Weehawken is a township in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 12,554.
|Weehawken, as seen across the Hudson from midtown Manhattan. The Lincoln Tunnel vent towers and the Palisades are visible on the right; the tunnel's a|
Weehawken is part of the New York metropolitan area. Situated on the western shore of the Hudson River, along the southern end of the New Jersey Palisades across from Midtown Manhattan, it is the location of the western terminus of the Lincoln Tunnel. Weehawken is one of the towns that comprise North Hudson, sometimes called NoHu in the artistic community.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km²), of which, 0.9 square miles (2.2 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.7 km²) of it (43.71%) is water.
As the emergent Palisades define Weehawken's natural topography, so too the Lincoln Tunnel (which cuts the town in half) looms as an inescapable man-made feature. Geographically, Weehawken has distinct neighborhoods: Downtown (or The Shades), The Heights, Uptown (which includes Kingswood Bluff), and The Waterfront, which since 1990s has been developed for transportation, commercial, recreational and residential uses. Though some are long abandoned (e.g., Grauert Causeway), there are still several outdoor public staircases (e.g., Shippen Steps) throughout the town, and more than 15 "dead-end" streets. At its southeastern corner is Weehawken Cove which, along with the rail tracks farther inland, defines Weehawken's border with Hoboken. Its northern boundary is shared with West New York. Traversing Weehawken is Boulevard East, a scenic thoroughfare offering a sweeping vista of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline. Local zoning laws prohibit the construction of high-rise buildings that would obstruct sight-lines from higher points in town. Weehawken has a retail district along Park Avenue (its boundary with Union City) and large office and apartment/townhouse developments along the Hudson River. Weehawken is a mostly residential community, but has business district at Lincoln Harbor between the Lincoln Tunnel and Weehawken Cove. UBS, Swatch Group USA, Hartz Mountain Telx (colocation center) are among the corporations which maintain offices in the neighborhood, which also hosts a Sheraton Hotel.
The name Weehawken is generally considered to have evolved from the Algonquian language Lenape spoken by the Hackensack and Tappan. It has variously been interpreted as rocks that look like trees, which would refer to the Palisades, atop which most of the town sits, or at the end (of the Palisades).
Three U.S. Navy ships have been named for the city. The USS Weehawken, launched on November 5, 1862, was a Passaic-class monitor, or ironclad ship, which sailed for the Union Navy during the American Civil War, encountered battles at the Charleston, South Carolina coast, and sank in a moderate gale on December 6, 1863. The Weehawken was the last ferry to The West Shore Terminal on March 25, 1959 at 1:10 am, ending 259 years of continuous ferry service. Weehawken Street in Manhattan's Greenwich Village was the site of a colonial Hudson River ferry landing.
The name and the place have inspired mention in literature such as in The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, and in Carl Sandburg's Pulitzer Prize–winning book of poetry, Cornhuskers.
|Alexander Hamilton fights his fatal duel with Aaron Burr.|
Weehawken was formed as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 15, 1859, from portions of Hoboken and North Bergen (see map). A portion of the township was ceded to Hoboken in 1874. Additional territory was annexed in 1879 from West Hoboken.
Its written history began in 1609 when Henry Hudson, on his third voyage to the New World, sailed down what was later named The North River on the Half Moon and weighed anchor in Weehawken Cove. At the time it was the territory of the Hackensack and Tappan, of the Turtle Clan, or Unami, a branch of the Lenni Lenape. They were displaced by immigrants to the province of New Netherland, who had begun to settle the west bank of the Hudson at Pavonia in 1630. On May 11, 1647, Maryn Adriansen received a patent for a plantation (of 169 acres) at Awiehaken. In 1658, Director-General of New Netherland Peter Stuyvesant negotiated a deal with the Lenape to purchase all the land from "the great rock above Wiehacken", west to Sikakes (Secaucus) and south to Konstapels Hoeck (Constable Hook). In 1661, Weehawken become part of Bergen when it (and most of northeastern New Jersey) came under the jurisdiction of the court at Bergen Square.
In 1674, New Netherland was ceded to the British, and the town became part of the Province of East Jersey. John Luby, in 1677, acquired several parcels comprising 35 acres (140,000 m2) along the Hudson. Most habitation was along the top of the cliffs since the low-lying areas were mostly marshland. Descriptions from the period speak of the dense foliage and forests and excellent land for growing vegetables and orchard fruits. As early as 1700 there was regular, if sporadic ferry service from Weehawken. In 1752, the first official grant for ferry service, the ferry house north of Hoboken primarily used for farm produce, and likely was sold at the Greenwich Village landing that became Weehawken Street.
During the American Revolutionary War, Weehawken was used as a lookout for the patriots to check on the British, who were situated in New York and controlled the surrounding waterways. In fact, in July 1778, Lord Stirling asked Aaron Burr, in a letter written on behalf of General George Washington, to employ several persons to "go to the Bergen heights, Weehawk, Hoebuck or other heights to observe the motions of the enemy's shipping" and to gather any other possible intelligence. Early documented inhabitants included a Captain James Deas, whose stately residence at Deas' Point was located atop a knoll along the river. Lafayette had used the mansion as his headquarters and later Washington Irving came to gaze at Manhattan.
Not far from Deas' was a ledge 11 paces wide and 20 paces long, situated 20 ft (6.1 m) above the Hudson on the Palisades. This ledge, long gone, was the site of 18 documented duels and probably many unrecorded ones in the years 1798–1845. The most famous was that between General Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury, and Colonel Aaron Burr, sitting third Vice President of the United States, which took place on July 11, 1804. The duel was re-enacted on July 11, 2004, the 200th anniversary of the fatal duel, by descendants of Hamilton and Burr. In the mid-19th century, James G. King built his estate Highwood on the bluff that now bears his name, and entertained many political and artistic figures of the era, including Daniel Webster.
With the ferry, the Hackensack Plank Road (a toll road that was a main artery from Weehawken to Hackensack), and later, the West Shore Railroad, built during the early 1870s, the waterfront became a transportation hub. The wealthy built homes along the top of the New Jersey Palisades, where they might flee from the sweltering heat of New York, and breathe the fresh air of the heights. Weehawken became the playground of the rich during the middle to late 19th century. A series of wagon lifts, stairs, and even an elevator designed by the same engineer as those at the Eiffel Tower (which at the time was the world's largest) were put in place to accommodate the tourists and summer dwellers. The Eldorado, a pleasure garden, drew massive crowds.
The turn of the 20th century saw the end of the large estates, casinos, hotels, and theaters as tourism gave way to subdivisions (such as Highwood Park and Clifton Park) and the construction of many of the private homes still seen in town. This coincided with the influx of the Germans, Austrians, and Swiss, who built them and the breweries and embroidery factories in nearby Union City and West New York, NJ. While remaining essentially residential, Weehawken continued to grow as Hudson County became more industrial and more populated. Shortly after the First World War, a significant contingent of Syrian immigrants from Homs (a major textile center in its own right) moved into Weehawken to take advantage of the burgeoning textile industry.
|Map (1841) showing Dea's Point, the original Hamilton Monument, and Highwood, the estate of James Gore King.|
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,501 people, 5,975 households, and 3,059 families residing in the township. The population density was 15,891.3 people per square mile (6,132.7/km²). There were 6,159 housing units at an average density of 7,249.4 per square mile (2,797.7/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 73.05% White, 3.58% African American, 0.20% Native American, 4.67% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 13.94% from other races, and 4.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 40.64% of the population.
There were 5,975 households, out of which 20.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.1% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.8% were non-families. 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the township the population was spread out with 16.6% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 42.4% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.9 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $50,196, and the median income for a family was $52,613. Males had a median income of $41,307 versus $36,063 for females. The per capita income for the township was $29,269. About 9.3% of families and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.0% of those under age 18 and 11.3% of those age 65 or over.
Though small, Weehawken has a high population density that is among the highest in the United States and is comparable with that of nearby Jersey City.
|The Weehawken Water Tower|
Though the panoramic view (from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to George Washington Bridge) may be its most famous attraction, Weehawken is also home to other sites of historic, aesthetic, and engineering importance:
* Hamilton Park, on Boulevard East, site of former Eldorado Park.
* King's Bluff, a historic district at "the end of the Palisades" with many homes in an eclectic array of architectural styles.
* The Weehawken Water Tower on Park Avenue was built in 1883 as part of the Hackensack Water Company Complex, and inspired by Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. The Tower is cited on the Federal Maritime Chart as the "Red Tower", and serves as a warning to ships traveling south along the Hudson that they are approaching New York Bay.
* The former North Hudson Hospital on Park Avenue.
* Hackensack Plank Road, an early colonial thoroughfare climbing from The Shades to The Heights and further north.
* The "Horseshoe" on Shippen Street, a cobbled double hairpin street leading to Hackensack Plank Road and Shippen Street Steps, at the bottom of which is located Weehawken's original town hall, and is the site of a planned historical museum.
* Hackensack Number Two, a reservoir previously part of Hudson County's water system along with #1 (demolished), in the Gregory/Highpoint Historic District, named for the river from which water was pumped into them.
* The Art Deco style Lincoln Tunnel Toll Plaza and the Lincoln Tunnel Approach and Helix, an eight-lane circular viaduct leading to it, and nearby Ventilation Towers at Lincoln Harbor
* The Weehawken Public Library, former home of the Peters Brewery family, overlooking Park Avenue and New Jersey Route 495.
* The Atrium, home to Hudson River Performing Arts Center-sponsored events.
* NY Waterway's Weehawken Port Imperial Ferry Terminal, a state of the art facility opened in 2006, located at the site of The United Fruit Company, which for many years was the largest banana import facility in the nation.
* The West Shore Railroad Tunnel, carved through the cliffs, and now used for the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail
|View from Hamilton Park|
The Alexander Hamilton Memorial, which was the first memorial to the duel with Aaron Burr, was constructed in 1806 by the Saint Andrew Society, of which Hamilton had been a member. A 14-foot (4.3-m) marble cenotaph, consisting of an obelisk, topped by a flaming urn and a plaque with a quote from Horace, surrounded by an iron fence, was constructed approximately where Hamilton was believed to have fallen. Duels continued to be fought at the site, and the marble was slowly vandalized and removed for souvenirs, leaving nothing remaining by 1820. The tablet itself did survive, turning up in a junk store and finding its way to the New York Historical Society in Manhattan, where it still resides.
From 1820 to 1857, the site was marked by two stones, with the names Hamilton and Burr, placed where they were thought to have stood during the duel. When a road from Hoboken to Fort Lee was built through the site in 1858, an inscription on a boulder where a mortally wounded Hamilton was thought to have rested—one of the many pieces of graffiti left by visitors—was all that remained. No primary accounts of the duel confirm the boulder anecdote. In 1870, railroad tracks were built directly through the site, and the boulder was hauled to the top of the Palisades, where it remains today, located just off the Boulevard East. In 1894, an iron fence was built around the boulder, supplemented by a bust of Hamilton and a plaque. The bust was thrown over the cliff on October 14, 1934 by vandals, and the head was never recovered; a new bust was unveiled on July 12, 1935.
The plaque was stolen by vandals in the 1980s, and an abbreviated version of the text was inscribed on the indentation left in the boulder, which remained until the 1990s, when a granite pedestal was added in front of the boulder, and the bust was moved to the top of the pedestal. New markers were added on July 11, 2004, the 200th anniversary of the duel.
|1935 bust of Alexander Hamilton.|
Weehawken operates under the Faulkner Act (Council-Manager) form of municipal government.
As of 2011 members of Weehawken's Township Council are:
* Richard F. Turner, Mayor
* Robert Zucconi, Councilman-at-Large
* Carmela Silvestri Ehret, 1st Ward Councilwoman
* Rosemary J. Lavagnino, 2nd Ward Councilwoman
* Robert J. Sosa, 3rd Ward Councilman
James Marchetti is the Township Manager.
Federal, state and county representation
Weehawken is in the 13th Congressional district. New Jersey's Thirteenth Congressional District is represented by Albio Sires (D, West New York). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).
Weehawken is also part of the 33rd Legislative District, which is represented in the New Jersey Senate by Brian P. Stack (D, Union City) and in the New Jersey General Assembly by Ruben J. Ramos (D, Hoboken) and Caridad Rodriguez (D, West New York).
Weehawken is in Hudson County's 7th freeholder district. The Hudson County Executive, elected at-large, is Thomas A. DeGise. Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders District 7 comprises Weehawken, West New York, and Guttenberg and is represented by Jose C. Muñoz.
|Weehawken Public Library|
Weehawken Volunteer First Aid and the Weehawken Police Department were among the many Hudson County agencies that responded to the January 2009 crash of Flight 1549, for which they received accolades from the survivors.
The Weehawken School District serves public school students in prekindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools in the district (with 2009-10 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Daniel Webster School (358 students in PreK through 2nd grade), Theodore Roosevelt School (330 students in grades 3–6) and Weehawken High School (528 students in grades 7–12). The school system is known for its small classes and high ratings.
|The Port Imperial stop on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.|
Public transportation in Weehawken is provided by bus, ferry, and light rail.
Bus service is provided along busy north-south corridors on Park Avenue, Boulevard East and Port Imperial Boulevard by New Jersey Transit (NJT) and privately operated guagua (minibus) within Hudson County, and to Manhattan and Bergen County. Route 495 travels east-west between the Lincoln Tunnel and the New Jersey Turnpike with interchanges for Route 3 and U.S. Route 1/9.
NJT 123, 126, 128, 156, 158, 159, 165, 166, 168 originate/terminate at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. NJT 23 and 89 travel between Nungessers and Hoboken Terminal, where transfer is possible to PATH and NJT commuter rail. NJT 84 and 86 travel between Nungessers and Journal Square or Pavonia/Newport in Jersey City. NJT 68 and 67 provide minimal peak service from Lincoln Harbor to the Jersey Shore.
Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) service is available westbound to Bergenline and Tonnelle Avenue and southbound to Hoboken, Jersey City and Bayonne at Lincoln Harbor and Weehawken Port Imperial, where transfer to NY Waterway ferries to Midtown and Lower Manhattan is possible. New York Waterway headquarters are located at Port Imperial.
Weehawken is located within the New York media market, with most of its daily papers available for sale or delivery. The Jersey Journal is a local daily paper covering news in the county. Local weeklies include the free bilingual paper, Hudson Dispatch Weekly, (named for the former daily Hudson Dispatch), the Hudson Reporter, the Spanish language El Especialito. and the River View Observer.
The Hudson Riverfront Performing Arts Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build a world-class performing arts center on the waterfront. Since 2004, it has has presented both indoor and outdoor events at Lincoln Harbor.
8 Ed Alberian (1920–97), entertainer, whose credits include early television's Clarabell the Clown on the Howdy Doody Show, The Beachcomber Bill Show, and Let's Have Fun.
* Adele Astaire (1896–1981), Fred Astaire's elder sister, dancer and entertainer in vaudeville, on Broadway and the West End
* Fred Astaire (1899–1987), legendary Hollywood actor/dancer.
* Francis Bitter (1902–67), son of Karl Bitter, physicist known for his research with magnets and long career at MIT.
* Karl Bitter (1867–1915), sculptor, established atelier in town, where he lived and worked until his death.
* John H. Bonn (1829–91), founder of North Hudson County Railway.
* Nica de Koenigswarter nee Rothschild, (1913–88), known as the "bebop baroness" for her patronage of many jazz musicians.
* Franck de Las Mercedes (born 1972), postmodern artist.
* John Diebold (1926–2005), computer scientist, considered to be an automation evangelist.
* John J. Eagan (1872–1956), a Democrat who represented New Jersey's 11th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1913 to 1921.
* John Erskine (1879–1951), educator and author, who reflects on the town in The Memory of Certain Persons.
* Edward Feigenbaum (born 1936), computer scientist who collaborated on the development of the first expert system Dendral.
* Peter Fiordalisi (1904–88), modern artist whose work was inspired by the New Jersey Palisades.
* Barry Harris (born 1929), jazz pianist and educator.
* Glenn Hauman (born 1969), writer, artist, editor, and electronic publisher.
* Robert Hilferty (1959 –2009), journalist, filmmaker and AIDS activist.
* Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter (1897–1982), director of the Central Intelligence Agency (1947–1950).
* James G. King (1791–1853), businessman and politician who represented New Jersey's 5th congressional district from 1849 to 1851.
* John Marin (1870–1953), modern American artist.
* Steven Massarsky (1948–2007), American lawyer and businessman; founder of Voyager Communications.
* Thelonious Monk (1917–82), jazz legend.
* William E. Ozzard (1915–2002), New Jersey Senate president, 1963.
* Dan Resin (1931–2010), actor known as Dr. Beeper in the film Caddyshack, and as the Ty-D-Bol man in toilet cleaner commercials.
* Kate Pierson (born 1948), vocalist and one of the lead singers and founding members of The B-52's.
* Jerome Robbins (1918–98), choreographer, famous for West Side Story and many works for the New York City Ballet.
* William Ranney (1813–57), 19th Century Western painter.
* Gerard Schwarz (born 1947), conductor, currently with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
* Theodore Seltzer, (d. 1957), manufacturer of Bengay, 1940s top ten salary earner
* Frank Tashlin (1913–72), film director, whose credits include The Glass Bottom Boat and The Alphabet Murders.
* Percie Vivarttas, architect notable for Temple Beth-El in Jersey City.
* Josef von Sternberg (1894–1969). In the 1940s, the film noir director built a home, sold in 1958 to Nica de Koenigswater.
* Daniel Webster (1782–1852), American statesmen.
* Grant Wright, (1885–1935), cartoonist, illustrator and painter
* C. Jac Young, (1881-19??), artist famed for snow etchings
Information on Weehawken is from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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