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Jersey City And Its Historic Sites

By Harriet Phillips Eaton
Published 1899

This Web version, edited by GET NJ

City Hall and Schools

The first school on Paulus Hook was started in 1806. The Associates gave the land and the town authorities provided the money for the building, which was located on the two lots east of St. Mathew's Church. The building was used also as a town hall and a meeting place for the different religious denominations. The school was called the "Mechanics' Institute" and was a pay school. Soon after the "Columbia Public School" was started and supported by subscriptions. In 1834 both failed financially and were combined and reorganized in 1835 as the Mechanics' School.

In 1838 the mayor and common council, under the new charter, removed the building to the rear lot and remodeled it as a school-house, town hall and jail, at the cost of $1,300. After a time the building used as town hall, church, school and jail ceased to be used by the city officials, who met at different taverns and halls until 1861, when the city hall was completed at a cost of $135,145. It was situated on the south side of Newark avenue west of Coopers' alley. The council chamber was artistically frescoed by a brother of General Garibaldi, then a refugee here. The wall behind the president's desk represented a Venetian scene from a columned piazza, and was dainty and effective. Some years later it was ruined by a house painter in repairing and renovating the room.

In 1887, measures were begun to erect a larger city hall to meet the demands of the larger city. The corner stone of the new building was laid at noon May 26th, 1894, and it was completed January 1st, 1896. It is located on the block between Grove and Henderson, Mercer and Montgomery streets. The total cost, $736,269.56. It is quite an imposing building and large enough to accommodate the various department of the city government. The interior arrangement is particularly fine; upon entering, the broad corridors give a pleasant impression, and the offices are spacious, light and commodious. An attempt is being made to have in the mayor's room, portraits of the mayors of Jersey City. Several have been presented but the list is not yet complete.

Table of Contents

Jersey City History
Your Ancestors' Story
Asbury Park
Bruce Springsteen's Jersey Shore Rock Haven!

The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and The Central Railroad Terminal
Visit Liberty State Park!

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Jersey City, NJ 07307