Closter's Iconic "Dancing Diamonds"

Closter's Iconic "Dancing Diamonds"

Journeys into Closter

Mention the term "local history" folks tend to think of times from long ago. Then should you say "Historic Preservation"  the thought comes to mind of efforts to save houses going back centuries.

Fact is that history can be of things and events as recent as yesterday, and it is part of an effort. not just to save buildings, but to take stock of what is worth remembering (and at times preserving).

For example, thanks to the efforts of local citizens, a developer, and the head of the Closter Historic Preservation Commission, an icon of Closter was saved from a bulldozer and has been given new life.

The "icon" in question is the famous "Dancing Diamonds" sign of the Closter Plaza.

The sign was a long time fixture for some 60 years at the original Closter Plaza. After the plaza fell into a period of neglect and disrepair, it was bought by a new developer in 2012. But as plans were starting to take from for a remake for the plaza, there were concerns in some parts that the venerable sign might be at risk.

According to an article in North (The Record), the developer -Edens Inc. - took note of the nostalgic passion for the sign on the " Are You from CLOSTER?" facebook page. In turn, according to the article, the developer reached out to Tim Adraince, chairman of the Closter Historic Preservation Commission to find a way to acknowledge those feelings and do something positive with them.

The result was a new sign after it was determined that the original one was beyond repair. It was a gesture appreciated by most.

The North Jersey article reports that some had tears in their eyes upon seeing the sign refashioned - so moved were they by the effort to save the sign and what it represented.

The effort was also more formally recognized:  the Bergen County Hiostoric Preservation Advisory Board acknowledged  Edens with an award for "continuing Presrvation or Use" for giving the famous sign new life.

Today the sign stands tall. It is a symbol of continuity in the midst of change. It also stands as a statement to the community what good things can happen when folks take the time to listen to one another's concerns.

Indeed,  it is old sign that after being given new life now again stands tall and proud.

Photo credit and acknowledgment: Northern Valley Press