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Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 6:21 PM
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NEWARK | New Jersey's Big City



Newark is the largest city in New Jersey, with a population of about 283,000. It peaked in the 1940’s at over 450,000. Puritans from the New Haven Colony founded the city in 1666.

This tour covers downtown. Welcome to the Brick City.



Newark was a major early industrial center, in 1870 producing 90% of the nation’s leather products, as well such things as iron, celluloid, and carriages. Newark is the birthplace of the zipper and the stock ticker.




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After WWII, Newark fell harder than perhaps any other large American city. It remains one of the poorest and most violent cities in the nation. At one time it had the largest percentage of residents in public housing of any US city. The mass construction of superblock public housing sped the flight from neighborhoods already besieged by substandard housing and poverty. Many of the notorious hi-rises have since been razed.
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The American Insurance Company Building of 1930




Looking south on Broad St.






Broad St


The Griffith Building of 1928, on the northern end of Military Park






Military Park had the nation’s first public electric lamps.


The 21-story Military Park Building was New Jersey’s tallest when completed in 1926.


It was soon overtaken by the Lefcourt-Newark Building (1930, center) and the National Newark Building (1931,right).




Overlooking the south end of Military Park




Military Park Building




Looking east toward Broad from Park St


Halsey St at New St










Lefcourt-Newark Building




The Gibraltar Building of 1927, formerly part of the Prudential Insurance complex, now home to the Superior Court of New Jersey.


South on Washington toward Market St


Rowhouses on Linden St




Looking east on Raymond Boulevard


A tree grows on the Griffith Building




Businesses on Market St


Abraham Lincoln hanging out in front of the Essex County courthouse, where Springfield Avenue begins off of western Market Street. Springfield Avenue was a bustling thoroughfare through the city’s Central Ward, and was the center of the 1967 riot. The street was largely destroyed.


The late 1960’s saw riots in most American cities. The Newark riot stands with those of Detroit‘s 12th Street, Chicago’s Madison Street, and Watts as being the most famous and devastating.


Through suburban flight, Newark became a black-majority city in 1966, years before any other northern city.


Market St




Branford Pl


Washington St, north to Market


Commuter parking lots. The Prudential Center, the 2-year old home of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils looms overhead.


North on Broad St from William St. Note the Prudential Building. Newark is the nation’s 3rd largest insurance center after New York and Hartford. Newark and neighboring Elizabeth, NJ are home to the largest container port on the eastern seaboard and one of the nation’s busiest airports.




The retail in Downtown Newark is quite tacky and gaudy, but I like the density and energy of it. Many American cities do not have this level of hustle and bustle downtown.


An old RR building




Market St




The “Four Corners” at Market and Broad is the bustling heart of black New Jersey. During the 1920's it was among the two or three busiest intersections in the nation. It remainds a very active place during the day.




South on Broad




West on Market






Market St, east of the Four Corners








Looking up at the Lefcourt-Newark Building, now known as Eleven80, for it‘s address on Raymond Boulevard. It had been vacant since 1986, but has recently undergone a $110 million renovation into luxury apartments. It is the first unsubsidized rental housing to hit the market in downtown Newark since 1960.






On the right is the Fireman’s Insurance Building, tallest in New Jersey from 1910 until the completion of the Military Park Building in 1926. It’s good to see scaffolding, because it is a beautiful building and has been vacant for some time.










Detail on the Newark Paramount theatre




Back to Military Park


The National Newark Building, at right, was the tallest building in New Jersey from 1931 up to the completion of the Exchange Place tower in Jersey City in 1989. The top of the building is modeled after the mausoleum at Halicarnassus.


Newark is served by the PATH system, connecting the city with Jersey City, Hoboken and Manhattan, as well as the Newark City Subway and the Newark Light Rail, which head northwest from downtown out to the suburb of Bloomfield, NJ. It passes under the Olmstead-designed Branch Brook Park, home to the nation’s largest collection of Cherry Blossoms (larger than the infinitely more famous DC bloom).
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Wars of America, by Gutzon Borglum


Military Park




Broad St










Trinity Church




8 miles east…




The Passaic River




Newark is a culture factory. It has given us:

Queen Latifah
Jerry Lewis
Gloria Gaynor
Ice-T
Whitney Houston
Lauryn Hill
Shaquille O’Neil
Redman
Wayne Shorter (saxophonist and primary songwriter in Miles Davis’ legendary 2nd quartet)
Larry Young
Paul Simon
Jason Alexander
Frankie Valli
Sarah Vaughan
Naught By Nature
Ed Koch
Connie Francis
Stephen Crane (Red Badge of Courage)
Philip Roth
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Last edited by Thundertubs; Jun 2, 2009 at 6:56 PM. Reason: spellings and whatnot
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 6:34 PM
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We rarely see NY's little neighbour!
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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 6:38 PM
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Wow! When I refreshed the page I was never expecting to see Newark listed. Fantastic job kind sir, it's gritty, it has potential and it has plenty of older and interesting brick-stone masonry structures of various proportions along with density and urbanity.

It's only a few minutes hop away from New York City, depending where in NYC you are situated in. It is a satellite city of NYC also. Thanks for showing!
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Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 6:53 PM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is offline
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Very fun tour. Love the grit!
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Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 6:54 PM
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Mille Sabords Mille Sabords is offline
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Sad to see so many old and majestic buildings either abandonexd or run down. As was said, lots of potential there, not least because of the direct subway connection with Manhattan. The old Paramount Theatre is a gem, I'd love to have a look inside and see what's left. Was it used in the movie "12 Monkeys" by any chance?

Just out of interest, has the NHL arena made a difference for downtown Newark?
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Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 6:55 PM
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Great job with Newark, 'Tubs... a rare treat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowMaster View Post

It is a satellite city of NYC also.
I think that's part of the problem you see here in Newark... what happens to a major urban city when it gets swallowed up by a MUCH larger neighbor and its phalanx of suburbs?
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Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 7:03 PM
jowens jowens is offline
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Love the pics of Newark. The only time i've spent there has been going in and our of Liberty Intl. Only seen the DT area from there.

The new arena was supposedly a new "shot in arm" for the Downtown urban scene. Has this happened?
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 7:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mille Sabords View Post
Just out of interest, has the NHL arena made a difference for downtown Newark?

Sorry Mille, you beat me to the question. Didn't mean to be reduntant.
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Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 7:19 PM
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Awesome shots!
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 7:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evergrey View Post
I think that's part of the problem you see here in Newark... what happens to a major urban city when it gets swallowed up by a MUCH larger neighbor and its phalanx of suburbs?

Probably and likely, then again probably not. For instance there are several satellite "smaller tier" cities (as Newark) within the outer boundaries of NYC. Jersey City, New Rochelle, White Plains and Stamford seem to be "progressive" in terms of development, refurbishment, investment and and overall interest. I would personally want to see the same done for Newark.

Across the Passaic River from Newark, in Hudson County, has seen it's share of redevelopment and interest. In Harrison, right across the Passaic from where Newark is situated, the new Major-League-Soccer "Red Bull Arena" is being built also.
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Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 7:26 PM
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I have been to the new arena, and I would say that it has helped, but has yet to transform the area.

The arena was placed within a larger redevelopment district, but the plans for surrounding retail, residential and hotel uses are all currently on hold, just like basically every other project on earth.

There's also a "modern" part of downtown Newark that is not shown. It's to the south of these pics.

The area around Newark Penn Station is a complex of 1970's and 1980's-era office towers and hotels, all of which are linked by skywalks to Newark Penn. It's called Gateway Center.

Gateway Center has an indoor shopping concourse that serves the white- collar demographic of this complex, while the old shopping district (shown in the pics) serves a poorer demographic.

Finally, there's a developing arts district to the north of these pics, centered around Newark Broad Street Station and NJPAC (New Jersey Performing Arts Center). There are sizable redevelopment plans for this area, but, again, the credit crisis has everything on hold.
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Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 7:30 PM
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I'm not someone that cares for grit, but Newark certainly has good bones. And I definitely appreciate these photos. It's nice to have some good Newark photos on this forum.
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Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 7:46 PM
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Thank you for showing us more of Newark than I ever cared to see again.

I was there once for a meeting at Prudential's offices. Some guy pushing a coat rack on wheels came up to our hire car and tried to sell us used shirts. Frankly I don't even like flying out of that airport.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Evergrey View Post
I think that's part of the problem you see here in Newark... what happens to a major urban city when it gets swallowed up by a MUCH larger neighbor and its phalanx of suburbs?
I don't think that's Newark's problem at all. If anything it should have a huge advantage, sitting in the midst of a very wealthy metropolitan area (with some quite affluent New Jersey suburbs nearby), where a lot of people are priced out of Manhattan or even Brooklyn. Proximity to New York at least gives it hope, otherwise it would be like, I don't know, New Haven without Yale. But Newark is almost too big and too far from the show to get a lot of "urban pioneers" interested in moving there.
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Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 7:54 PM
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I always wanted to visit the outer part of New York (Bronx, Queens, Brooklyns, Newark, Hoboken, New Jersey city...) This increase this idea.
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Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 7:56 PM
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I should add that while Newark is in rough shape, some of the commentary is a bit outdated or inaccurate. In fact, I would say it's in equal or maybe even better shape than many cities with better reputations (not naming names).

Yes, Newark has high crime, but it is no longer among the worst. Not even close.

Newark's population has been growing for almost 20 years now. Modest growth, but growth nonetheless. How many older American cities show consistent population growth? Not too many.

Newark is also now fairly diverse, and an immigration gateway.

African Americans, who dominated the population 20 years ago (and still dominate the central parts of the city), now are around 50% of the city population, or even less. Newark could be the first major American city that became majority black, and then lost this designation. Latinos make up about 30% of the population and whites (almost all Brazilians or Portugese) make up 25%.

The Northern section of the city is majority Latino. The Southern section of the city is majority Portuguese/Brazilian.

And the black population is now much more diverse. The city has many West African immigrants.

Finally, their (relatively) new mayor Corey Booker is considered a rising young star.

I would not be shocked to see a turnaround in the near future, as the growth in adjacent Jersey City and Harrison spills over into Newark.
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Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 8:03 PM
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I find this city very appealing.
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Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 8:22 PM
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Nice pictures. Newark is a city with some great history, and some great buildings to show it's wonderful past.
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Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 8:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10023 View Post

I don't think that's Newark's problem at all. If anything it should have a huge advantage, sitting in the midst of a very wealthy metropolitan area (with some quite affluent New Jersey suburbs nearby), where a lot of people are priced out of Manhattan or even Brooklyn.
Agreed; not only is Newark part of a wealthy region, but it's immediate suburbs are generally very wealthy. Some of the richest suburbs in the U.S. are directly to the west (Summit, Millburn, Madison, Short Hills, etc.) These are commuter suburbs for high-end Manhattan workers, and are super-desirable.

And to the north are upper middle-class "progressive" suburbs like Montclair, Bloomfield, West Orange, etc. These suburbs are more urban/suburban hybrids and are pretty desirable.

Unfortunately, Newark has been unable to capitalize on its location and transit links. Part of the problem has been horrible leadership for 30+ years, including some amazingly corrupt "leaders" (former mayor is currently in prison).

I hope that Mayor Booker can turn things around.
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Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 8:41 PM
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I agree that it is sad to see some many good looking buildings under such disrepair. Hopefully, that will change in the coming years. Definitely nice to see Newark and thanks for all the commentary!
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  #20  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 11:41 PM
SouthJersey7 SouthJersey7 is offline
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Great set of photos, I always like seeing what's going on in places like Newark. Seems like there's still a lot of commercial buildings there, and most of them are in use. Can't say the same thing about certain other cities... I think Newark could be the next city in the state to make a turnaround. It would help if the city could land some big industry or commercial sector. Maybe Corey Booker can turn things around.

Oh and you forgot one famous Newark native - Joe Pesci
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