Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Title Hoboken: A Visitor's Guide. No date, circa 1984-1985.
Object Name Pamphlet
Catalog Number 2015.001.0079
MULTIMEDIA LINKS CLICK HERE to view the PDF of the 1977 first edition; note - please be patient while file opens.
Collection Hoboken Map & Guide Collection
Credit Museum Collections.
Scope & Content Hoboken: A Visitor's Guide. Edited re-issue of 1977 edition, no date, probably 1985. (Originally produced by Hoboken Community Development Agency [CDA])

Oblong booklet, 8-1/2" high x 11" wide, black plastic comb binding. pp. [i], 18 plus covers, illustrated. Rear cover is blank.

Originally issued in a fuller version in 1977, archives 2004.003.0010, which is fully imaged (PDF on file) with all text is transcribed in notes. See related. The edition here reproduces the original leaves in much lower quality offset printing (appearing to be from photocopies.) Text from version is in notes with this record.

The cover of this edition has a line art of the new Lackawanna Plaza. This artwork appeared on a poster for the dedication ceremony on October 22, 1984.

Page [i] is a letter signed in facsimile, from then Mayor Steve Cappiello that was originally written April 12, 1977 as stated in earlier issue.

Pages 1-5 are text of Hoboken history with thumbnail images. (Credits are not present in this issue, but in original version the the credits on page 27 note that this text first appeared in the 1976 Bicentennial Calendar.)

Page 6 is map, line drawing by Judy Clark, Hoboken Historic Sites Walking Tour with 32 numbered locations noted on it.

Pages 7-16 are descriptions of each numbered site along with a photograph or line drawing.

Pages 17-18: Preservation Hoboken-Style.

Not present in this version are original pages 19-27 which included information on restaurants, bakeries, markets, etc. plus how to get to Hoboken; travel in the city; credits.

While this edition may have been issued in conjunction with the 1984 Plaza dedication, it is worthwhile to note that 1985 was a mayoral election year.

Related Records Show Related Records...
Notes Archives 2015.001.0079

A Visitor's Guide.


[page i]

[photo portrait - Mayor Steve Cappiello]
[City of Hoboken, N.J. Corporate Seal]

Hoboken, the "Mile Square City", has a long past rich in turn-of-the-century elegance and old world charm in which we take great pride. The years have taught us perseverance; pride has given us the energy to attempt a dramatic turn-about in the city's decline.

The city's exceptional residential quality and architectural splendor, as well as the ambience and urbanity, are rare in the metropolitan area. These are our unique assets which, through our urban preservation efforts, will be greatly enhanced.

Since 1972, Hoboken has launched housing programs which have revitalized 20% of the city's entire housing stock through new construction, major rehabilitation, and low-interest loans. A new economic development program is now being initiated, beginning with a commercial revitalization effort which will assist storeowners to improve their storefronts and coordinate promotional efforts.

Our success is attributable to a vigorous policy of attracting private capital through innovative use of public funds.

It is a demonstrated fact that housing rehabilitation works in an older city. We have shown that homeowners, banks, businessmen and landlords will invest their monies — and their futures — in an older city once it starts the road back to economic health and vitality.

There is still much to be done. We are now devoting a greater part of our efforts to the revitalization of our city's economic base. We welcome that challenge with equal zeal.

s/s Steve Cappiello

Steve Cappiello


page 1

Our Hoboken Heritage

In the beginning, Hoboken was an island of trees and green fields separated from the west by marshes and the east by the river. The first inhabitants were the Lenni Lenape Indians who camped seasonally on the island, but were not permanent residents. They named the spot “Hopoghan Hackingh” which meant “Land of the Tobacco Pipe”, for they used the green-colored serpentine rock abundant in the area to carve pipes for smoking tobacco.

Henry Hudson’s navigator on the ship Half Moon mentioned the area’s green rock in the 1609 log of their third voyage up the river, which now bears the explorer’s name. The men on the Half Moon were the first Europeans known to have seen the island, but they were followed by many others. Mostly Dutchmen visited the island in those early years, and they called it “Hoe-buck”, meaning “High Bluff”. In 1658, Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch Governor of Manhattan, then known as New Amsterdam, bought all the land between the Hackensack and the Hudson Rivers from the Lenni Lenapes for 80 fathoms of wampum, 20 fathoms of cloth, 12 kettles, 6 guns, 2 blankets, 1 double kettle and Vz barrel of beer.

Hoboken’s past was significantly linked with the American Revolution. Because William Bayard, the owner of Hoboken in 1776, was a Loyalist, his land was confiscated by the Revolutionary Government of New Jersey to be sold at a public auction. In 1784 Colonel John Stevens of the Patriot Army purchased the island for 18,360 pounds sterling, or about $90,000. It was Colonel Stevens, the wartime “Treasurer on Horseback” of the


page 2

State of New Jersey and a leading advocate for the ratification of the American Constitution, who settled on the name “Hoboken”. From 564 bucolic acres he and his descendents led in the creation of a thriving nineteenth century city.

Colonel Stevens developed Hoboken as a resort. As early as 1820 he began transforming the wild but beautiful waterfront into a recreation area. The public path which became known as River Walk was developed in six years. It meandered from the ferry in the south around Castle Point to the dense woods in the northern part of Hoboken. In 1836 Cybil’s Cave was opened on River Walk as a spa where a pleasure-seeker could buy a refreshing glass of mineral water for a penny. The shaft of the well in the cave went down thirty feet to a fresh water spring noted for its purity.

River Walk gave entry at Tenth Street to the Elysian Fields. This spacious section of meadow fringed by lofty forest trees became a center of recreation which added to the attraction along River Walk and The Green in southern Hoboken. The city often accommodated as many as 20,000 New Yorkers out for a sunny Sunday picnic. On June 19, 1846 the world’s first regular organized baseball game was played in Elysian Fields; on that day, the New York Nine defeated the Knickerbockers, 23 to 1, in four innings. Besides sports there were other diversions in the Fields. Rodenberg’s Tavern offered beer and the Colonade Hotel provided accommodations, while the Observation Wheel, which stood one hundred feet high and resembled a modern Ferris wheel, gave the patron a splendid view of the Hudson River.

Numerous entertainments in Hoboken led the famous of the time to gather here. Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr were active members of the Turtle Club which met near the Elysian Fields. In 1855 Lillian Russell, John L. Sullivan, Jay Gould and William K. Vanderbilt entertained at Duke’s House, built near the ferry house in southern Hoboken. Horace Greeley and Henry Ward Beecher frequented Nick’s Bee Hive. John Jacob Astor built a resort house at Washington and Second Streets. John Cox Stevens began America’s first yacht club in Hoboken in 1844. And the Stevens family led


page 3

the building of the sailing yacht America which in 1851 first captured the English trophy that has figured for over a century as the prized America Cup. Indeed, the island prospered as the “Paradise of Gotham” thanks to the imagination and initiative of Colonel Stevens and his family.

Yet Colonel Stevens was best known as an inventor. In 1791, he received one of the first patents issued in America for a steam engine design. Thirteen years later his Little Juliana plied across the Hudson River between the Battery and Hoboken; it was the first successful steamboat driven by twin screw propellers. In 1808 Colonel Stevens launched the Phoenix which in a quite unexpected manner became the first steam-driven vessel to make an ocean voyage. The reason this happened was that Robert Fulton had been awarded exclusive rights to the use of steamboats on the Hudson River, and John Stevens was forced to send his Phoenix into the Atlantic in order to get it to Philadelphia for service on the Delaware River. In an effort to continue his ferry service from Hoboken, Stevens designed a horse-driven paddle-wheeled boat called a team boat which carried passengers to New York. Stevens initiated a long legal battle which finally broke Fulton’s steamboat monopoly in 1824.

From boats, Colonel Stevens turned to rail. By 1825, he had designed and built the first experimental steam-drive locomotive in America and ran it as a demonstration on a circular track on The Green near the ’76 House, an inn for travelers. The locomotive was 16 feet long and traveled at 12 miles per hour. Even before this accomplishment, Colonel Stevens had received the first American railroad charter in 1815; he literally began the American railway system which played a prime role in the building of this country.

Due to the pioneering genius of the Stevens family and the city’s excellent waterfront location, Hoboken entered the twentieth century as a hub of rail and water transportation. Located in the New York harbor, piers for passenger and freight shipping quickly grew along the city’s waterfront. Hoboken prospered as a major


page 4

trans-Atlantic port. Among the steamship companies to settle here were the North German Lloyd, the Hamburg-American, the Holland-American, the Scandinavian and the Wilson.

In 1907 the Erie-Lackawanna Terminal was built to replace the original terminal, which was destroyed by fire in 1905. Now on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, the new terminal serviced ferries commuting from New York and trains traveling west. The Binghamton, once a ferry frequenting the Erie-Lackawanna Terminal, now serves as a restaurant docked in Edgewater. The year 1908 marked the first subway train run between New York and the Hoboken terminal. It had taken thirty-four years for the work begun in 1874 to culminate in an operating subway system.

During World War I, Hoboken became our country’s official Port of Embarkation for American troops en route to Europe. The first convoy carrying nearly 12,000 officers, enlisted men, nurses and civilians left Hoboken on June 14, 1917. The average number of American soldiers leaving Hoboken each day was 3,500, and 46,214 was recorded as being the highest daily figure. After the signing of the Armistice, Hoboken hosted the American soldiers’ return. Altogether, over three million soldiers passed through our city between 1917 and 1919.

Development brought immigrants to Hoboken and immigrants brought their varied cultures. The Germans were the first of the new wave of immigrants, followed by the Irish, the Italians, the Yugoslavs, the Hispanics, and the East Indians. With each group came its own festivals and foods, languages and music, business and skills, clubs and institutions.

Many of the immigrants’ buildings still stand interweaving Hoboken’s present with the past. The Stevens family itself founded churches and schools. Stevens Institute of Technology was founded in 1870 with a land grant and $650,000 bequeathed by Edwin A. Stevens. The Martha Institute, started by Edwin’s wife, Martha B. D. Stevens, went up in 1866. The Stevens estate’s Gatehouse, built in 1859 to house the Stevens family’s cowherdess, survives the Stevens Castle, a magnificent thirty-four room family mansion which topped the bluff until its demolition in 1959. The Hoboken Land and Improvement Building at River and Newark Streets is reminiscent of the company which was formed in 1838 to take over the management of the Stevens family’s docks, ferries and other business properties.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 820 Hudson Street is the oldest religious congregation in the city;


page 5

it was established in 1836. St. Mary Hospital dates back to 1863. The Union Club, formerly the German Club, and the First Spanish Baptist Church, formerly the Columbia Club, were social centers. The Clam Broth House got started in 1899. The Keuffel and Esser building, built in 1906 for the manufacture of precision instruments, is now being converted into housing. The Hoboken Academy facing onto Church Square Park shut its doors in 1974 after 114 years of teaching hundreds of students.

Famous architects designed some of Hoboken’s structures. Kenneth Murchison created the Erie-Lackawanna Terminal. Carrere and Hastings designed the pavillion at Columbus Park. Francis George Himpler was responsible for Our Lady of Grace Church, the Academy of the Sacred Heart and City Hall. Richard Upjohn designed the Trinity Parish Church and the original Stevens Institute Administration Building facing Stevens Park.

Hoboken’s past has been touched by other artists. Stephen Collins Foster lived at the corner of Sixth and Bloomfield Streets when he wrote I Dream of Jeannie. Charles Schreyvogel painted western Indian scenes on Garden Street; his painting My Bunkie, which won the Clark Prize in 1900, now hangs in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Mystery of Marie Roget was based on the Hoboken murder of Mary Rogers. Christopher Morley was president of the Hoboken Theatrical Company which staged plays at the Old Rialto Theatre. Hetty Green, one of the wealthiest American women of her day and a Hoboken resident, was the main character in the book by Boyden Sparkes and Samuel T. Moore titled The Witch of Wall Street.

An island, a resort, a port and a home for culture, Hoboken continues to evolve. From wilderness it has become a highly urban city of great achievement. The land, the streets, and the buildings which make Hoboken are not merely earth, concrete and brick; they are the stage setting for inventions, creations and thousands of lives. Over the years, Hoboken has been shaped into a city of unique character, a character worth preserving.


page 6

[full page hand-drawn map]
Historic Sites Walking Tour


page 7

1. Erie Lackawanna Terminal, Hudson Place. The first Hoboken site to be entered into the National Register of Historic Places, the terminal dates back to 1907. It was designed by the famous architect Kenneth Murchison. The building is clad in handsomely detailed copper; it housed the first attempt to air cool a public building in the United States. The train sheds were invented by Lincoln Bush and were subsequently emulated in most railroad stations around the world.


[line drawing]
Hoboken Land Building
1 Newark St.
Judith Clark


2. Land and Improvement Building, 1 Newark Street at River Street. Built around the turn of the century, the building’s interior is patterned after a ferryboat. The Stevens family land development corporation used the building as its headquarters.

3. Clam Broth House, 38 Newark Street at River Street.

A famous restaurant founded in 1899, its workingman’s stand-up bar was finally opened to women in 1972.

4. City Hall, Washington Street between Newark and First Streets. Hoboken’s second entry in the National Register of Historic Places, the main building was constructed in red brick in 1881; the original construction was considerably enlarged in white brick in 1911, reflecting the growth of the city. In 1910, Hoboken reached its peak population of 70,324.


page 8

5. Site of John Jacob Astor’s Villa, formerly at the Southwest Corner of Second and Washington Streets.

In his old age, the wealthy fur merchant mingled with the pleasure seekers along the Hoboken riverfront. His villa was built in 1828 and stood on this spot until 1910.

6. Number One or Rue School, Third and Garden Streets. Founded in 1858 and the second building on the site, the structure was named for David E. Rue, the first Superintendent of Hoboken Schools. Outstanding architectural features include a double marble staircase in the interior.

7. Keuffel and Esser Building, 301 Jefferson Street at Third Street. This manufacturing firm, world-renowned for its precision instruments, came to Hoboken in 1866. The reinforced concrete building, constructed in 1901, marks the first conversion of a factory to housing in the United States in 1975.


[drawing: architect's aerial view of K&E building looking southwest; rendering of Keuffel & Esser Bldg by Beyer-Blinder-Belle]


[line drawing: Public School No. 1, David E. Rue School]


page 9

[line drawing]
St. Francis Church
[Judith Clark]


8. St. Francis Church, 300 Jefferson Street at Third Street. Originally constructed for Italian Catholics in 1888, the church is run by Franciscan priests. The school, constructed later, offered both Italian and English language instruction.

9. St. Mary Hospital, 308 Willow Avenue at Fourth Street. One of the first hospitals in New Jersey has been on this site since 1865.

10. Our Lady of Grace Church, 400 Willow Avenue at Fourth Street. Once the largest Roman Catholic Church in New Jersey, it was constructed in 1874 after a design by local architect Francis G. Himpler, who also designed City Hall. Gifts of paintings and ceremonial vessels were donated by Victor Emmanuel, Emperor Napoleon III and other Italian and French royalty, when the church was dedicated in 1875.

11. Church Square Park, between Willow and Garden and Fourth and Fifth Streets. This block was dedicated to the people of Hoboken for outdoor recreation by Colonel John Stevens in 1804.


page 10

[line drawing - Willow Terrace]

12. Willow Terrace, between Willow and Clinton and Sixth and Seventh Streets. Built in 1886, these diminutive rowhouses were the homes of Stevens Estate workers. The cobblestone streets in the mews are still privately owned by the ninety resident families.

13. Holy Innocents Church, 311 Sixth Street at Willow Avenue. This Gothic structure dates to 1872. Martha Bayard Stevens had the church constructed for the poor of Hoboken in memory of her daughter Julia, who died when only seven years of age.

14. Hoboken Free Public Library, 500 Park Avenue at Fifth Street. Donated by the Stevens family in 1895, this was the third public library to be built in New Jersey.


page 11

[line drawing: Martha Institute]


15. Martha Institute, Sixth and Park Streets. Constructed in 1866, the institute was named for Martha Bayard Stevens who donated much of her time and money to initiating first an academy and then a manual trade school on this site. The building also provided the locale for the first Hoboken High School.

16. Stephen Collins Foster House, 601 Bloomfield Street at Sixth Street. Stephen Collins Foster lived in this house from 1854 to 1855. During this time he wrote "Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair.”

7. Union Club, 600 Hudson Street at Sixth Street.

Founded in 1857 as a German social club, many of the outstanding artistic Hoboken events of the mid-1800's occurred within its walls. The present edifice was built in 1864. During World War I, the owners changed the name from the Deutsche to the Union Club.

18. Trinity Episcopal Church, 701 Washington Street at Seventh Street. Designed by Richard Upjohn, who also conceived the famed New York City church of the same name, this Gothic edifice was completed in 1856. It probably is the oldest institutional structure in Hoboken. The rectory next to the church was finished in 1864.


page 12

[line drawing: Spanish Seventh Day Adventist Church (First Baptist Church), 901 Bloomfield Street at Ninth Street]


19. Bloomfield Street between Ninth and Eleventh Streets. From these blocks radiated the Hoboken brown-stone revival movement, which had its beginning in 1971.

20. Spanish Seventh Day Adventist Church, 901 Bloomfield Street at Ninth Street. This building originally housed the First Baptist Church, the cornerstone was laid in 1890. In 1891, when the church was dedicated, it was said, “The church is not only a monument to the spirit of religion, but it is an ornament to the city."


page 13

21. First Spanish Baptist Church, 1101 Bloomfield Street at Eleventh Street. Originally called the Columbia Club, the building was constructed to provide social gathering space. The basement contained bowling alleys, while the floors above offered an entertainment hall, banquet rooms, a library and several card rooms. Groundbreaking occurred on September 1,1891.

22. Washington Street Fire House, Washington Street between Thirteenth and Fourteenth Streets. The only Hoboken building listed in the American Building Survey, it was built in 1880. The Stevens family, which contributed the land, insisted that the structure be set back from the sidewalk so that firemen could spit their tobacco juice without spraying the passersby.


[line drawing: Washington Street Fire House, Washington Street between Thirteenth and Fourteenth Streets]


23. Yellow Flats, Washington Street between Twelfth and Thirteenth Streets. Hetty Green, one of the wealthiest American women of her day and known as the “Witch of Wall Street,” lived on this site in 1896. The existing structure was rehabilitated into 174 modern apartment units in 1974.


page 14

24. Elysian Park, between Tenth and Eleventh Streets, and Hudson Street and Shore Road. This public square represents the last vestiges of the outdoor recreation area called Elysian Fields, which extended from Tenth to Seventeenth Street along the river-front. The first regular game of baseball was played in the Fields on June 19, 1846. The first clubhouse of the New York Yacht Club was located at Tenth Street and the River in 1844.

25. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 820 Hudson Street.
Established in 1835, St. Paul’s is the oldest religious congregation in Hoboken. The existing structure, built in 1870 features the famed Warrior’s Shrine dedicated to the bravery of all those men who gave their lives to this country.

26. St. Matthews Lutheran Church, 57 Eighth Street at Hudson Street. The bell in the 150-foot high tower still proclaims the hour after ninety-nine years of service. Stained glass windows and a mural catalogued by the Smithsonian Institution add to the beauty of the church.


page 15

27. Castle Point, Observation Deck at Stevens Center Building on Castle Point Hill. This rise of serpentine rock named Castle Point was referred to as a “sylver myne” in the log of Henry Hudson’s second voyage on the Half Moon in 1609. The Stevens family’s home known as the "Castle” graced this bluff from 1853 to 1859. The cannon on the observatory dates back to the Civil War.

28. Stevens Gatehouse, Sixth Street off River Street.

Built of serpentine rock, this unusual structure was the home of the cowherdess for the Stevens estate. It was built in 1859, and is therefore the oldest building on the Stevens campus.

29. Stevens Administration Building, Fifth Street between River and Hudson Streets. Called the "A” Building, it was the first building in the Stevens Institute complex. The firm of R. and R. Upjohn and Sons designed the building in 1870; Upjohn also designed Hoboken’s Trinity Church.

30. Stevens Park, between Fourth and Fifth Streets, and Hudson Street and Shore Road. Old maps refer to the site as Hudson Square Park. As was the case with Church Square Park, the Stevens family donated this land to the people of Hoboken. Hoboken’s Liberty Tree was planted here on April 17, 1976. The statue was commemorated in 1888 by General William Tecumseh Sherman; the cannons were taken from the U.S.S. Portsmouth when she was decommissioned at Hoboken’s Fifth Street Pier in 1901.


[line drawing]
Stevens Park


page 16

31. St. Peter and Paul Church, 400 Hudson Street at Fourth Street. Founded originally for German Catholics in 1889, the interior of the present church was used for scenes in the movie “On the Waterfront." Exterior church scenes for the movie were filmed at Our Lady of Grace Church.

32. World War I Boulder, River Street at Port Authority Gate B. Hoboken served as the official Port of Embarkation for World War I troops; during the course of the war over three million soldiers passed through the city. The piers were confiscated by federal secret service men, and 250 German families residing in Hoboken were deported. On December 4,1918, President Woodrow Wilson sailed from Hoboken to attend the Paris Peace Conference, where he proposed the formation of the League of Nations.


[line drawing: vista of Port Authority Piers]


[line drawing]
St. Peter & Paul Church


page 17

Preservation Hoboken-Style

Preservation is a natural, defensive human instinct exemplified by a universal tendency to protect and keep things of value. On a community level, tangible reminders of history in the form of old buildings and places such as the ones listed above help us to know and have pride in our traditions and our past.

In addition to cultural justifications for preservation, there are economic ones as well. Preservation efforts invariably contribute to neighborhood and community stability and to increased property values. More often than not, preservation is a less costly, and more efficient use of a city’s precious resources than demolition and new construction.

Preservation activities have several purposes. One is to preserve individual buildings of distinctive architecture, such as the Erie Lackawanna Terminal. The second purpose for preservation is to protect sites where significant events have occurred, the Stephen-Collins Foster house as one example. The third purpose is of more widespread benefit; it is concerned with total environments, neighborhoods of houses, stores, parks and sidewalks which have served as good places to live.

Hoboken enjoys its architectural gems and familiar places that recall a long and interesting history. These should be preserved. But more important, Hoboken offers an environment congenial to urban life, a rare quality in American cities today. It is this environment especially to which preservation attention should be directed.

A totally urbanized City, Hoboken experienced rapid growth in the years 1860 to 1910. Today’s population of about 45,000 still lives and works in the man-made environment created on the one square mile of land decades ago. The key qualities of this development include:

- a human scale manifested in low-rise buildings, small blocks and narrow streets;

- a pedestrian scale of short walking distances and ample sidewalks;

[line drawing: exterior of brownstone oriel with iron fencing; cat in window]


page 18

- an ease of visual orientation through frequent views of natural and man-made landmarks;

- a fine-grain mix of commercial, residential and open space land uses;

- a balanced residential density suited to available infrastructure, ? marketability and life style;

- existing building types of proper bulk and site design to form a satisfactory urban fabric; and

- numerous surviving examples of historic buildings and places with design details and materials which add to Hoboken�fs environmental quality and charm.

Some places in Hoboken need improvement: overhead wires which mar the streetscape and block out the sky, seven vehicular entrances to the City blighted by billboards and vast expanses of pot-holed concrete, poor sign controls resulting in jumbled signage, too few public and commercial recreation facilities, and a deteriorated waterfront. Time, poverty and disinterest have devastated much of the City.

[line drawing: child playing hopscotch]


[line drawing: exterior of entrance to Church of the Holy Innocents]


Many places in Hoboken remain truly special: sidewalks teeming with activity, charming mews streets, cobblestone alleys, tall trees in lovely City squares, gazebos, bell towers, statues, a riverfront view across to the spectacular Manhattan skyline, block after block of solid turn-of-the-century rowhouses with extraordinary architectural details, and a vital main commercial street ideal for comparison shopping or an evening stroll.

Urban preservation is a way to both preserve and improve life in the City for all of the people. The approach to preservation must reach beyond restoring buildings toward the restoration and revitalization of all of Hoboken’s urban life.


People Cappiello, Steve
Date 1984-1985
Year Range from 1984
Year Range to 1985
Search Terms Lackawanna Plaza
Caption front cover
Imagefile 340\20150010079.TIF
Classification Business & Commerce
Government & Politics
Historic Sites
Banking & Financial Structures
Bars / Saloons
Church Exterior
Cultural Activities
Ethnic Culture
Real Estate
Monuments & Statues
Tourists & Tourism