Building the Devil_s Playground

The dream to bring New Jersey Devils hockey to the largest city in New Jersey became a reality in the summer of 2005, when construction began for the Prudential Center in downtown Newark. The Prudential Center site encompasses an entire city block that had a varied history of uses ranging from a cemetery in the late 18th century, to a rail yard and train station for the now defunct Central Jersey Rail Road in the 19th and early 20th centuries, to commercial development in the latter half of the 20th century. Each of these prior uses presented challenges to the design and construction of the Prudential Center that required innovative engineering solutions, including: archaeological investigation and exhumation of the former cemetery occupants, protection of historic buildings surrounding the site, and extensive demolition to remove old train bridge foundations.