Will you be my neighbor?
BArch Thesis Project 2007
Social Regeneration via Reconnection to the City

The site is Wyckoff, New Jersey, population 17,000, and seven square miles large.  Situated in Bergen County, this town is located only 27 miles from New York City.

But there is no there there anymore.  What used to be small town USA has become suburban sprawl, generating a town that looks outward instead of inward, creating the need to leave town instead unifying as a community.  Due to the growing homogeneity and anonymity of suburbia, Wyckoff has lost it’s character and along with it, it’s sense of place.

The rail system began here in 1870, however train service ended abruptly in 1966.  The railroad tracks run through the center of town and are currently only used for freight trains, creating a dead space where the town should be full of activity.  This project is based on the premise that these tracks can and will be reattached to the NY/NJ transit system and will run commuter trains to major commercial and employment centers both within the state and in the adjacent cities of Philadelphia and New York, regenerating the town through reconnecting it to the city.

The program is a train station and multi-use building; a “city within the city” acting not only as a gateway to Manhattan, but also acting as a destination within itself, becoming a centerpiece that begins to create an identity to the town.  This train station will transcend just being a train station and become the mechanism that revitalizes the economy and culture of the town, creating the there there that will give it back its sense of place.