Points of Interest
Walking Tour Highlights
Erie Lackawanna Railroad and Ferry Terminal, foot of Hudson Place, 1907.
Kenneth Murchison, Architect; Lincoln Bush, Engineer; Beaux Arts. Built by the Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad to serve rail and ferry passengers. The entire structure, built over water on a steel and concrete foundation, accommodated six ferry slips and fourteen rail lines. The individually roofed train shed arches are an innovative design by Bush. The entire structure is sheathed in copper. Click here for information about NJ Transit's Hoboken Terminal Restoration project. The picture to the left shows the terminal in its early years (unknown private collection). Sadly, the clock tower has been replaced with an antenna tower strictly functional in design.
Hoboken Land & Improvement Company, 1 Newark Street, 1889.
Charles Fall, Architect; Myles Tierney, mason. Housing the offices of the Steven's family real estate holding corporation the Hoboken Land & Improvement Company. From this building the city's street plan and development of its residential, business, and industrial areas was overseen. The building is notable for its high quality brickwork, with recessed panels and contrasting color mortars. the Stevens family requested the central staircase be designed to resemble a ferry's staircase. On the south facade, a terra-cotta clock is surrounded by sea motifs and the company's monogram. The rail tracks are remnant of Hoboken's once extensive trolley system.
Hoboken City Hall, 94 Washington Street, 1883.
Francis George Himpler, Architect; Second Empire modified to Beaux Art Classicism. This square block, donated by Colonel John Stevens, was originally a public marketplace. The design was modified in 1911 to include two projecting bays, an enlarged third floor, and a jail in the rear of the building. The original entrance remains the same. You may want to check out the City of Hoboken's Official Web Site.
Assembly of Exempt Firemen, 213 Bloomfield Street, Circa 1864.
Francis George Himpler, Architect; Italianate/Second Empire. This early example of Himpler's work is one of two architecturally intact Hoboken firehouses, the other is at 212 Park Avenue. The second floor features a plaster ceiling roundel of working firemen with the gas line interpreted as a fire hose. Exempt Firemen were excused from public duty after seven years of volunteer service. Today the building serves as a firefighter's union hall and museum of Hoboken firefighters' memorabilia.
Jefferson Trust Company, 313-15 First Street, 1912. Revival.
The Trust was founded in 1905 by a diverse group of Hoboken businessmen who chose the name as representative of their democratic and community service ideals. The bank prospered as the town assimilated successive groups of immigrants. By 1912 the Trust was in an appropriately impressive granite and brick building of monumental scale. The coffered ceiling borders a flat-domed, leaded glass skylight, and the richly detailed plaster interior remains practically unaltered. After the bank failed during the Great Depression, the property changed hands many times before its present owners undertook its restoration and adaptive reuse.
Keuffel & Esser Manufacturing Complex, Third Street at Grand and Adams Street, 1906. Architect unknown.
In 1867 Keuffel and Esser, Hoboken residents, began importing precision instruments for the architectural, engineering and drafting professions. Their products were used in planning the Brooklyn Bridge. As demand grew, they began manufacturing. In 1891 their New Jersey factory produced the first slide rule manufactured in the United States. They supplied the Navy with periscopes in World War I, the Army with range-finders in World War II. Spiders were raised in the basement to supply web filament as cross hairs for gun sights. The West Plant, known locally as the Clock Tower Building, was built of reinforced concrete to replace a prior structure that burned. In the mid-1960s, Keuffel & Esser relocated. In 1975 the building was converted to housing and has been cited as a premiere example of adaptive reuse of an industrial building.
Our Lady of Grace Church, 400 Willow Avenue, Circa 1878.
Francis George Himpler, Architect; German Gothic. Once the largest Roman Catholic Church in New Jersey, Our Lady of Grace Church was constructed after a design by Himpler. 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.
Church Square Park, bordered by Fourth, Fifth, Garden Streets and Willow Avenue.
On land given to the city by Colonel John Stevens in 1804, the park plan dates from 1873. Near Willow Avenue is the Firefighters' Monument dating from 1981. Taps, a former mascot, is buried at its base. On the other side of the park is the Four Chaplains Monument honoring four clergy of differing faiths who died while attending to the crew of the torpedoed USS Dorchester in World War II. The pedestal commemorates Marconi, the inventor of the wireless. Since 1987 free summer concerts have been presented from the park's bandstand.
Free Public Library, 500 Park Avenue, 1897. William Beyer, Architect; Italian Renaissance.
When the library was dedicated in 1897, it became the third library in New Jersey. It is built of Indiana limestone, with upper stories in yellow brick and terra-cotta. The dome was originally sheathed in copper.
Church of the Holy Innocents, Willow Avenue at Sixth Street, 1874.
Edward Tuckerman Potter and Henry Vaughn, Architects; High Victorian Gothic. Dedicated to Julia Stevens, daughter of Martha Bayard and Edwin Augustus Stevens, who died in Rome at age seven from typhoid fever. Built to serve German and Irish immigrants, it did not charge a pew fee to be seated, the norm for the time. Potter's banded arches emphasize the polychromatic exterior of brownstone and white and red sandstone. The choir was added in 1913, the baptistery in 1932. Though no longer in use, the exterior details of this Episcopal church remains largely intact.
Willow Terrace, Sixth and Seventh Streets, between Willow Avenue and Clinton Street. Circa 1880.
In this usage, "terraces" are streets serving a section of row houses. These compact homes were commissioned by Martha Bayard Stevens for workers at Stevens Castle and the Hoboken Land & Improvement Company. They were patterned after similar workers' houses she had seen on a trip to Scotland.
Stephen Collins Foster House, 601 Bloomfield Street.
The composer (1826-1864) lived here in 1854 when "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" was published. "Hoboken" is penned on the original manuscript. This address is Foster's only known intact residence. Some other compositions by Foster are "Camptown Races," "Oh! Susanna," and "Beautiful Dreamer."
Lawton-Turso Funeral Home, 633 Washington Street. Architect unknown.
Established in 1855 as the A.J. Volk Funeral Home, this is the oldest active funeral home in Hoboken. Its beautiful 800-piece, leaded and beveled glass window was imported from Europe and dates from 1913. The name change occurred in 1949 when the business changed hands.
Court Street, runs between Hudson and Washington from Seventh to Newark Streets.
Court Street originally provided access to the residents' mews or stables. Today it is used as an alley and access for homes and garages. The original cobblestone remind Hoboken of its past.
All Saints Episcopal Church, 701 Washington Street, 1856.
Richard Upjohn, Designer; Deutsche & Dietz, Hoboken Architects; Gothic. All Saints was originally consecrated as Trinity Episcopal. It was subsequently enlarged and re-consecrated as All Saints. The church serves an active congregation today and is notable for its vaulted interior and fine stained glass.
Elks Lodge, 1005 Washington Street, 1906. G.B. McIntyre, Designer.
Lodge #74 was founded in Hoboken in 1888 in the Gayety Theatre building at 1015 Washington Street. Now at 1005 Washington Street, this is the oldest lodge in New Jersey, designated as the Mother Lodge. Bowling lanes, which still remain, were constructed in the basement. The Lodge frequently hosts community gatherings.
Yellow Flats, east side of 1200 Washington Street. Circa 1890
Build by Hoboken Land & Improvement Company, these apartments were once home to one of the wealthiest women of her day, Hetty Green, nicknamed the "Witch of Wall Street." Her reluctance to spend money is legendary. It is said that her injured son lost a leg because she was unwilling to pay for his medical attention.
Hoboken Fire Department Engine Company No. 2, 1313 Washington Street, 1880.
Charles Fall, Architect; Neo-Romanesque. This firehouse was restored outside and modernized within, following a severe fire in the 1980s. Hoboken's firehouses provide distinctive examples of 19th-Century architecture; six are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Standard Brands/Lipton Tea Building, Fifteenth and Washington Streets. Architect unknown.
Visible the length of Washington Street, the building was recently converted to luxury rental apartments and renamed the Hudson Tea Building. On the north side of the building is an inlet from the Hudson River. Ship delivering cargoes of tea anchored alongside the building to unload directly on to its dock. Sir Thomas Lipton became a member of the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce in 1919.
The Machine Shop 1200-1400 Hudson Street.
This two-and-a-half story, thirty-six bay brick structure is the oldest building on the Hoboken waterfront. Built by the W. & A. Fletcher Company in 1891, then acquired by Bethlehem Steel, it was at the center of the region's vital shipbuilding and repair industry. During World War II Bethlehem Steel employees were reported to have worked on more than 4,000 ships. The Machine Shop was in use around-the-clock, employing as many as 11,000 workers. The shop closed in 1984. The building was recently incorporated into the Shipyard development and now houses luxury apartments, retail shops, and the Hoboken Historical Museum.
Hoboken Historical Museum 1301 Hudson Street.
Housed in the Machine Shop, the Hoboken Historical Museum's permanent space is under construction and scheduled for completion in late 2000. The permanent space, designed by architect Dean Marchetto, will serve as the museum's home. It provides much needed exhibit space and a showcase for our growing collection. Stop by to view our exhibits, talk to our knowledgeable staff, and purchase historical mementos.
Maxwell House Coffee Plant, Hudson Street at Eleventh Street, 1939.
The field were General Foods Corporation built their coffee processing plant is acknowledged as the 1846 site of the first organized baseball game. During the plant's operation, Hoboken residents became accustomed to the pervasive aroma of roasting coffee beans, especially prominent when rain was forecast. The huge rooftop neon sign, illustrating Maxwell House's "Good to the Last Drop" slogan, portrayed coffee drops falling from the rim of a cup. The plant was closed in 1992 and the sign was disassembled in 1993. The Maxwell House Plant can be viewed from the pleasant surroundings of Elysian Park, host to a World War I memorial quoting John J. Pershing. The picture to the right depicts the memorial in the foreground, Maxwell House in the background.
The Columbia Club, northeast corner of Bloomfield and Eleventh Streets, 1891.
Henry Hobson Richardson, Architect; Romanesque. The Columbia Club was built in 1891 by a gentlemen's society composed of one hundred men from Hoboken and New York City. Richardson's design, with a conical tower, rounded archways and horizontal bands, reflects his interest in Romantic architecture. His style is know as Richardson Romanesque. The building today houses luxury condominiums.
Enter at Ninth Street. Stevens Institute is America's first college of mechanical engineering. Founded in 1870 with a land grant and $650,000 bequeathed by Edwin Augustus Stevens, Stevens Institute currently has 1,400 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students from twenty-one states and twenty countries. Notable alumni include the co-inventor of bubble wrap, the designer of the Quonset hut and Alexander "Sandy" Calder, a 20th-Century American sculptor and artist known for his mobiles. The Williams Library collection includes a Calder mobile.
Entrance to Stevens Castle, Sixth Street off River Road, circa 1856.
The oldest structure of the Stevens estate is constructed of the same serpentine rock mentioned in Hudson's log. It was the grand entrance through which all guests approached the Castle, a haunting structure built for the Steven's in 1854. The Gate House remains; the Castle was demolished in 1959.
Original Stevens Administration Building, Fifth Street at Hudson Street, 1870.
Richard Upjohn, Architect; Italianate/Second Empire. The "A" Building was the first on campus and houses classrooms, offices and a lecture hall. Upjohn also designed Trinity Church in New York City.
Stevens Park, bordered by Fourth, Fifth, Hudson Streets and Sinatra Drive.
Originally Hudson Square Park, it was renamed in 1955 in honor of the Stevens family who donated the land. The Civil War statue facing Hudson Street was dedicated by William Tecumseh Sherman 1888. The adjacent cannons are from the USS Portsmouth which was decommissioned at the Fifth Street pier in 1901.
Saints Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Church, Hudson and Fourth Streets.
Founded in 1889, built in 1928. Architect unknown. The church has an exterior of imported Dutch brick trimmed in Indian limestone. The interior is hand-made brick from Virginia with details of Sienna marble. Interiors were shot here for On The Waterfront.
World War I American Expeditionary Forces Memorial Bolder
Recently relocated from Second and River to the foot of First Street, 1925. Dedicated by Knights of Columbus in 1925, this memorial honors the three million A.E.F. troops who passed through Hoboken, the port of embarkation for all troops during World War I. President Woodrow Wilson sailed from Hoboken in 1918 to attend the Paris Peace Conference, during which he proposed the formation of the League of Nations, forerunner of the United Nations. A.E.F. troops are depicted in the haunting picture at the bottom of this page, disembarking from a train near the foot of fifth street. This site now hosts luxury apartments, office buildings, retail shops and a waterfront walkway.