Sybil’s Cave: Residents ask “Why?”

Either people have a strong connection with Hoboken411′s aura & spirit – or I have stalkers! I snapped this photo one recent morning – and not one, not two – but THREE separate readers sent in emails mentioning Sybil’s Cave afterward. Spooky!

Including Andrew who summed it up perfectly: “What’s up with that place? It’s locked up all the time and overridden with weeds. Waste of my tax dollars and looks like crap. Another joke in town.”

Then again – it could be the overgrown weeds that have gained extra attention to this “flush it down the drain” waste of taxpayer dollars.

Mother Nature takes Sybil’s Cave back, again!

8/23/2010 Update:

Remember Sybil’s Cave?

After months of excavation and brush clearing, the original historic site was found and brought back to public use (at considerable public expense) under former Mayor David Roberts. Now due to Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s neglect, Mother Nature is taking it back.

Overgrown weeds overtaking a padlocked park

From the looks of Sybil’s Cave Park these days there probably hasn’t been a single human being behind its gates all year. Plans for the Hoboken Historic Museum to utilize the space for educational programs have vanished behind a wall of thistle and inkberries. The park entrance is padlocked with overgrown weeds and saplings everywhere. The entrance to the cave itself is also gated and padlocked. You used to be able to see the cave opening from Sinatra drive. Today there are so many weeds and saplings you’d never know there’s a cave back there.

From the earlier updates after the jump you can see what Sybil’s Cave Park was supposed to look like. Today under Dawn Zimmer it’s an overgrown, underutilized, neglected mess. If she leaves it like this for the remainder of her term, the next Mayor may have to launch another brush-clearing effort to “Find Sybil’s Cave.”

11/3/2008 Update:

Here’s more from the Sybil’s Cave opening a few weeks ago – was futzing around yesterday and decided to make a quick music video – and didn’t focus too much on the “cave love,” but primarily on the fact that Mayor Roberts was heckled a bit at the beginning of his podium time.

Someone was playing the song in their car radio before I made the vid – which seemed to be a perfect soundtrack!

You can see the 18 minute snooze fest video the city put together after the jump.


Roberts heckled at Sybil’s Cave ribbon-cutting from Hoboken411 on Vimeo.

SEE CITY PROMOTIONAL VIDEO and other updates below…


Sybils Cave opening from city of Hoboken from Hoboken411 on Vimeo.

10/21/2008 Ribbon-cutting Update:

Sybil’s Cave Ribbon-Cutting ceremony

The ribbon got cut on this taxpayer-money-sucking project that Dave Roberts and Danny Gans said they would be paying for.

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Once it started getting expensive they started charging the taxpayers. Some of the expenditures were not approved by the City Council, but the city wrote the checks to pay for them anyway. Roberts once again had the Hoboken Museum in the form of Bob Foster running interference for him in the Letters to The Editor section in this weeks paper.

Interestingly, only one council member showed up, Terry LaBruno – since most others have been “cold” to this project.

FYI – The Mayor was HECKLED during his speech… pretty funny. Video later (Have stuff to do now…)

8/7/2008 Update:

Figured I’d update the Sybil’s Cave post with a more recent photo.

A month or so ago, the “Mayor’s PR opportunity project” underwent some furious construction activity, as the contractor finally finished the cave entrance framework.

Hoboken411 bets: We won’t see anything else on this (what I call useless for the most part) “feel good Hoboken prize” until David Roberts feels he needs some “positive press” and all the brainwashed local rag reporters flock like flies on sh*t to hear what he utters (while City Hall gets robbed in broad daylight). Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice – see you in hell!

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5/15/2008 Update:

(If I were a ribbon-cutting calendar, I’d be sweating bullets over the events I’d be booked for over the next 12 months!)

Some progress being made on Sybil’s Cave along Sinatra Drive. The workers were upset I was taking pictures, claiming “You can’t do that!!” I said “Yes I can, have a nice day.”

PHOTO GALLERY (HOLD MOUSE OVER IMAGE TO NAVIGATE – 4 PHOTOS IN THIS SET)

4/10/2008:

Not sure what the deal is (since I didn’t get the memo once again), but Mayor Dave Roberts is apparently over at Sybil’s Cave at the present time (heard on the live Hoboken police and fire scanner). Could it be another ribbon-cutting?

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10/24/2007 Update:

Here are some progress photos of the restoration of the Sybil’s Cave entrance. Hufnagel Landscaping hard at work at their city-issued job.

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10/9/2007 Update:

I’ll tell ya, sometimes I just cannot find the intestinal fortitude to get excited about certain things in Hoboken. Sybil’s Cave is one of them (no offense, history buffs).

Back in the old days, caves were really cool. Like a new place to explore, etc. Been there, done that. We have iPods and plasma TV’s to keep us entertained these days. While it’s considered an “important” part of Hoboken’s “history”, it seems to be more of a political chess piece and ribbon cutting excuse than anything else. Will this count as “open space”? Will you want to bring the kids here on a regular basis? I doubt it.

More importantly, will it ever get completed through the various phases? Or just stop again because they can’t find the money, or it’s determined to be “unsafe” to enter? They’re planning to put some fence around it, and clean up the opening a bit. The next phase (which is pending) will open up the cave and make it a tourist attraction. If the water in there still has “medicinal” effects, then maybe I’ll re-consider. My bet is that if you drink any water that’s currently in there, you’ll likely end up with a mouth full of sores.

Am I wrong to shrug my shoulders at this cave? However, I’d totally change my opinion if they find City records, like cell phone bills, etc.

Here’s a picture of a Hufnagel worker standing around on Monday.

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6/21/2007 Update:

The 24hr a day police presence replaced by mound of dirt and some planks of wood.

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6/7/2007 Update:

Excavation had started, then was immediately stopped by Al Arezzo.

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2/2/2007:
sybil-cave.jpgHaven’t covered this Hoboken historic landmark yet, and this reader was wondering what’s going on with it! The Mayor started something, but hasn’t done squat with it in a while.

“Litterboken” says:
“Howdy,

Any idea what is up with the mayor’s plan to restore Sybil’s Cave? They haven’t done any work on that area in well over a year, and the area was better looking when it was overgrown. If restoration isn’t possible, wouldn’t it make sense to at least clean it up, put some benches in, and call it “green space”?

From Wikipedia:

Sybil’s Cave is a cave with a water spring, that is now buried at the bottom of the Stevens Institute of Technology hill, near the Castle Point Skate Park. The cave was a major attraction in Hoboken in the 19th century. It has inspired many legends and stories for more than 100 years.

The cave opened in 1832, was shut in the 1880s due to Health Department concerns about its water, and was filled with dirt and concrete during the 1930s. The current mayor of Hoboken, David Roberts, has plans to excavate the site and recreate the archway that once stood in front of the cave. A historic marker explaining the cave’s history is also planned.

Edgar Allan Poe used a real event that occurred in 1841 at Sybil’s Cave as a basis for the detective story “The Mystery of Marie Roget