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Lambertville funds fencing to complete Jim Hamilton’s vision of Ely Park

Lambertville, N.J., Mayor David M. DelVecchio and the city council have voted unanimously to allocate $410,000 to complete a brick and wrought iron façade across the front border of Ely Park, the Friends of Ely Park said.

Ely Park’s new façade, begun by Friends of Ely Park, is a key element in the reimagining of the park as an attractive and welcoming center for community life, which is credited to the late Jim Hamilton.

A lifelong Lambertville resident and accomplished restaurateur and designer, Hamilton believed it was the capstone to his 1979 master plan for the redevelopment of the city’s downtown and his legacy project to the community he so loved.

The new Ely Park façade will run along North Main Street from just below the Lambertville Public School playground to the end of the city’s football field at Jefferson Street. It will enhance the park’s safety and make it aesthetically more pleasing in keeping with the character of the community, two things prominently mentioned in a recent survey of residents.

The city’s funding commitment will help move the Ely Park project forward and serve as a coda to Hamilton’s career, which began just up the road from Ely Park at St. John Terrell’s Music Circus in 1949.

Hamilton designed numerous sets for Broadway productions, as well as orchestral enclosures for performers like David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and established Hamilton’s Grill Room.

Façade construction is set to begin in 2019 and is expected to last three months. That leaves just one Ely Park design element left to be funded and developed – The Hamilton Fountain – a water feature and plaza with brick and bluestone seating dedicated to Hamilton and his family.

Donations for The Hamilton Fountain and the Friends of Ely Park Annual Appeal can be made at