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Government officials to begin 2-year study of historic district

Friday, March 7, 2003

By EILEEN MARKEY

Herald News



PATERSON - The National Park Service will explore the Great Falls National Historic Landmark District this spring to determine whether the site should become a national park as well.

Staff from the park service will assess the integrity of the falls area, its historical and cultural importance, and whether the area needs to be under parks service control, said Terrence Moore, deputy associate regional director for planning in the northeast region.

The study - officially called a special resource study - will take two years and $150,000 to complete, he said.

The Great Falls area - which includes the Allied Textile Printing site - faces stiff competition in its bid to become a national park, Moore said.

In the past 20 years, fewer than 25 percent of the sites the park service evaluated have been given the go-ahead to become a unit of the National Park Service, Moore said.

Still Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres and Rep. William Pascrell, D-Paterson, are optimistic about its chances.

"I'm excited," Torres said Thursday. "We're progressing full speed ahead with the redevelopment of not only the Great Falls but the ATP site as well."

Pascrell wrote the congressional legislation that authorized the study in 2000. It was signed into law in November 2001.

"This is going to dramatically improve the chances of this area becoming a destination," Pascrell said. "I have faith that this current administration will do the right thing."