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Say it isn't so!  The Holmdel facility is the birthplace of the cellphone.  It was home to the work of several Nobel laureates and was the birthplace of the most important communications technologies in history.  And some private real estate company is just going to tear it down.

Via Engadget

Before the current facility was erected, Harald Friis' work at Holmdel in 1938 produced one of the first microwave communications and RADAR systems, which was utilized by the US in World War II to defend against enemy munitions; Friss also worked closely with Bell Labs scientist Karl Guthe Jansky at Holmdel, who developed there the rotating antenna (aka "Jansky's merry-go-round") and was credited in 1933 with the discovery of the science of radio astronomy. This, in turn, gave birth to the research and work of two later Holmdel scientists, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, who in 1964 used the Bell Labs' infamous horn antenna (above) to lay the scientific groundwork for a little something we call the "Big Bang Theory" (for which they were jointly awarded 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics).

We could go on about Holmdel's technological contributions, from Linn Mollenauer's groundbreaking work in the development of multimode fiber transmission systems and Andrew Chraplyvy's, Kenneth Walker's, and Robert Tkach's invention of optical fiber for dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) -- some of the technologies which now enable the fiber optic backbone of today's internet infrastructure; to the lab's direct contributions to Telstar, the first communications satellite, which prompted President Dwight D. Eisenhower to send a message of his own into space by way of Holmdel; to Jerry Foschini's BLAST technology (1998), the original precursor to MIMO wireless transmission systems; to Steven Chu's Nobel Prize-winning work in cooling and trapping atoms with lasers; to Arthur Schawlow's and Charles Townes' 1958 invention of the frickin' laser. But somehow we think you get the point.

Now, it seems that the CEO of Preferred Real Estate Inc., Michael G. O'Neill, isn't a bad guy.  In this news item listed on Preferred Real Estate Investments website, he does state that they wish to keep the spirit of the area alive and that their proposal won out over about 20 other companies all of whom were interested in “...cutting it up, and covering it over with yet another cookie-cutter community of McMansions”

“McMansions”  I love it!

O'Neill's track record seems reassuring.  He turned the former American Standard toilet factory in Hamilton, New Jersey into the American Metro Center and filled it with high-quality tenants.  In fact, the historic nature of the site along with the pastoral setting is key to O'Neill's strategy for marketing the site to potential tenants of the new facilities.

For now at least, it seems like the good guys have won.

Just because I can...


posted on Monday, July 10, 2006 10:52 AM