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Paramus, New Jersey
Borough
Borough of Paramus
Welcome to Paramus
Welcome to Paramus
Map highlighting Paramus' location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey.
Map highlighting Paramus' location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey.
Paramus, New Jersey is located in the United States
Paramus, New Jersey
Paramus, New Jersey
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Flag of Bergen County, New Jersey.gif Bergen
Incorporated April 4, 1922
Government
 • Type Borough
 • Body Borough Council
Area
 • Total 10.51 sq mi (27.21 km2)
 • Land 10.45 sq mi (27.05 km2)
 • Water 0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)  0.60%
Area rank 206th of 565 in state
2nd of 70 in county
Elevation
49 ft (15 m)
Population
 • Total 26,342
 • Estimate 
(2019)
26,264
 • Rank 93rd of 566 in state
8th of 70 in county
 • Density 2,516.0/sq mi (971.4/km2)
 • Density rank 249th of 566 in state
50th of 70 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Codes
07652–07653
Area code(s) 201
FIPS code 3400355950
GNIS feature ID 0885340

Paramus ( pə-RAM-əs) is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. A suburb of New York City, Paramus is located 15 to 20 miles (24 to 32 km) northwest of Midtown Manhattan and approximately 8 miles (13 km) west of Upper Manhattan. The Wall Street Journal characterized Paramus as "quintessentially suburban".

As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 26,342, reflecting an increase of 605 (+2.4%) from the 25,737 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 670 (+2.7%) from the 25,067 counted in the 1990 Census.

Paramus was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 2, 1922, and ratified by a referendum held on April 4, 1922, that passed by a vote of 238 to 10. Paramus was created from portions of Midland Township, which now exists as Rochelle Park. The borough's name is thought to be from the Unami language spoken by the Lenape Native Anericans, derived from words meaning "land of the turkeys" or "pleasant stream."

Paramus has some of the most restrictive blue laws in the nation, dating back to the 17th century, banning nearly all white-collar and retail businesses from opening on Sundays except for gas stations, restaurants and grocery stores, and a limited number of other businesses. Despite this, the borough is one of the largest shopping destinations in the country, generating over $6 billion in annual retail sales, more than any other ZIP Code in the United States.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 10.520 square miles (27.246 km2), including 10.470 square miles (27.117 km2) of land and 0.050 square miles (0.129 km2) of water (0.47%).

The borough borders the Bergen County municipalities of Emerson, Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, Hackensack, Maywood, Oradell, Ridgewood, River Edge, Rochelle Park, Saddle Brook and Washington Township.

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the borough include Arcola, Bergen Place and Spring Valley.

History

The area that became northern New Jersey was occupied for thousands of years by prehistoric indigenous peoples. At the time of European encounter, it was settled by the historic Lenape people. The Lenape language word for the area, Peremessing, which meant that it had an abundant population of wild turkey, was anglicized to become the word "Paramus". A large metal statue of a wild turkey in the Paramus Park mall commemorates this history. Another variation is that the word means "pleasant stream".

Albert Saboroweski (Albrycht Zaborowski), whose descendants became known by the family name "Zabriskie", immigrated from Poland via the Dutch ship The Fox in 1662. He settled in the Dutch West Indies Company town of Ackensack, today's Hackensack. A son, Jacob, was captured by the Lenape and held for 15 years. When he was returned to his family, the Lenape explained to Saboroweski that they had taken the child in order to teach him their language so that he could serve as a translator. They granted Saboroweski approximately 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) of land which became known as the "Paramus Patent".

During the American Revolutionary War, the county included both Tories and Patriots, with Patriots "greatly outnumbering" Tories. Although no major battles were fought in Bergen County, Paramus was part of the military activity, as colonial troops were stationed in Ramapo under the command of Aaron Burr. In 1777, the British raided the Hackensack area and Burr marched troops to Paramus, where he attacked the British, forcing them to withdraw. General George Washington was in Paramus several times during the War: December 1778; July 1780; and, December 1780. Following the Battle of Monmouth, Washington established his headquarters in Paramus in July 1778. Over the advice of his staff, Washington moved his headquarters to Westchester County, New York.

A section of Paramus known as Dunkerhook (meaning dark corner in Dutch) was a free African-American community dating to the early 18th century. Although historical markers on the current site and local oral tradition maintain that this was a slave community, contemporary records document that it was a community of free blacks, not slaves. A group of houses built on Dunkerhook Road by the Zabriskies in the late 18th to early 19th centuries was the center of a community of black farmers, who had been slaves held by the Zabriskie family.

Farview Avenue, located at the highest peak in Paramus, has a clear view of the New York City skyline.

Paramus became one of the "truck farming" areas that helped New Jersey earn its nickname as the "Garden State". By 1940, Paramus' population was just 4,000, with no town center and 94 retail establishments. Although the opening of the George Washington Bridge in 1931 and the widening of New Jersey Route 17 and New Jersey Route 4 (which intersect in southern Paramus), made the area accessible to millions, "it was not until the 1950's that massive development hit this section of northern New Jersey".

During the 1950s and 1960s, Paramus, lacking any master plan until 1969, was redeveloped into two shopping corridors when its farmers and outside developers saw that shopping malls were more lucrative than produce farming. "It was a developer's dream: flat cleared land adjacent to major arterials and accessible to a growing suburban population and the country's largest city – with no planning restrictions". New York had a state sales tax, but New Jersey had none, so with the opening of Manhattan department stores in the Bergen Mall (1957), the Garden State Plaza (1957) and Alexander's (1961), Paramus became the "first stop outside New York City for shopping". From 1948–58, the population of Paramus increased from 6,000 to 23,000, the number of retail establishments tripled from 111 to 319, and annual retail sales increased from $5.5 million to $112 million. By the 1980s, when the population had increased slightly over 1960s levels, retail sales had climbed to $1 billion.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 889
1910 779 −12.4%
1920 1,321 69.6%
1930 2,649 100.5%
1940 3,688 39.2%
1950 6,268 70.0%
1960 23,238 270.7%
1970 28,381 22.1%
1980 26,474 −6.7%
1990 25,067 −5.3%
2000 25,737 2.7%
2010 26,342 2.4%
2019 (est.) 26,264 −0.3%
Population sources:
1930 1900–2010
2000 2010

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 26,342 people, 8,630 households, and 6,939 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,516.0 per square mile (971.4/km2). There were 8,915 housing units at an average density of 851.5 per square mile (328.8/km2)*. The racial makeup of the borough was 72.29% (19,042) White, 1.42% (374) Black or African American, 0.11% (28) Native American, 22.28% (5,869) Asian, 0.05% (13) Pacific Islander, 1.39% (366) from other races, and 2.47% (650) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.26% (1,913) of the population. 6.9% of residents self-identified as being Korean American, which makes it the largest ethnic minority group in the borough.

There were 8,630 households out of which 33.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.4% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.6% were non-families. 17.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.32.

In the borough, the population was spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 19.2% from 25 to 44, 30.2% from 45 to 64, and 21.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46.3 years. For every 100 females there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 91.7 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $104,986 (with a margin of error of +/- $9,111) and the median family income was $123,848 (+/- $7,952). Males had a median income of $77,325 (+/- $5,222) versus $52,702 (+/- $4,983) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $40,024. About 1.6% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over.

Same-sex couples headed 35 households in 2010, more than double the 17 counted in the 2000 census.

Arts and culture

One of the earliest drive-in theaters opened in Paramus, featuring what was said to be the world's largest and brightest screen, located behind what is now Westfield Garden State Plaza. The Paramus Drive-In closed in 1987 after the last movie presentation, a double-feature of "Crocodile" Dundee and The Untouchables.

Currently, Paramus' lone movie theater complex is a 16-screen AMC Theatres located in an area of new construction at Westfield Garden State Plaza. Prior to the opening of the AMC complex, a number of theatres were closed in the borough, including the Route 4 Tenplex and the Cineplex Odeon Route 17 Triplex, once located next to Westfield Garden State Plaza on Route 17. The Triplex theatre was opened in 1965 by Century Theatres and was closed on January 19, 2006, by Loews Cineplex Entertainment. The Tenplex on Route 4 was closed on May 24, 2007, the day before the new AMC Theatres opened at Westfield Garden State Plaza. The Paramus Picture Show, known as Cinema 35 until 1997, closed in December 2004 in the wake of declining attendance. The borough will regain a second theater in 2018, when a 13-screen Regal Cinemas will be opening at Paramus Park.

The Bergen Town Center formerly had a performing arts theater called "Playhouse on the Mall". It had a seating capacity of 635 seats and was opened in 1960. From 1960 to 1970, author Robert Ludlum was the manager of the theater. The theater closed in 1982 due to rising costs and low attendance and was converted into retail space in 1986.

In 2016, the Garden State Plaza added a Bergen Performing Arts Center performance area for shows and performances located near Macy's, which took up the former space of the Venetian carousel. There is also a Bergen PAC ticket center located near the performance area.

Parks and recreation

Bergen County Zoo
Bergen County Zoo
Van Saun Park Train
The Van Saun Park train ride.
Van Saun Playground
The Van Saun Park Playground
Van Saun Park Carousel
Van Saun Park carousel

Paramus is the home to two county parks. On the eastern side of the borough is Van Saun County Park, a 146 acres (59 ha) park that features Bergen County's only zoo, home to a wide variety of wild and domestic animals living in recreated habitats natural to each species. Van Saun Park also has a playground, train ride, carousel, athletic fields, and pony rides. On the western side of the borough is Saddle River County Park which features a 6-mile (9.7 km) bike path reaching from Ridgewood to Rochelle Park. The Washington Spring site in the park takes its name from reports that General Washington drank water from the spring here while his troops were encamped nearby, west of the Hackensack River. The Continental Army is reported to have utilized the old spring at the base of these slopes during the September encampment west of the Hackensack River.

Other parks in Paramus include:

  • The Cliff Gennarelli Paramus Sportsplex – a park that has athletic fields, pavilion, picnic area, and a playground. It is located behind Westfield Garden State Plaza.
  • Petruska Park – a park located on Farview Avenue. It has athletic fields, playground, and a basketball court/roller rink. The Paramus Recreation office is also located in the park.
  • Parkway Plex – located on East Ridgewood Avenue behind Parkway School. It has athletic fields.
  • Bensen Park – a neighborhood park that has a playground and a sports field.
  • Buehler Park – a green belt park that has a trail showing New Jersey aviation history.
  • Constitution Grove Park – located at Farview and East Midland Avenues. There are monuments about the Paramus Rescue Squad, Paramus Rotary Club, and Christopher Columbus/Unico.
  • Di Maggio Park – located between Oliver Road and Flint Place.
  • Faber Park – a park located on Hemlock Drive. It has playgrounds and basketball courts.
  • Fairway Oaks Park – a park located off Paramus Road. It has a fitness walk.
  • Firemen's Park – located across from Farview Fire Company #4, where it has monuments dedicated to Paramus' Volunteer Fire Department.
  • Howland Memorial Grove – a monument park reflecting on those who died on September 11, 2001.
  • Madison Park – a park located on June & Jay Drive that has playgrounds.
  • McEllen Park – a park that has playgrounds and a basketball court.
  • Mele Park – a park located on Silverrod Court. It has playgrounds and athletic fields.
  • Reid Park – located on Spencer Place. It has a walkway, athletic fields, and a playground.
  • Sirianni Park – located on Midwood Road. It has athletic fields, a playground, a basketball court, and open play area.
  • Spring Valley Park – located on Spring Valley Avenue. The park is located on the Paramus–Maywood border.

In 2008, the Paramus Golf Course opened a miniature golf course that is themed after the borough of Paramus as well as the state of New Jersey. Turkey statues are scattered around the course to celebrate Paramus as the "land of the wild turkeys."

Paramus has an outdoor municipal swimming pool complex on Van Binsberger Boulevard. It has three pools: a main pool, a pool for younger swimmers, and a baby pool.

There is an annual Terri Roemer Paramus Run featuring a 5K, 10K running race, one–mile "Fun Run", & 5 km Health Walk for runners and walkers of all ages.

Arcola Park was an outdoor amusement park built in 1926. It had a huge swimming pool, a convention hall, a dance pavilion, an auditorium, and rides. A fire in 1929 destroyed the entire park, with the exception of the pool. The pool was destroyed by a fire in 1970 and closed down for good. The park site was replaced by a Ramada Inn, the hotel extending into a small portion of Rochelle Park.

Annual events

During the week of the 4th of July, Paramus holds its own Independence Day celebration. First, there is the performance of the Paramus Community Orchestra at the Paramus Bandshell which takes place on July 2. Next, on the 3rd, there is a softball game between the Paramus Fire Department and the Paramus Police Department, held annually since 2011. On the 4th, there is a parade. The parade route starts at the intersection of Century Road and Farview Avenue and ends at Memorial Elementary School. On the 5th, there is a fireworks display at the Cliff Gennarelli Paramus Sportsplex.

Paramus also holds its own Memorial Day parade every year.

Paramus hosts an annual National Night Out. The event typically includes games and activities as well as a concert. The borough's fire, rescue, police, and ambulance vehicles are also displayed.

The Paramus Rescue Squad and Fire Department Companies 2 & 3 host a Halloween party every October called, "Safe Halloween" to ensure every child has a safe and fun Halloween.

Transportation

2021-06-06 14 33 26 View north along New Jersey State Route 444 (Garden State Parkway) from the overpass for Bergen County Route 80 (East Ridgewood Avenue-Oradell Avenue) in Paramus, Bergen County, New Jersey
View north along the Garden State Parkway in Paramus

Roads and highways

As of July 2015, the borough had a total of 121.92 miles (196.21 km) of roadways, of which 90.93 miles (146.34 km) were maintained by the municipality, 18.86 miles (30.35 km) by Bergen County, 7.72 miles (12.42 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and 4.41 miles (7.10 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

2020-09-08 13 13 29 View north along New Jersey State Route 17 at the exit for New Jersey State Route 4 (Fort Lee, New York, Paterson) in Paramus, Bergen County, New Jersey
The intersection of Route 17 and Route 4, at the commercial hub of Bergen County.

Highways in Paramus include Route 17, Route 4 and the Garden State Parkway (including the Paramus Toll Plaza at Interchange 165).

Public transportation

NJ Transit bus routes 144, 145, 148, 155, 157, 162, 163, 164, 165 and 168 serve the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan; the 171 and 175 routes provide service to the George Washington Bridge Bus Station; and local service is offered on the 709, 722, 751, 752, 753, 755, 756, 758, 762 and 770 routes. Nine of the 22 NJ Transit buses that serve Paramus do not provide service on Sundays. The 722 does not provide services on Saturdays and Sundays.

Coach USA provides bus service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal via Rockland Coaches routes 45/45A/45X from Pomona, New York and via Short Line on Route 17.

Spanish Transportation and several other operators provide frequent jitney service along Route 4 between Paterson, New Jersey and the George Washington Bridge Bus Station.

Points of interest

Historic sites

HARMON VAN DIEN HOUSE, PARAMUS, BERGEN COUNTY, NJ
Harmon Van Dien House

Paramus is home to the following locations on the National Register of Historic Places:

  • Midland School – 239 W. Midland Avenue (added 1978). The school was constructed in 1876, and was used as a branch of the Paramus Public Library after Midland School was moved.
  • Terhune House – 470 Paramus Road (added 1996). An 18th-century Dutch Colonial home constructed of sandstone, that was later modified to add Victorian features, including a mansard roof.
  • Terhune-Gardner-Lindenmeyr House – 218 Paramus Road (added 1972). A Federal Period home constructed on the last remaining portion of untouched land from Terhune's farm, as taken from the original Zabriskie patent. The oldest known portion that can be reliably dated is from 1807–08, with an older adjoining section of the house dating back as far as 1707.
  • Harmon Van Dien House – 449 Paramus Road (added 1983).
  • Albert J. Zabriskie Farmhouse – 7 East Ridgewood Avenue (added 1977).
  • Zabriskie Tenant House – 273 Dunkerhook Road (added 1984). The house was demolished in July 2012 by a housing developer who owned the property, after efforts to preserve or relocate the house failed.

Other points of interest

  • Buehler Challenger and Science Center, located on the campus of Bergen Community College. It is a space museum where children learn about outer space and missions through simulations. The science center is also available to adults and educators.
  • Fritz Behnke Historical Museum, located on Paramus Road. It is open every Sunday and has exhibits about Paramus' past.
  • New Jersey Children's Museum. Opened in 1992, it featured hands-on exhibits for children such as a fire truck, a news studio, a helicopter, and other fun pretend attractions that drew 700,000 visitors per year. It closed in 2014 after Valley Hospital wanted to buy property near its Ridgewood location.

In popular culture

  • The 1993 Saturday Night Live spin-off movie Coneheads is set in Paramus. Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin's characters decide to move to and permanently reside in the borough so daughter Michelle Burke can attend Paramus High School. Aykroyd's character "Beldar Conehead" spends his days in Paramus giving driving lessons and playing golf.
  • Several episodes of The Sopranos, the HBO mob drama, have used Paramus locations. Westfield Garden State Plaza was used as the "Paramus Mall," and the Ramsey Outdoor Store on Route 17 became the "Ramsey Outdoor," and a character is "whacked" at the remnants of the Old Mill Bathing Beach on Paramus Road. In the final episode of the series, a scene with Paulie Walnuts is shot in Paramus, where he was in a car, driving past a gas station.
  • Less Than Jake recorded a song entitled, "24 Hours in Paramus" in 1995 as one of the songs in their album, Losers, Kings, and Things We Don't Understand.
  • Scenes from the 2008 film Burn After Reading by the Coen Brothers were filmed in Paramus at the site of the old Tower Records annex building located on Route 17S that had been transformed into Hardbodies Fitness Center.
  • In the 2011 superhero film Captain America: The First Avenger, Brooklyn native Steve Rogers uses Paramus as a fake hometown during a string of unsuccessful efforts to enlist in the United States Army during World War II.
  • The 2005 Sesame Street direct-to-video All Star Alphabet, featuring Stephen Colbert and Nicole Sullivan, was filmed on location at Westfield Garden State Plaza.
  • Paramus was one of the filming locations in the 1986 film Something Wild.
  • A scene from the 1996 film Ransom was filmed on Route 4 in Paramus where Mullen is driving to Stone Quarry.
  • The former Paramus Bowling Center was the filming site of the bowling competition shows Make That Spare and Championship Bowling.
  • Zach Deputy recorded a song called "Paramus" in 2009 as one of the songs in his album "Sunshine".
  • In season 3, episode 9 of American Horror Story: Coven first aired in December 2013, Fiona Goode threatens Myrtle Snow to Paramus, calling it "toxic waste and outlet malls."

Economy

Corporate headquarters

Paramus was home to the America regional headquarters of Hanjin Shipping, located on the eastbound side of Route 4. Hudson City Bancorp had its headquarters located at West 80 Century Road until its acquisition by M&T Bank, which was completed in 2015. Movado Group Inc. is a watchmaker with its headquarters on From Road. Suez North America, founded as Hackensack Water Company in 1869 and later named United Water, is an American water service company headquartered in Paramus. Coach USA is a large tour operator with its headquarters in Paramus, at the offices of its Community Coach subsidiary.

Paramus was the former headquarters location for Toys "R" Us before the company relocated to Wayne, New Jersey in 2002 and went bankrupt. Paramus was also the headquarters of Magic Solutions, a defunct computer software company that specialized in help desk automation and asset management software.

Malls

Paramus is known for its multitude of stores and malls. It has five major indoor shopping centers, serving residents in the areas of Bergen County and Passaic County in New Jersey and Rockland County in New York. New Jersey does not levy a sales tax on clothes and shoes, which makes it an attractive shopping destination for people even further away in New York City, who pay sales tax on clothing items above $110 in price, in addition to the lower standard rate of 6.625% in New Jersey, compared to 8.875% in New York City. The spending levels generated by the malls have made Paramus one of the top retail ZIP Codes in the country.

At the intersection of Routes 4 and 17 is Westfield Garden State Plaza, the largest and best-known mall in the borough. Westfield Garden State Plaza is the largest mall in the Westfield Group's global portfolio and the largest in New Jersey, with a gross leasable area of 2,128,402 square feet (200,000 m2). On Route 4, are The Outlets at Bergen Town Center (known as the Bergen Mall until 2006), Paramus Place and The Shoppes on IV. On Route 17, are Paramus Park, Paramus Towne Square, Paramus Design Center, and the Fashion Center.

Many national chain stores boast Paramus as their most prominent locations. Nordstrom's Paramus location, which was its first New York area store when it opened in September 1990 with strong sales volume, is their best-performing. There are 25 retailers that occupy multiple stores in Paramus, including Macy's which had outlets in three malls for a period of time. Some retail analysts view Paramus as being two markets, centered on the two major highways. Lord & Taylor has locations at both Westfield Garden State Plaza and Fashion Center, giving Paramus the distinction of the only town with more than one Lord & Taylor location. Toys "R" Us had two locations: at the Fashion Center, and at a location on the eastbound side of Route 4 near Forest Avenue. Paramus also housed a Babies "R" Us on the northbound side of Route 17, but it closed in 2018. Later that year, the Fashion Center and Route 4 Toys "R" Us locations closed due to the company's bankruptcy. In 1983, Paramus was one of the first locations opening a Kids "R" Us store. When Toys "R" Us was revived in 2019 after emerging from bankruptcy, the first new Toys "R" Us store opened at Westfield Garden State Plaza on November 27, 2019. However, it closed again on January 26, 2021, as a result of financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. H&M has three locations in Paramus: Paramus Park, Westfield Garden State Plaza, and The Outlets at Bergen Town Center.

Blue laws

In addition to the state blue laws that apply to all of Bergen County, Paramus has even stricter restrictions preventing stores selling non-food items from opening on Sundays. These laws were enacted shortly after Garden State Plaza opened out of fear that the mall would cause high levels of congestion in the borough. It is one of the last places in the United States to have such an extensive blue law. This law was called into question when a BJ's Wholesale Club opened at the Routes 4/17 junction. BJ's was allowed to open on Sundays, but is only allowed to sell food and basic necessities. The store has been structured to restrict access to items that cannot be purchased on Sunday.

Local blue laws in Paramus were first proposed in 1957, while the Bergen Mall and Garden State Plaza were under construction. The legislation was motivated by fears that the two new malls would aggravate the already-severe highway congestion caused by local retail businesses along the borough's highways.

The Paramus Borough Code forbids the performance of any "worldly employment" on Sunday, with exceptions for charity, and the sale of newspapers, medicinal drugs, meals, prepared food and cigarettes, among a limited number of exceptions. Even work performed inside one's own home is prohibited on Sunday. In spite of its six-day shopping week, Paramus consistently has the most retail sales of any ZIP Code in the United States.

More than 63% of Bergen County voters rejected a referendum on the ballot in 1993 that would have repealed the county's blue laws, though the Paramus restrictions would have remained in place. An unsuccessful 2010 proposal by Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie would have ended the state's blue laws (now only enforced in Bergen County), with the governor citing industry estimates that the $1.1 billion in added retail revenue on Sundays would generate an additional $65 million in sales taxes for the state. In November 2012, Governor Chris Christie issued an executive order temporarily suspending the blue laws in both Bergen County and Paramus due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, a decision that was upheld despite a court challenge by the Borough of Paramus. The blue law suspension was in effect on Sunday, November 11, but was back in effect the following Sunday.

Education

The Paramus Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2019–20 school year, the district, comprised of eight schools, had an enrollment of 3,760 students and 332.7 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.3:1.

Schools in the district, with 2019–20 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics, are Memorial Elementary School (302 students in grades K–4), Midland Elementary School (177 students in grades K–4), Parkway Elementary School (314 students in grades PreK–4), Ridge Ranch Elementary School (337 students in grades K–4), Stony Lane Elementary School (186 students in grades K–4), East Brook Middle School (575 students in grades 5–8), West Brook Middle School (577 students in grades 5–8) and Paramus High School (1,253 students in grades 9–12).

Three of the district's schools have been formally recognized with the National Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence: Paramus High School in 1988–89, Parkway Elementary School in 1987–88 and Ridge Ranch Elementary School in 1998–99.

Public school students from the borough, and all of Bergen County, are eligible to attend the secondary education programs offered by the Bergen County Technical Schools, which include the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, and the Bergen Tech campus in Teterboro or Bergen Tech campus in Paramus. The district offers programs on a shared-time or full-time basis, with admission based on a selective application process and tuition covered by the student's home school district.

Paramus is home to many private religious schools. Paramus Catholic High School is a co-educational Roman Catholic high school founded in 1965 and operated by the Archdiocese of Newark. With more than 1,500 students, it has the largest enrollment of any Roman Catholic high school in the state of New Jersey. It is also the location of Visitation Academy, a Pre K3-8 Catholic school also overseen by the Newark Archdiocese.

K-8 co-ed Jewish day schools in Paramus include Yavneh Academy; Yeshivat Noam, founded in 2001; and Ben Porat Yosef, which was established in 2001 and relocated to Paramus in 2008. Frisch School is a Modern Orthodox Jewish yeshiva serving grades 9–12 that describes itself as the nation's second-largest coed yeshiva high school.

Bergen Community College is based in Paramus, with other satellite centers located around the county. The bulk of the college's 17,000 students working towards degrees are located at the main campus in Paramus. The Bergen campus of Berkeley College is located in Paramus. There is also a DeVry University campus located at the 35 Plaza Shopping Center in Paramus. There is a Lincoln Tech campus at The Outlets at Bergen Town Center.

Paramus is home to four special education schools. New Alliance Academy, located on Midland Ave, provides educational and ancillary therapeutic services for high school teenagers experiencing acute psychological distress. The EPIC School (Educational Partnership for Instructing Children) is located on North Farview Avenue, next to the Our Lady of Visitation Church. The Alpine Learning Group is located on County Route 62, close to Linwood Avenue, and P.R.I.D.E. School, which is a part of the ECLC school, which serves three other locations in New Jersey, has a location on Sette Drive. The Bergen County Special Services School District, which provides public special education services on a countywide basis, is headquartered in Paramus.

Public library

The borough's public library maintains two locations—the Main Library on Century Road and the Charles E. Reid Branch library on Midland Avenue, which was originally a four-room schoolhouse built in 1876.

The borough's original public library, known locally as the Howland House, was originally located at the intersection of Spring Valley Road and Howland Avenue. It was demolished sometime in the late 1990s. A September 11, 2001 memorial park now exists at the site known as Howland Memorial Grove.

Notable people

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

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

  • John Bancker Aycrigg (1798–1856), member of the United States Congress from New Jersey.
  • Joe Benigno (born 1953), sports radio personality on WFAN on Joe & Evan show with Evan Roberts.
  • Chase Blackburn (born 1983), linebacker for the New York Giants and a member of the Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI champion Giants.
  • Juwann Bushell-Beatty (born 1996), offensive lineman for the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League.
  • Galit Chait (born 1975), ice dancer who represented Israel internationally from 1995 to 2006.
  • Lizabeth Cohen (born 1952), historian, college professor and author, whose 2003 work A Consumer's Republic builds on her experience growing up in post-war Paramus.
  • Joseph Coniglio (born 1943), former member of the New Jersey Senate.
  • Paul Contillo (born 1929), politician who served in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature after serving on the Paramus Borough Council from 1971 to 1973.
  • Stacey Dash (born 1967), film and television actress who appeared in the 1995 film Clueless and its TV spinoff.
  • Spero Dedes (born 1979), Los Angeles Lakers radio commentator, NFL Network television host, and CBS NCAA tournament basketball announcer.
  • Bill DeMott (born 1966), retired professional wrestler and road agent best known for his appearances with World Championship Wrestling as Hugh Morrus and World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment under his real name.
  • Jim Dray (born 1986), tight end who has played for the Arizona Cardinals.
  • The Escape Engine, former hardcore/punk rock band formed in Paramus from 2002–2006.
  • Warren Farrell (born 1943), educator, gender equality activist and author.
  • Fat Joe (born 1970), rapper, actor, CEO of Terror Squad Entertainment, and member of musical groups D.I.T.C. and Terror Squad.
  • Mark Fields (born c. 1961), former Ford Motor Company President and Chief Executive Officer.
  • Dean Friedman (born 1955), one-hit wonder with the top tune "Ariel" in 1977, which includes lyrics mentioning "the waterfall in Paramus Park.".
  • Fred C. Galda (c. 1918–1997), former mayor of Paramus who oversaw the implementation of the borough's blue laws in 1958.
  • Peter Gennaro (1919–2000), Tony Award-winning dancer and choreographer.
  • Matt Ghaffari (born 1961), Olympic wrestler.
  • Jamie Gold (born 1969), winner of the 2006 World Series of Poker.
  • Victoria Herrmann, polar geographer and climate change communicator.
  • Matt Hunter (born 1998), singer, songwriter and voice actor.
  • Charles Samuel Joelson (1916–1999), politician who represented New Jersey's 8th congressional district.
  • Louis F. Kosco (born 1932), politician who served in both the New Jersey General Assembly and the New Jersey Senate.
  • Joseph Lagana (born 1978), member of the New Jersey Senate since 2018.
  • Lloyd Levin (born 1958), film producer whose work includes United 93.
  • Tony Lip (1930–2013), actor who appeared on The Sopranos, playing the role of Carmine Lupertazzi, and whose story was dramatized in the Oscar-winning film Green Book.
  • Howard Lorber (born 1948), CEO of the Vector Group.
  • Herbert F. Maddalene (born 1928), architect best known for his work designing churches with the firm of Genovese & Maddalene.
  • Bob Menendez (born 1954), U.S. Senator.
  • Liv Morgan (born 1994), professional wrestler.
  • Dean Obeidallah (born 1969), Arab/Italian-American comedian.
  • George Olsen (1893–1971), bandleader and proprietor of Olsen's Restaurant in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • Ken Oringer (born 1965), chef.
  • John Bartow Prevost (1766–1825), first Judge of the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans.
  • John Robertson (born 1993), quarterback for the Villanova Wildcats football team who won the 2014 Walter Payton Award.
  • Ira Rubin (1930–2013), world champion professional contract bridge player.
  • Gary Stein (born 1933), attorney and former Associate Justice on the New Jersey Supreme Court, who served for 17 years where he wrote over 365 published opinions.
  • Kazbek Tambi (born 1961), former professional soccer player.
  • Steven H. Temares (born 1958), Chief Executive Officer of Bed, Bath & Beyond.
  • Theodore Trautwein (1920–2000), judge who sentenced a reporter from The New York Times to 40 days in jail in the "Dr. X" trial of Mario Jascalevich.
  • Trixter, a glam metal band, formed in Paramus.
  • Connie Wagner (born 1948), member of the New Jersey General Assembly from 2008 to 2013.
  • Yoojin Grace Wuertz (born 1980), novelist who wrote the 2017 book Everything Belongs To Us.
  • Elaine Zayak (born 1965), one of the world's top figure skaters in the early 1980s.

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