Sunday, March 30, 2014

Genesis Towers/ Roseville Imperial Towers

Construction was competed on this ten story residential fortress in 1938. Standing high over this notoriously violent section of Newark, the Genesis towers boasted a classy renaissance revival exterior. The massive building held 273 units, making it one of the largest "project" buildings in the city at just under 230,000 square feet.

Just yards from the train and major interstates, the neighborhood is the only thing holding back the development of this property. The building has been shuttered for decades, causing a number of structural issues. One such issue is the heavy iron fencing along the roof line, which has been falling down over the years and has since been mostly removed.

 When we entered the building, our footsteps echoed down the hallways, across the courtyard where trees continue to grow. It became quickly apparent that nobody had been inside this building in years. There was no graffiti, no signs of squatting, and no garbage.

 As we made our way to the roof, we developed a sense of fear; what could be the reason that nobody has visited this massive structure, which is clearly visible from Rt. 280? As we were wondering this, we decided it may be time to head out, before we run into a pissed off caretaker or owner.

However, it is very hard to find your way around buildings like this. It all looks the same. After finding a window to exit through, my girlfriend discovered the reason the building was never entered; a lone Rottweiler was sitting by the front entrance to the building. We had failed to notice all of the "ATTACK DOG ON PREMISES" signs outside of the building. 

 As she sat there, half of her body hanging out the window, a neighbor spotted us through his window. Clearly he wasn't happy with the two people who were hanging out inside this ruin. We quickly backtracked to our entrance and hastily walked back to our vehicle. We had enough of the towers.

After seeing somebody post on Reddit that they were working on the building, I decided to take a trip back down to Roseville. I discovered that the metal along the roofline had been mostly scrapped, the building was re secured, and a pit bull was inside with the Rottweiler.

We got lucky when we ran into the rotty, but this pit bull was mean. Really mean. He had a killer look in his eye as I looked in from the sidewalk. I decided to move on and check out some other things in the area,

The towers are supposed to be renovated to once again be put to residential use. While that would be better than demolition, I cant help but feel like I will one day find myself stepping quietly through this building again.


  1. I used to live in buildings very similar to these. I figure they are down or up the tracks from here a little ways. We lived on the 9th floor and the dang elevator was out most of the time. The halls and stairwells were dirty.
    My brother was not very nice to me and as a toddler I didn’t understand. He got me to hang out the window with him holding me then coached me to do it when no one was home! It created quite a stir and my sister had horrible reaction to seeing me hanging like that. She ran up the 9 flights and pulled me in. I don’t recall it well but have been told often enough. I went to a preschool or kindergarten nearby but only for a little while as the people who ran it didn’t like me and made me sit in the hallway. When my mother found out she had a huge fight with them that day and I never went back after that.
    It was a big deal in our family that we ended up living there. Both sides shunned, shamed and humiliated us.
    One day I can’t recall exactly when I was flipping channels and on one I saw those buildings, they had a different color brick, and I stopped. Then in about 5 or 6 seconds the buildings started to collapse. They were being demolished. It was cathartic for me though I didn’t really know why at the time. It took a while, before it occurred to me what that place was to me, thus explain why it would cause that reaction in me.

  2. Someone is parking mini-buses on site

  3. Wow I too grew up in buildings very similar to these. We called them the Dayton street projects but were officially the Kretchmer public housing development. I too was one day randomly channel surging and I came upon a news channel showing the buildings I grew up in being demolished. I too felt it to be anti cathartic. Like it was no big deal. But then I later thought to myself, I realized I will ever be able to show someone where it was I used to run around where I played.