Elizabeth, New Jersey facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Elizabeth, New Jersey
City
City of Elizabeth
Elizabeth skyline
Elizabeth skyline
Official seal of Elizabeth, New Jersey
Seal
Map of Elizabeth in Union County(Click image to enlarge. See also: state map)
Map of Elizabeth in Union County
(Click image to enlarge. See also: state map)
Census Bureau map of Elizabeth, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Elizabeth, New Jersey
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Union
Founded 1664
Incorporated March 13, 1855
Named for Elizabeth, wife of Sir George Carteret
Area
 • Total 13.464 sq mi (34.873 km2)
 • Land 12.319 sq mi (31.907 km2)
 • Water 1.145 sq mi (2.966 km2)  9.51%
Area rank 180th of 566 in state
1st of 21 in county
Elevation 16 ft (5 m)
Population (2010 Census)
 • Total 124,969
 • Estimate (2015) 129,007
 • Rank 4th of 566 in state
1st of 21 in county
 • Density 10,144.1/sq mi (3,916.7/km2)
 • Density rank 37th of 566 in state
2nd of 21 in county
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 07201 – Union Square station
07202 – Bayway station
07206 – Elizabethport station
07207 – P.O. Boxes
07208 – Elmora station
Area code(s) 908
FIPS code 3403921000
GNIS feature ID 0885205
Website www.elizabethnj.org
View Near Elizabethtown, N. J., oil painting by Régis François Gignoux, Honolulu Museum of Art

Elizabeth is both the largest city and the county seat of Union County, in New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 124,969, retaining its ranking as New Jersey's fourth largest city (by population). The population increased by 4,401 (3.7%) from the 120,568 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 10,566 (+9.6%) from the 110,002 counted in the 1990 Census. For 2015, the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program calculated a population of 129,007, an increase of 3.2% from the 2010 enumeration, ranking the city the 210th largest in the nation.

In 2008, Elizabeth was named one of "America's 50 Greenest Cities" by Popular Science magazine, the only city in New Jersey selected.

History

Elizabeth, originally called "Elizabethtown" and part of the Elizabethtown Tract, was founded in 1664 by English settlers. The town was not named for Queen Elizabeth I as many people may assume, but rather for Elizabeth, wife of Sir George Carteret, one of the two original Proprietors of the colony of New Jersey. She was the daughter of Philippe de Carteret II, 3rd Seigneur de Sark and Anne Dowse. The town served as the first capital of New Jersey. During the American Revolutionary War, Elizabethtown was continually attacked by British forces based on Manhattan and Staten Island, culminating in the Battle of Springfield which decisively defeated British attempts to gain New Jersey. After independence, it was from Elizabethtown that George Washington embarked by boat to Manhattan for his 1789 inauguration. There are numerous memorials and monuments of the American Revolution in Elizabeth.

On March 13, 1855, the City of Elizabeth was created by an act of the New Jersey Legislature, combining and replacing both Elizabeth Borough (which dated back to 1740) and Elizabeth Township (which had been formed in 1693), subject to the results of a referendum held on March 27, 1855. On March 19, 1857, the city became part of the newly created Union County. Portions of the city were taken to form Linden Township on March 4, 1861.

LOSSING(1876) p351 SINGER MANUFACTURING WORKS CO., ELIZABETHPORT, NJ
The Singer Sewing Machine Company's factory at Elizabethport, ca. 1876

The first major industry, the Singer Sewing Machine Company came to Elizabeth and employed as many as 2,000 people. In 1895, it saw one of the first car companies, when Electric Carriage and Wagon Company was founded to manufacture the Electrobat, joined soon by another electric car builder, Andrew L. Riker. The Electric Boat Company got its start building submarines for the United States Navy in Elizabeth, New Jersey, beginning with the launch of USS Holland (SS-1) in 1897. These pioneering naval craft [known as A-Class] were developed at Lewis Nixon's Crescent Shipyard in Elizabeth between the years 1896–1903. Elizabeth grew in parallel to its sister city of Newark for many years, but has been more successful in retaining a middle-class presence and was mostly spared riots in the 1960s.

On September 18, 2016, a backpack holding five bombs was discovered outside NJ Transit's Elizabeth train station. One bomb detonated accidentally when a bomb squad robot failed to disarm the contents of the backpack; no one was hurt. Police were initially unsure if this event was related to bombs in Seaside Park, New Jersey and Manhattan that had exploded the previous day. On September 19, police arrested Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old Afghan-born naturalized U.S. citizen, for questioning in connection with all three incidents; the FBI considered Rahami, whose last known address was within 0.5 miles (0.8 km) of the train station, to be armed and dangerous.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 13.464 square miles (34.873 km2), including 12.319 square miles (31.907 km2) of land and 1.145 square miles (2.966 km2) of water (8.51%).

Elizabeth is bordered to the southwest by Linden, to the west by Roselle and Roselle Park, to the northwest by Union and Hillside, to the north by Newark (in Essex County). To the east the city is across the Newark Bay from Bayonne in Hudson County and the Arthur Kill from Staten Island, New York.

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Elizabethport and Great Island.

The borders of Elizabeth, Bayonne, and Staten Island meet at one point on Shooters Island, of which 7.5 acres (3.0 ha) of the island is owned by Elizabeth, though the island is managed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

Districts and neighborhoods

The city of Elizabeth has several distinct districts and neighborhoods.

Midtown / Uptown

HerschTower
Art Deco Hersch Tower

Midtown also occasionally known as Uptown, is the main commercial district and a historic section as well. It includes the First Presbyterian Church and St. John's Episcopal Church, and its St. John's Episcopal Churchyard. The First Presbyterian Church was a battleground for the American Revolution. Located here are also the 1931 Art Deco Hersh Tower, the Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy, and the Ritz Theatre which has been operating since 1926. Midtown/Uptown includes the area once known as "Brittanville" which contained many English type gardens.

Bayway

Bayway is located in the southern part of the city and borders the City of Linden. From US 1&9 and Allen Street, between the Elizabeth River and the Arthur Kill, it has maintained a strong Polish community for years. Developed at the turn of the 20th century, many of the area residents once worked at the refinery which straddles both Elizabeth and Linden. There are unique ethnic restaurants, bars, and stores along Bayway Avenue, and a variety of houses of worship. Housing styles are older and well maintained. There are many affordable two to four-family housing units, and multiple apartment complexes. The western terminus of the Goethals Bridge, which spans the Arthur Kill to Staten Island can be found here. A small section of the neighborhood was isolated with both the completion of the Goethals Bridge in 1928 and the construction of the New Jersey Turnpike in the 1950s. This section known as "Relocated Bayway" will soon be a memory and piece of history as many of the residents have been relocated themselves to make way for the expansion of the Goethals Bridge.

DownTown / Elizabethport

Downtown / E-Port (a.k.a. The Port and Elizabethport) is the oldest neighborhood in Elizabeth and perhaps the most diverse place in the city. It is a collection of old world Elizabeth, new America, and a mix of colonial-style houses and apartment buildings that stretch east of 7th Street to its shores. The name derived from its dependency of businesses catering to seagoing ventures. It was a thriving center of business between approximately the 1660s through the middle of the 20th century. This area has had a great deal of improvement in the last fifteen years. Many homes have been refurbished or replaced with new, more ornate constructions. Housing projects that stood for years along First Street were demolished and replaced with attractive apartment complexes for those with low to moderate incomes. New townhomes on the waterfront have been developed, and new two-family homes are currently under construction. The area formerly had three neighborhoods called Buckeye, New Mexico and Diamondville.

It is the former home of the Singer Manufacturing Company, makers of Singer sewing machines, which constructed a 1,400,000-square-foot (130,000 m2) facility on a 32-acre (13 ha) site in 1873. Shortly after it opened, the factory manufactured the majority of all sewing machines. With 6,000 employees working there in the 1870s, it was the largest number of workers at a single facility at the time of its construction. The company moved out in 1982.

The Elizabeth Marina, which in the past was filled with trash and debris along its walkway, was also beautified and many celebrations are held year round, from a Hispanic festival in the late spring to the lighting of a Christmas tree in the winter. Living conditions in this area continue to improve year after year. Historically, there was a Slavic community here, centered by a church (Sts. Peter and Paul Byzantine) and a Lithuanian (Sts. Peter and Paul, R.C.) and Polish (St. Adalbert) Roman Catholic Church still stands in the neighborhood. St. Patrick Church, originally Irish, dominates the 'Port and had its cornerstone laid in 1887.

Elmora and The West End

Warinanco boathouse jeh
Warinanco Park, Elmora

Elmora is a middle/working-class neighborhood in the western part of Elizabeth. The main thoroughfare, Elmora Avenue, boasts some of the best restaurants, shops and boutiques. A few of the city's most luxurious high-rise building complexes, affording views of the New York skyline, dot the edge of this neighborhood and are convenient to the Midtown NJ Transit Train Station. The neighborhood area forms a "V" from its approximate borders of the Central RR tracks to Rahway Avenue.

Elizabeth St. Patricks Church
Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Patrick's Church, Elizabethport

Elmora Hills

The northwestern part of Elmora is known as Elmora Hills. It is a strongly middle- to upper-middle-class neighborhood. Originally called Shearerville, the name Elmora came from the developers of the area, the El Mora Land Company. This area was annexed from Union, returning to Elizabeth in the early part of the 20th century. This was done to increase the city's tax base as major improvements to infrastructure were necessary at the time.

Frog Hollow

Frog Hollow is a small community of homes east of Atlantic Street, west of the Arthur Kill, and south of Elizabeth Avenue. Its name is derived from the excellent frog catching in its marshes as well as the excellent oyster and fishing of the past. The area expanded east and includes the area formerly known as Helltown. Helltown included many of the docks and shipyards, as well as several drydocks. The area's developer was Edward N. Kellogg, who also laid out the neighborhood in Keighry Head. Frog Hollow contains older-style, affordable homes, rentals, and some quality restaurants in a working-class community. The statue honoring former Mayor Mack on Elizabeth Avenue is a landmark in the community. Frog Hollow is also convenient to the Veteran's Memorial Waterfront Park.

Keighry Head

Its name is attributed to James Keighry of the Isle of Kerry, Ireland. He was a notable resident who owned a business facing the square formed at the junction of Jackson, Madison, Chestnut and Magnolia Avenues. The approximate borders of this neighborhood extended north from East Grand Street to Flora Street and from Walnut to Division Street. Developed by Edward N. Kellogg, many of the streets were named after family and friends. Keighry Head is located close to Midtown, containing affordable one and two-family homes, and apartment houses, convenient to the Midtown shopping district, and transportation.

Elizabeth soldier monument jeh
War monument; north Elizabeth

North End / North Elizabeth

The North End, also known as "North Elizabeth", is a diverse working-class neighborhood. The borders are approximately the Arch north to the city line between North Broad Street and US 1&9. It was developed mostly in the 1920s for workers in the Dusenburg automobile plant (later Durant Auto, Burry Biscuits and Interbake Foods). The area was heavily settled by the Irish and then Portuguese. The North End has easy access to New York and Newark via its own NJ Transit train station, Routes 1&9 and the NJ Turnpike. The neighborhood also has Crane Square, the Historic Nugents Tavern, and Kellogg Park and its proximity to Newark Airport. There is currently a plan in place to develop the former Interbake Foods facility into shopping and residential townhouses and condominiums. This community contains many larger one and two-family homes that have been rebuilt over the past decade. North Elizabeth also features many well-kept apartment houses and condominium units on and around North Avenue that are home to professionals who work in New York or the area. The only Benedictine women's community in New Jersey is located at Saint Walburga Monastery on North Broad Street.

Peterstown

Peterstown (also known as "The Burg") is a middle/working-class neighborhood in the southeastern part of the city. Its borders run west of Atlantic Street to South Spring Street from 1st Avenue to the Elizabeth River. Its name is derived from John Peters, who owned most of the land with George Peters. They divided the land and developed it during the end of the 19th century. The area of Peterstown was once predominantly occupied by its earliest settlers, who were German, and during the 1920s was gentrified by newly immigrated Italians. Peterstown has clean, quiet streets and has many affordable housing opportunities with a "village" feel. The area contains the historic Union Square, which is home to produce stands, meat markets, fresh fish and poultry stores. Peterstown is also home of the DeCavalcante crime family, one of the most infamous Mafia families in the United States.

The Point / the Crossroads

The Point, formally known as the Crossroads, is centrally located and defined by New Point Road and Division Street. It is close to Midtown and contains many new affordable two-family homes, apartment houses and is undergoing a transformation. The former Elizabeth General Hospital site is currently being demolished and awaiting a new development.

Quality Hill

Home to St. Mary's and the "Hilltoppers", this area once was lined with mansions. Its approximate borders were South Broad Street to Grier Avenue and Pearl Street to what is now US 1&9. During its development in the 1860s it was the most fashionable area of the city to live. It is now a quiet middle class community experiencing a re-development with many new condominiums.

Westminster

Developed by Edward J. Grassman, Westminster got its name from the city's largest residential estates of the Tudor style and was inhabited by many residents who traced their ancestry to England. This neighborhood borders Hillside with the Elizabeth River running its border creating a dramatic splash of greenery and rolling hills off of North Avenue, near Liberty Hall. Residents use this area for recreation, whether it is at the newly christened Phil Rizzuto Park area, or for bird watching or for sunbathing by the river. It is one of the more affluent areas of Elizabeth.

Climate

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and cold winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Elizabeth has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1810 2,977
1820 3,515 18.1%
1830 3,455 −1.7%
1840 4,184 21.1%
1850 5,583 33.4%
1860 11,567 107.2%
1870 20,832 * 80.1%
1880 28,229 35.5%
1890 37,764 33.8%
1900 52,130 38.0%
1910 73,409 40.8%
1920 95,783 30.5%
1930 114,589 19.6%
1940 109,912 −4.1%
1950 112,817 2.6%
1960 107,698 −4.5%
1970 112,654 4.6%
1980 106,201 −5.7%
1990 110,002 3.6%
2000 120,568 9.6%
2010 124,969 3.7%
Est. 2015 129,007 7.0%
Population sources: 1810–1970
1810–1920 1810 1820
1830 1840 1850–1870
1850 1870 1880–1890
1890–1910 1860–1930
1930–1990 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade.

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 124,969 people, 41,596 households, and 29,325 families residing in the city. The population density was 10,144.1 per square mile (3,916.7/km2). There were 45,516 housing units at an average density of 3,694.7 per square mile (1,426.5/km2)*. The racial makeup of the city was 54.65% (68,292) White, 21.08% (26,343) Black or African American, 0.83% (1,036) Native American, 2.08% (2,604) Asian, 0.04% (52) Pacific Islander, 16.72% (20,901) from other races, and 4.59% (5,741) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 59.50% (74,353) of the population. The city's Hispanic population was the tenth-highest percentage among municipalities in New Jersey as of the 2010 Census.

There were 41,596 households out of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.2% were married couples living together, 22.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.5% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94 and the average family size was 3.43.

In the city, the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.2 years. For every 100 females there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 96.8 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $43,770 (with a margin of error of +/- $1,488) and the median family income was $46,891 (+/- $1,873). Males had a median income of $32,268 (+/- $1,205) versus $27,228 (+/- $1,427) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $19,196 (+/- $604). About 14.7% of families and 16.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.5% of those under age 18 and 18.5% of those age 65 or over.

2000 Census

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 120,568 people, 40,482 households, and 28,175 families residing in the city. The population density was 9,865.5 inhabitants per square mile (3,809.5/km2). There were 42,838 housing units at an average density of 3,505.2 per square mile (1,353.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 55.78% White, 19.98% Black or African American, 0.48% Native American, 2.35% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 15.51% from other races, and 5.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 49.46% of the population.

The nation where the highest number of foreign-born inhabitants of Elizabeth were born was Colombia, which was the birthplace of 8,731 Elizabeth residents as of the 2000 Census. This exceeded the combined total of Mexico and Central America of 8,214. It also far exceeded the next highest single nation count of Cuba at 5,812. The largest number for a non-Spanish speaking country and third highest overall was immigrants from Portugal numbering 4,544. The next largest groups were Salvadoran immigrants numbering 4,043, Peruvians 3,591 and Dominican immigrants,once was lined with m of whom there were 3,492.

There were 40,482 households out of which 36.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.9% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.45.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 33.7% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 98.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,175, and the median income for a family was $38,370. Males had a median income of $30,757 versus $23,931 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,114. About 15.6% of families and 17.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.2% of those under age 18 and 17.2% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Roads and highways

Elizabeth is a hub of several major roadways including the New Jersey Turnpike / Interstate 95, Interstate 278 (including the Goethals Bridge, which carries Interstate 278 over the Arthur Kill between Elizabeth and Howland Hook, Staten Island), U.S. Route 1/9, Route 27, Route 28, and Route 439. Elizabeth's own street plan, in contrast to the more usual grid plan, is to a large degree circular, with circumferential and radial streets centered on the central railroad station.

As of May 2010, the city had a total of 153.78 miles (247.48 km) of roadways, of which 123.75 miles (199.16 km) were maintained by the municipality, 12.27 miles (19.75 km) by Union County and 11.80 miles (18.99 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 5.96 miles (9.59 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Elizabeth was once home to several smaller bascule bridges. The South First Street Bridge over the Elizabeth River, originally built in 1908, was replaced by a fixed span. The South Front Street Bridge (also over the Elizabeth River), built in 1922, has been left in the open position since March 2011. A study is underway to determine if the bridge can be rehabilitated. The bridge is notable in that it is the only remaining movable road bridge in Union County (movable railroad bridges still exist).

Public transportation

Elizabeth, NJ-1
CNJ's former Elizabeth Broad Street train station, completed in 1893 or 1894, with the current NJT station in the background

Elizabeth is among the U.S. cities with the highest train ridership. It is serviced by NJ Transit on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor Line. There are two active stations in Elizabeth. Elizabeth station, also called Broad Street Elizabeth or Midtown Station, is the southern station in Midtown Elizabeth. The other train station in Elizabeth is North Elizabeth station.

NJ Transit has planned a segment of the Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link (NERL), designated as the Union County Light Rail (UCLR). The UCLR was planned to connect Midtown Station with Newark Liberty International Airport and have seven or eight other stations in between within Elizabeth city limits. A possible extension of this future line to Plainfield would link the city of Elizabeth with the Raritan Valley Line.

NJ Transit provides bus service on the 111, 112, 113 and 115 routes to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, on the 24, 40, 48, 59 and 62 routes to Newark, New Jersey, with local service available on the 26, 52, 56, 57 and 58 routes.

The Colombian airline Avianca operates a private bus service from John F. Kennedy Airport to Union City and Elizabeth for passengers on Avianca flights departing from and arriving to JFK.

In popular culture

The city is the focal point of Elizabeth native Judy Blume's 2015 novel In The Unlikely Event, the backdrop for which was the crash of three commercial airliners in Elizabeth within a period of two months in 1951–52.

In the opening credits of The Sopranos, part of the city is shown.

Elizabeth is the hometown of Mary Dawn Dwyer Levov, the principal female character in Philip Roth's 1997 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel American Pastoral.

Sister cities


Elizabeth, New Jersey Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.