seating and grill area

Restored North and South elevations facing courtyard

East elevation at courtyard

Lower courtyard


Profile for Allison Gadaleta

Hague Preservation Award 2016  

MGNY Architect's submission to NJ Historic Preservation Award 2016

Hague Preservation Award 2016  

MGNY Architect's submission to NJ Historic Preservation Award 2016