Jersey City
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Although Jersey City is defined by its skyline that is increasingly on par with that of New York City, it has deep historic roots. It is the oldest town in what would become New Jersey, and the first village was established on what is now Bergen Square in 1660.

Proximity to Manhattan. Jersey City (and Hoboken) are less than 10 minutes from Greenwich Village and midtown by the 24-hour PATH trains. - much closer than many of the neighborhoods in Brooklyn, or even elsewhere in Manhattan.

Jersey City is the seat of Hudson County, the second-most populous city in New Jersey, after Newark.

International Center of Photography to open Mana Contemporary in January 2015. According to the New York Observer, a 15,000sq.ft. space primarily for storage of 150,000 archived works, and a research center. “We envision our facility at Mana, specifically the lab, as an incubator for new ideas and projects through a research and study space,”

Many of New York City’s arts institutions, galleries, and artists have been extremely concerned with safe art storage after Hurricane Sandy—and rightfully so. Insured losses from the storm were in the millions, reported an article in ARTNews in August 2013, with art insurers eventually turning the blame on storage facilities, such as the case with Axa suing Christies Fine Art Storage Services. Damages were heavy to Chelsea galleries, spaces along the waterfront in Greenpoint, Red Hook, and several other areas. “Fortunately, Mana Contemporary was not affected by Sandy, as we are way above the flood line and our building features back-up generators to maintain security and climate systems.”

Bike path. The East Coast Greenway, a planned unbroken bike route from Maine to the Florida Keys, will travel through Jersey City. In June 2012, part of the route was officially designated in Lincoln Park and over the Lincoln Highway Hackensack River Bridge. Both the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway and Hackensack RiverWalk are bicycle friendly. In 2012, the Morris Canal Greenway Plan established a greenway, including a bicycle path, that would follow the route of the Morris Canal, and also established bikes lanes along the length Grove Street, and proposed an additional 54 miles of both dedicated and shared bike lanes. The Harbor Ring is an initiative to create a 50 mile bike route along the Lower Hudson River, Upper New York Bay, and Kill van Kull.

Maker Space - MORE

Jersey City (and most of Hudson County) is located on the Bergen Neck peninsula, with the Hackensack River and Newark Bay to the west and the Hudson River to the east. Jersey City is across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan, running alongside _________ to ____________. Jersey City is bordered to the north by Secaucus, North Bergen, Union City and Hoboken, to the south by Bayonne, to the west (across the Hackensack River) by Kearny and Newark, and by the Hudson River to the east.


Jersey City is very well served by public transportation. Almost 47% of residents commute by public transit (just behind New York City, and ahead of Washington, DC), and 8% walk to work. Almost 41% of Jersey City households do not own an automobile.

From several neighborhoods within Jersey City (especially those around the Exchange Place, Newport, Grove Street, and Journal Square stations) Manhattan is less than a ten minute commute by PATH train - with stops in Greenwich Village and midtown.

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail: Thirteen of the 24 HBLR stations are located in Jersey City. MORE

Ferries and water taxis. NY Waterway ferries (at Newport, Paulus Hook Ferry Terminal, Liberty Harbor, Port Liberté) go to Battery Park City, Financial District (Pier 11/Wall Street), and West Midtown Ferry Terminal at _____ street. More information at Liberty Water Taxi

NOTE: The yellow taxis from New York City insist on charging a double fare for trips to Jersey City, because they are prohibited from picking up passengers there. From Union Square in Manhattan to Grove Square in Jersey City, the charge by taxi ranges from $38-45 on Uber and up to $60 on yellow cabs. Cabs also charge passengers the $13 (?) toll for the ______________. The ride back is [not always metered], and can be negotiated, but it ranges from ____ to _______. For comparison, that cab ride is ______ miles. The equivalent within New York City is ______ to ________ or _________ to __________, and would be about $_______ (excluding the toll).


The city is the site of some of the earliest European settlements in North America, which grew into each other. This growth and the topography greatly influenced the development of the sections of the city and the neighborhoods within them. After the American Revolution, Alexander Hamilton and others began to develop the area that would become historic downtown Jersey City and laid out the city squares and streets that still characterize the neighborhood, giving them names also seen in Lower Manhattan or after war heroes (Grove, Varick, Mercer, Wayne, Monmouth, and Montgomery).

Diverse housing stock. Historic brownstones and rowhouses, some as single-family and others converted into spacious floor-through apartments, condos and rentals in new development high-rise towers. Also a number of surviving wood-frame houses [VERIFY; LINK TO WOOD FRAME HOUSING PROJECT WEB SITE; ADD TO WOOD FRAME HOUSE LIST].


Downtown Jersey City stretches from the Hudson River to the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 78) and the New Jersey Palisades; it is also bounded by Hoboken to the north and Liberty State Park to the south.

Newport and Exchange Place are redeveloped waterfront areas consisting mostly of residential towers, hotels and office buildings, a marina, schools, restaurants, hotels, Newport Centre Mall, a waterfront walkway.

Grove Square

Curries Woods
Port Liberte

Journal Square
Bergen Square
Five Corners
The Hilltop
India Square
The Island
McGinley Square

West Side
Hackensack Riverfront
Country Village
Droyer's Point
Lincoln Park/West Bergen
Society Hill

Bergen Hill (also Jackson Hill)
The Junction
Claremont, sometimes called Salem-Lafayette

Sparrow Hill
Washington Village, around Palisade Avenue
Western Slope

Historic Downtown
Grove Street
Hamilton Park
Boyle Plaza
Van Vorst Park
The Village
West End

Best blocks and notable buildings.

The _________ Historic District. ... bluestone slab sidewalks that evoke the West Village and Cobble Hill ...

Mercer Street MORE

Newkirk House (1690)
Van Vorst Famhouse (c.1740)
Van Wagenen House (1742).

Underground Railroad locations. During the 19th century, former slaves reached Jersey City on one of the four routes of the Underground Railroad that led to the city. A number of these houses...

TITLE? A port of entry, with 11 miles of waterfront and significant rail connections, Jersey City is a major distribution and manufacturing center for the Port of New York and New Jersey.

Commercial districts

With over 19 million square feet of office space, Jersey City contains the 12th largest downtown in the United States, after _______ and _______. The waterfront Exchange Place financial district, also known as Wall Street West, is one of the largest banking centers in the United States. Chase Bank, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, and UBS ... and some of the tallest buildings in New Jersey.

Development sites

Jared Kushner’s Kushner Companies, in partnership with the KABR Group, paid $27 million for a vacant Jersey City site just across the street from the firm’s planned 40-story residential tower.

The two-acre site at One Journal Square was at the center of a long-delayed plan to construct two 60-story towers holding 1,500 rental units and 150,000 square feet of retail space.

Multi-Employer Property Trust and Washington, D.C.-based real estate firm Landon Butler were developing the One Journal Square buildings, once expected to be called the City Centre Towers. Plans were repeatedly delayed after the Hotel on the Square was demolished in 2009.

Kushner and KABR are also jointly developing the tower at 30 Journal Square, the former home of the Jersey Journal, and a 50-story residential tower at 65 Bay Street in downtown Jersey City. – Mark Maurer


Jersey City has several shopping districts, some of which are traditional main streets for their respective neighborhoods, such as Central, Danforth, and West Side Avenues. Journal Square is a major commercial district. Newport Mall is ___________

Portions of the city [INCLUDE MAP] are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone where shoppers have 3½% sales tax (rather than the state's 7%).

As of 2012, according to The Real Deal, The Hudson waterfront in New Jersey typically commands rent of about $38 per square foot for Class A space, but state tax credit programs could reduce the effective rents to about $20 per foot, the Times said. - See more at:

The land comprising what is now Jersey City was inhabited by the Lenape. In 1609, Henry Hudson anchored at Sandy Hook, Harsimus Cove and Weehawken Cove, ... spending nine days surveying the area and meeting its inhabitants. By 1621 the Dutch West India Company was organized to manage this new territory and in June 1623, New Netherland became a Dutch province.

Michael Reyniersz Pauw received a land grant as patroon on the condition that he would establish a settlement of not fewer than fifty persons within four years. He chose the west bank of the North River (Hudson River) and in 1630 purchased the land that would become Hoboken and Jersey City from the Lenape. Pauw neglected to populate the area and was obliged to sell his holdings back to the Company in 1633. That year, a house was built at Communipaw for Jan Evertsen Bout, superintendent of the colony, which had been named Pavonia (the Latinized form of Pauw's name, which means peacock). Shortly after, another house was built at Harsimus Cove and became the home of Cornelius Van Vorst, who had succeeded Bout as superintendent, and whose family would become influential in the development of the city.

Relations with the Lenape deteriorated, in part because of the colonialist's mismanagement and misunderstanding of the indigenous people, and led to series of raids and reprisals and the virtual destruction of the settlement on the west bank. During Kieft's War, approximately eighty Lenapes were killed by the Dutch in a massacre at Pavonia on the night of February 25, 1643.

Scattered communities of farmsteads characterized the Dutch settlements at Pavonia: Communipaw, Harsimus, Paulus Hook, Hoebuck, Awiehaken. The first village (located inside a palisaded garrison) established on what is now Bergen Square in 1660, and is considered to be the oldest town in what would become the state of New Jersey.

The first settlement, Communipaw, covered an area from what is now Johnston Avenue to Caven Point. One of the area’s first houses was built there in 1633 for colony superintendent Jan Evertsen Bout. For the next century and a half, the area grew in size, bringing neighboring colonies into its fold. In 1838, Jersey City became its own municipality, breaking off from Bergen County.

During Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, Lincoln’s grown son Robert fell on the tracks at a Jersey City rail station. A bystander pulled him back onto the platform, saving him from certain injury. The helping hand belonged (ironically enough) to Edwin Booth–brother of future Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth. MORE - where? when?

In the 1800s, the city’s rail lines made it a hub of import and export. Jersey City was a dock and manufacturing town for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. As transportation shifted from trains to trucks, employment dwindled and crime rose. The riverfront became something of a commercial and retail wasteland; the vacancy rate in 1992 hit 36%.

For much of the 20th century, Jersey City was under the control of a few political bosses ... Frank Hague served as mayor of Jersey City from 1917-1947. Hague's political machine was one of the most powerful in the United States controlling politics on local, county, and state levels. From 1924-1949, he also served as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, extending his influence to the national level and presidential campaigns. Hague's estate was estimated at $10 million, despite having an annual salary that never exceeded $8,500 and no other legitimate source of income. He had a fourteen-room duplex apartment in Jersey City, a suite at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, and a palatial summer home in Deal, and travel to Europe yearly in the royal suites of the best liners.

Jersey City and Bergen County remained notorious for political corruption for years. By the 1970s, rising crime, civil unrest, political corruption, and economic hardship... Many of its wealthy residents left for the suburbs. From 1950 to 1980, Jersey City lost 75,000 residents. ...After a peak population of 316,715 measured in the 1930 Census, the city's population saw a half-century long decline to a low of 223,532 in the 1980 Census, but since then the city's population has grown,