Bell Labs, once dominant innovators in the field of technology has long since fallen from glory. Their old research center, where many of their inventions took shape (including the touch-tone telephone!) has been vacant since 2007. Now, it looks like the historical building is finding new life.
As far back as the 1930s, the site was a research center for AT&T. The scientists who toiled here were pioneers in developing the transistor, cellphones, touch-tone dialing and fiber optic communications, amassing seven Nobel Prizes.
But since 2007, when the property was closed by Alcatel-Lucent, which had acquired it in a spinoff from AT&T, the structure’s fate has been uncertain. At one point, another developer proposed demolishing it, setting off an international outcry from scientists and architects who feared the loss of a piece of intellectual history and an architectural gem.
...The redevelopment plan, which would cost well over $100 million, could transform the former Bell Labs building into a commercial center for Holmdel, a community of about 17,000 people. With no downtown, most of the town’s retail properties now sit along busy Route 35.