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New Providence, New Jersey
Borough
Borough of New Providence
A public space for outdoor ceremonies
A public space for outdoor ceremonies
Map of New Providence in Union County. Inset: Location of Union County in New Jersey
Map of New Providence in Union County. Inset: Location of Union County in New Jersey
Census Bureau map of New Providence, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of New Providence, New Jersey
New Providence, New Jersey is located in Union County, New Jersey
New Providence, New Jersey
New Providence, New Jersey
Location in Union County, New Jersey
New Providence, New Jersey is located in New Jersey
New Providence, New Jersey
New Providence, New Jersey
Location in New Jersey
New Providence, New Jersey is located in the United States
New Providence, New Jersey
New Providence, New Jersey
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Flag of Union County, New Jersey.gifUnion
Incorporated March 14, 1899
Government
 • Type Borough
 • Body Borough Council
Area
 • Total 3.71 sq mi (9.61 km2)
 • Land 3.69 sq mi (9.55 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)  0.57%
Area rank 307th of 565 in state
14th of 21 in county
Elevation
217 ft (66 m)
Population
 • Total 12,171
 • Estimate 
(2019)
13,595
 • Rank 201st of 566 in state
16th of 21 in county
 • Density 3,343.4/sq mi (1,290.9/km2)
 • Density rank 196th of 566 in state
17th of 21 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
07974
Area code(s) 908 and 973
FIPS code 3403951810
GNIS feature ID 0885321

New Providence is a borough on the northwestern edge of Union County, New Jersey, United States. It is located on the Passaic River, which forms the county boundary with Morris County bordering Chatham Township. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 12,171, reflecting an increase of 264 (+2.2%) from the 11,907 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 468 (+4.1%) from the 11,439 counted in the 1990 Census.

The borough is home to much of the Murray Hill neighborhood with the remainder lying in neighboring Berkeley Heights. Service on the NJ Transit is available at the New Providence and Murray Hill stations. More than 9% of New Providence's land is publicly-owned and protected parkland.

History

The written history of New Providence begins in 1664 when James, Duke of York and brother to King Charles II, purchased the land that became known as the Elizabethtown Tract from the Lenape Native Americans. Its first European settlers were members of a Puritan colony established in 1720, which was the first permanent settlement of its type. The settlement was originally called "Turkey" or "Turkey Town", due to the presence of wild turkeys in the area.

The Presbyterian Church established in 1737 was a focal point for the community, and the lack of serious injuries when the church's balcony collapsed in 1759 was deemed to be an example of Divine intervention, leading residents to change the area's name to New Providence.

According to local tradition, George Washington spent the night in a local home, which still stands to this day. Supposedly, the local stream, Salt Brook, is named for an incident when the salt supply of the colonial village was dumped into the brook to prevent passing British soldiers from taking it. Ironically, the British Army never crossed the Watchung Mountains into this region. Salt Brook winds through town, starting near the eponymous Salt Brook Elementary School.

On April 14, 1794, Springfield Township was formed, which included the present-day township, along with the towns of Summit, New Providence, and Berkeley Heights. Growth continued in the area, and on November 8, 1809, New Providence Township was formed from within Springfield Township. It included what is now Summit, New Providence, and Berkeley Heights. On March 23, 1869, Summit withdrew from the New Providence Township and reincorporated as a township without any other town.

On March 14, 1899, New Providence also withdrew from New Providence Township and was reincorporated as a borough. With Boroughitis sweeping across the state, many communities within townships were reverting to small, locally governed communities (mostly reincorporating as boroughs) due to acts of the New Jersey Legislature that made it economically advantageous for communities so do so. New Providence Township was renamed to Berkeley Heights as of November 6, 1951.

The cultivation of roses played an important role in the local economy in the 1900s.

New Providence had long been a semi-dry town, under which there were no bars and no restaurants permitted to sell alcoholic beverages. Retail liquor sales were legal and restaurant-goers may bring their own alcoholic beverages. In 2011, the borough announced that it was considering issuing on-premises liquor licenses, which could bring in as much as $500,000 for each bar granted a license, with plans to use the money raised to pay for improvements to recreation areas. Liquor licenses were granted in 2015 to a pair of restaurants, ending a 100-year period in which the borough had no on-premises liquor licenses.

The 2011 film Win Win is set at New Providence High School, having been written by Tom McCarthy and Joe Tiboni, two former students at the school.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 3.665 square miles (9.492 km2), including 3.640 square miles (9.428 km2) of land and 0.025 square miles (0.064 km2) of water (0.67%).

New Providence is bordered to the north by Chatham Township, across the Passaic River. Berkeley Heights lies to the southwest and south, and Summit to the east. Much of the Murray Hill community lies in New Providence, with the remainder in Berkeley Heights; Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names within the borough include Johnsons Bridge and West Summit.

The borough lies on the western slope of Second Watchung Mountain. There are several creek beds carved into the landscape, most of which are forks and branches of Salt Brook. These creeks join together near the center of town then flow into the Passaic River. Over nine percent of New Providence's land area is permanently protected, publicly owned parkland. Most of this land is wooded floodplain adjacent to the Passaic. Union County owns much of the riverfront parkland and New Providence owns the remainder. There are several borough-owned parks that bracket Salt Brook, including Veterans Memorial Park on South Street, Lions Park on Livingston Avenue, and Clearwater Park near the end of Central Avenue.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 565
1910 873 54.5%
1920 1,203 37.8%
1930 1,918 59.4%
1940 2,374 23.8%
1950 3,380 42.4%
1960 10,243 203.0%
1970 13,796 34.7%
1980 12,426 −9.9%
1990 11,439 −7.9%
2000 11,907 4.1%
2010 12,171 2.2%
2019 (est.) 13,595 11.7%
Population sources: 1900-1920
1900-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 12,171 people, 4,408 households, and 3,337 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,343.4 per square mile (1,290.9/km2). There were 4,537 housing units at an average density of 1,246.3 per square mile (481.2/km2)*. The racial makeup of the borough was 85.98% (10,465) White, 1.27% (155) Black or African American, 0.10% (12) Native American, 9.78% (1,190) Asian, 0.04% (5) Pacific Islander, 1.22% (148) from other races, and 1.61% (196) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.43% (783) of the population.

There were 4,408 households out of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.2% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.3% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the borough, the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 29.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.0 years. For every 100 females there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 91.4 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $113,542 (with a margin of error of +/- $12,769) and the median family income was $144,837 (+/- $13,137). Males had a median income of $103,237 (+/- $7,256) versus $60,029 (+/- $10,693) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $53,564 (+/- $3,739). About 3.2% of families and 4.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 0.9% of those age 65 or over.

Census 2000

New Providence NJ leafy street on a summer day
A residential street

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 11,907 people, 4,404 households, and 3,307 families residing in New Providence. The population density was 3,236.9 people per square mile (1,249.3/km2). There were 4,485 housing units at an average density of 1,219.2 per square mile (470.6/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 89.77% White, 0.88% African American, 0.03% Native American, 7.60% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, and 1.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.50% of the population.

There were 4,404 households, out of which 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.3% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.9% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.13.

In New Providence the population was spread out, with 26.3% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $90,964, and the median income for a family was $105,013. Males had a median income of $72,926 versus $46,948 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $42,995. About 1.3% of families and 1.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.0% of those under age 18 and 2.0% of those age 65 or over.

Landmarks

New Providence NJ shopping center with supermarket and cars
Shopping center
  • The Presbyterian Church is a large, white, historic church in the center of town.
  • The Village Shopping Center is a shopping center that takes up the majority of downtown New Providence.
  • Within the New Providence neighborhood of Murray Hill is Nokia. New Providence School District currently links together the computer networks of its buildings by using a wireless LAN which includes Yagi antennas at two towers by the large copper pyramid-shaped roof. The transistor and laser were invented in this Bell Laboratories when it was part of AT&T.
  • Our Lady of Peace is a Roman Catholic church and school located on South Street. The parking lot at OLP becomes the home of the town's OLP fair, held for three days each spring, complete with rides, games, food, and an indoor auction/junk fest.

Transportation

Roads and highways

2018-06-21 10 20 58 View west along Union County Route 512 (Springfield Avenue) at Maple Street in New Providence, Union County, New Jersey
CR 512 in New Providence

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 50.88 miles (81.88 km) of roadways, of which 44.58 miles (71.74 km) were maintained by the municipality and 6.30 miles (10.14 km) by Union County.

No state, U.S. or Interstate highways directly serve New Providence. The most prominent road through the borough is County Route 512 known as Springfield Avenue.

Public transportation

New Providence Station
Commuter train station

Service on the NJ Transit Gladstone Branch of the Morris & Essex Lines is available at the New Providence station and Murray Hill station, offering service to Hoboken Terminal and to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan. Two Gladstone Branch trains each weekday morning offer one-seat rides to Manhattan, and two evening trains leave New York and stop at both of New Providence's stations on the way to Gladstone. All other rail service is to or from Hoboken. These trains connect at Summit or Newark Broad Street with Manhattan-bound trains.

New Jersey Transit offer local bus service on the 986 route.

Lakeland Bus Lines offers weekday rush hour service from stops along Springfield Avenue to New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Newark Liberty International Airport is approximately 16 miles (26 km) east of New Providence.

Gallery


Economy

Companies based in New Providence include the publishers Martindale-Hubbell and R. R. Bowker.

Education

New Providence NJ elementary school with lamppost
Salt Brook Elementary School

The New Providence School District serves students in public school for pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of four schools, had an enrollment of 2,420 students and 183.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.2:1. Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Allen W. Roberts Elementary School with 702 students in grades PreK-6, Salt Brook Elementary School with 650 students in grades K-6, New Providence Middle School with 411 students in grades 7-8 and New Providence High School with 625 students in grades 9-12. The middle school and high school share a common building and some of the same facilities (art rooms, auditorium, east wing, west wing, gyms, music rooms, TV production room, cafeteria).

During the 2007–08 school year, New Providence Middle School was recognized with the National Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive. The district's high school was the top-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2012 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 5th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.

Serving students in PreK-3 through Grade 8, The Academy of Our Lady of Peace is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. The school was one of eight private schools recognized in 2017 by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program as an Exemplary High Performing School by the United States Department of Education.

Notable people

See also (related category): People from New Providence, New Jersey

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with New Providence include:

  • Andrew Fastow (born 1961), convicted CFO of Enron, went to NPHS and grew up in New Providence on the same street as the Allen W. Roberts Elementary School.
  • Mike Ferguson (born 1970), politician who served as member of the United States House of Representatives from New Jersey's 7th congressional district from 2001 to 2009.
  • Jeff Grob, drummer of the 1970s rock band Looking Glass, was born and raised in New Providence and is a current resident.
  • Michael Hawley (1961–2020), academic and artist working in the field of digital media.
  • Carroll N. Jones III (born 1944), artist in the style of American realism.
  • Syd Kitson (born 1958), former professional American football guard who played in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys.
  • Andrew Lewis (born 1974), professional soccer player for the MetroStars and the Chicago Fire.
  • Tom McCarthy (born 1966), actor in Meet the Parents, Good Night, and Good Luck who was director of the indie film The Station Agent. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay co-writing Up (2009) and then again writing Spotlight (2015) which also won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
  • Gerald Polci, former concert/jazz band teacher at New Providence Middle School (not a resident) and former drummer of The Four Seasons. Polci famously sang lead on December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night).
  • Elias Riggs (1810-1901), Presbyterian missionary known for his work in the Ottoman Empire.
  • Scott Rivkees, Surgeon General of Florida from June 2019 to September 2021.
  • Rat Skates (born 1961 as Lee Kundrat), filmmaker, writer and musician most notable for being a founding member and the original drummer of the thrash metal band, Overkill.
  • D. D. Verni (born 1961), bass player and founding member of the thrash metal band, Overkill.
  • Gideon A. Weed (1833-1905), physician who served two terms as mayor of Seattle, Washington.

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