The Renovation: Ogden Avenue, A Diamond on the Bluff

Perched on the clifftops of Jersey City Heights, most homes along Ogden Avenue boast modest exteriors that belie the breathtaking views to be found within. As the hillside drops away toward Paterson Plank Road below, expansive vistas stretch across the roofs of Hoboken to the world-famous Manhattan skyline. On a clear day, One World Trade seems close enough to touch.

Lower View

On a block of Ogden just north of Riverview Park, sat a home left derelict and untouched for a decade. Built in the early 1920s, renovations on the home had been attempted in fits and starts in the last decade, but were abandoned completely in the wake of 2008's financial crisis. Over time, with many windows smashed and some missing entirely, weather damage began and mold took hold. This was the condition in which Dixon Leasing acquired the home at a foreclosure auction — a Dixon first — in 2016.

"It had a lot of water damage from being unoccupied so long, and there was significant damage to the structure," Marybeth Narine, Dixon Interior Designer, recalls. "A lot of the neighbors were happy we had acquired it, because it was filled with rodents and mold and asbestos, so it obviously wasn't very good for the street."

With no architectural detail to salvage, the Dixon Projects team began the huge undertaking of staged demolition and shoring up the building. "The structure itself was generally unstable, so that resulted in a full gut demolition. We had to replace all the joists on every floor and reframe the structure from the inside out," Narine explains. "As far as the cellar, we couldn't even access it until we started the demolition. We had no idea what was done there."