Hackensack Water Works Adaptive ReUse

CUES is supporting the efforts of non-profits (Water Works Conservancy and Hackensack Riverkeeper) and Bergen County to open Van Buskirk Island Park and its historic Water Works buildings to the public. CUES provided design expertise and pro bono financial planning expertise through the NYU and Rutgers graduate schools.

In 1993 a new water treatment facility opened in Haworth, N.J., and the island and historic buildings were given to Bergen County by United Water. For almost two decades a number of different proposals for reuse of the site have been proposed, but a community consensus has not been achieved. The water works complex is an exceptional example of U.S. industrialization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Filtration technology developed at this facility determined water treatment processes in the U.S. For this reason the site has been included on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.


  1. Rutgers
  2. New Brunswick
Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability