By DON STINE
More than 50 tons of old cast-iron piping has been removed from the basement in the landmark Casino building in Asbury Park in anticipation of major renovations in the future.
The project, which is being overseen by boardwalk redeveloper Madison Marquette, was subcontracted to the Henry Vaccaro Construction Group, based in Neptune. The company has been working of the project for almost a month. Any asbestos in the basement was removed years ago.
“We have been removing a lot of old piping and other mechanical work in the basement. So far, we have removed about 50 tons of old piping that provided steam, sewer, electricity, and ventilating to the entire boardwalk, even north of Convention Hall,” Vaccaro said.
He said the old pipes and other items date back to the Casino’s construction in 1929 and pipes ran from the old power plant under ocean Avenue.
“Madison Marquette has plans to renovate the Casino building and we have been removing old pipes and other items so that it does not interfere with future redevelopment plans,” he said.
“I had never been in the basement before and I was shocked to see what was there. There were pipes everywhere and the old ice-making machine for the skating rink in the Casino Auditorium was still there. The place was loaded with pipes and duct work that ran all the way under Ocean Avenue to the Seventh Avenue pavilion,” Vaccaro said.
Work on clearing out the basement is expected to take another week or two.