Main Menu | NJ Bicycle Routes | Great Jersey City Stories | New Jersey History | Hudson County Politics | Hudson County Facts | New Jersey Mafia | Hal Turner, FBI Informant | Email this Page
Removing Viruses and Spyware | Reinstalling Windows XP | Reset Windows XP or Vista Passwords | Windows Blue Screen of Death | Computer Noise | Don't Trust External Hard Drives! | Jersey City Computer Repair
Advertise Online SEO - Search Engine Optimization - Search Engine Marketing - SEM Domains For Sale George Washington Bridge Bike Path and Pedestrian Walkway Corona Extra Beer Subliminal Advertising Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Pet Care The Tunnel Bar La Cosa Nostra Jersey City Free Books

A Guide To Its Present And Past
Compiled and Written by the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of New Jersey
American Guide Series

Originally published in 1939
Some of this information may no longer be current and in that case is presented for historical interest only.

Edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

Part 1

NEWARK (33 alt., 442,337 pop.) occupies the western bank of the Passaic River where it joins Newark Bay. Westward, the wooded skyline of the Watchung Mountains overlooks the city and its suburbs. Eastward the city faces the gaunt flatlands of the Hackensack, with Jersey City and New York often visible from its taller buildings.

Newark is the metropolis of New Jersey, and the focus of the vast complex of industrial and suburban cities that modern machinery and transport has made of the northeastern corner of the State. From the days of sail and stagecoach, most of the great transportation routes from the south and west have concentrated here. Successively steam, automotive, and air transportation have followed the same trend for the same natural causes. The grouping of giant modern industries in this area is a logical consequence; so that today this two-century-old city presents the picture of a huge industrial beehive built over the staid old seaport and local market center that was once Newark. Since 1890 the city's population has doubled, and the variety of national admixtures that are always a part of this sort of expansion in America has given Newark a genuinely cosmopolitan tone.

Downtown Newark lies close to the remnants of the old seaport town. Broad Street, its richest and most striking thoroughfare, roughly parallels the Passaic River in this region, and then continues southward through the wilderness of thronging, busy streets, as the river recedes to the east. Market Street, an important business artery, crosses Broad Street at right angles, going eastward to the river front, now given over to railroad yards and giant factories.

The center of it all is the corner of Broad and Market Streets, known for decades as "The Four Corners." This point has been called the third busiest traffic center in the United States. A traffic control tower stands approximately on the site of the community water pump used in Colonial times when Broad and Market was the village square.

Market Street is the older business thoroughfare. As the shopping center of the city it has kept pace with the growth of the Newark area. It is not so spacious as its rival, Broad Street, but its building line on either side presents a facade of retail shops with variegated window displays, broken by an occasional motion picture theater. The city's largest department store is on Market Street.

The straight, spacious reach of Broad Street from Lincoln Park to Military Park where it bends to parallel the Passaic River, ranks among the attractive commercial thoroughfares of the country. On this mile of exceptionally wide street, with its landscaped restful parks at each end, are the city hall, many churches, banks, and the city's skyscrapers, housing insurance companies, banks and administrative offices of the area's industries. Broad Street serves also as a promenade for the office worker and the shopper. Its sidewalks are thronged all day, and when the big insurance companies and banks and offices dismiss their employees even its spaciousness becomes crowded to a degree unsurpassed in other metropolitan areas.

Architecturally Newark's important business buildings are functional structures, mostly free of excessive ornamentation. Cream and buff are the prevailing colors; brick and limestone the more usual materials. Largely the product of the prosperous 1920's, the newer structures are a cheering contrast to the Bank Street mass of grim, granite buildings erected by banks and insurance companies in the 1890's.

The business district of Newark is pierced by a number of narrow alleys -- relics of village years -- that are used as shortcuts by pedestrians, as delivery routes by truck drivers and as atmospheric location by restaurateurs. Many of them record, perhaps, the indecisive courses of the settlers' cattle as they strayed home from grazing on the village green; one follows a dog-leg course, and has a motion picture theater at the joint. On warm summer days the shaded asphalt of the alleys is a refuge for store and office workers during lunch hours.

The majority of Newark's business and professional people work in the office buildings of this area. Three downtown institutions, Bamberger's department store, the Prudential Insurance Company and the Public Service Corporation (the State's foremost public utility), alone have almost 22,000 employees. For the youth of the city, in particular, this trio almost makes Newark a "company city." Most young Newarkers have worked at one time for "Barn's," "the Pru" or "the P.S."


Return To
New Jersey: The American Guide Series
Table of Contents

Hudson County Facts  by Anthony Olszewski - Hudson County History
Print Edition Now on Sale at Amazon

Read Online at
Google Book Search

The Hudson River Is Jersey City's Arena For Water Sports!

Questions? Need more information about this Web Site? Contact us at:
297 Griffith St.
Jersey City, NJ 07307