The Warren Street Newark Light Rail Station is getting a facelift thanks to the efforts of two NJIT Student Senate presidents (one now an alum), who ceaselessly rallied students to champion and support a plan to beautify the station’s walls with custom contemporary murals depicting the university and city. Three years ago students began working with NJIT and NJ TRANSIT administrators as well as with the state’s Historic Preservation Office, to create a more distinguished rail stop that clearly announced one’s arrival at NJIT. The agreement also changes the station’s identity to the “Warren Street/NJIT Station.” The idea was to enhance the environment both for students as well as all Newark residents.
On Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:30 a.m. the students’ dreams will be realized as two, five-foot-tall by twenty-four-foot long murals featuring exciting new and old photographs and stories of life at NJIT and in Newark are unveiled. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for the NJIT community and others. CN Communications, Newark, created the artwork and coordinated fabrication and installation of the panels by Applied Image, Freehold.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The murals are to be installed March 4, 2011. Call Sheryl Weinstein for details and specific times for all events, 973-596-3436.
The project was conceived and introduced when Baker Assaf was president of the senate in 2008. NJIT Student Senate President Dominick Cirillo is completing the work.
“The Student Senate leadership and the constituents we represent wanted this because we have a large population of students, faculty and visitors using the light rail on a daily basis,” said Cirillo. “Whether students are coming to or leaving school, riding to work, or even just going downtown to hang out, they wanted something more appealing. They wanted a station that felt more like their own, with more visual appeal. They also wanted to please the Greater Newark community.” The enhancements include the NJIT signage to be installed on both platforms which detail NJIT’s historic engagement with Newark plus assets of New Jersey’s science and technology university.
Two distinct but visually complementary designs were developed for the two different sides of the station. For the inbound platform (to Newark Penn Station), where transit users (students, visitors, etc.) often spend more time waiting for an incoming train, an information-rich design was developed. For the outbound platform side (coming from Newark Penn Station), where passengers quickly disembark and immediately leave the station platform, a solution using less text and larger visuals was designed to convey information more quickly to people on the move.
Most notable to viewers are the graphics which boldly identify the Warren Street/NJIT Station with the university and provide subway users with high-impact image- and text-based information. Care was taken to avoid a visual style, that was too antique or historical. The creative concepts addressed history (touching on the city and neighborhood transportation system as well as the university), education, research, and campus life.
Assaf, who graduated in 2009 from the NJIT Albert Dorman Honors College with a degree in electrical engineering works now in a sales position in New York City for ASCO Power Technologies, a division of Emerson Electric Co (NYSE: EMR). He is currently a part-time student at Fordham University studying for his MBA and is also an active board member of the NJIT Alumni Association. He was president of the NJIT Student Senate from 2007-2009.
Cirillo, also enrolled in the Honors College, is majoring in business at the NJIT School of Management. “My diverse academic background,” he said, “has provided many options. I hope to pursue a career in business utilizing my analytical and managerial skills.”