EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The long-delayed American Dream mall has gone through many different looks and designs.
On Monday, artists were finishing up a mural on the outside as the mall gets ready to open a portion of the entertainment complex later this week, CBSN New York’s Meg Baker reported.
Baker spoke with artists who were transitioning the outside from the highly criticized red and orange colors to a black and white mural.
“We’re reflecting on this notion of the American dream, what that means to each of us as it relates to our lives,” artist Jason Botkin said. “When people in community here around center look up at this work they see themselves reflected back.”
In 2011, as negotiations to take over the complex once known as Xanadu were happening, then-Gov. Chris Christie was not shy about how he felt about the color scheme.
“By far the ugliest damn building in New Jersey, maybe in America,” Christie said at the time. “So the deal we’ve made with them already, if we reach a final agreement, the very first thing they’re gonna do is change the outside of it, before they even start building the inside of it, because, as I said, I can’t take it anymore.”
Developers Triple 5 hired en masse to spruce the place up. Locals said they are thankful for the transition from dizzying color blocks to the black and white collage.
“The colors was disgusting. I don’t know who in their right mind put that out. The container look is gone so that is 100% better,” said Phil Taylor of Woodridge.
“What I did see is a huge improvement, it’s a huge improvement. I mean, before it was really just an eyesore,” added John Thomas of Jersey City.
The top of the slope is still a blank slate. The artists will be hosting winter workshops with locals to come up with a design. The ski slope is set to open Dec. 5.
A portion of the mall will open on Friday, including the Nickelodeon Universe, which features a full indoor theme park, and the ice skating rink.